LUCIE Gets New Mast

By Jens Lange
LUCIE is in the shop for the winter – taking a much earned break and awaiting her regular maintenance to make sure she continues to turn heads and be the fastest Rule II boat out there.
When LUCIE returned back from the Worlds in Vancouver she arrived back home with a damaged mast – somewhere along the almost 4,000 mile trip from Vancouver, BC to Newport, RI the overhanging mast was clipped and caused damages too severe to be fixed. This was a big bummer for team LUCIE as we had spent years to tune and develop this beautiful wooden mast. There now was only one thing to do: look forward, built a new mast and incorporate everything we have learned over the years.
In December we were successful in finding the proper material for the new tube: Finest Sitka Spruce in a length of 30’+ and at 16/4 quarter-sawn – which means we only need one scarf per stave and we could re-saw the wood to exactly what we needed. The last design of the mast tube was reviewed carefully and some adjustments were calculated, drawn and discussed until we finally had the design and construction method that will produce the next iteration of the LUCIE mast. While many details will remain proprietary we can release this much: The mast will be 8 staved and hollow with focus on weight as close to the rule as can be managed with a wooden mast.
Last week – with a little room in the shop before another 6 Meter was scheduled to come in – we milled the re-sawn planks close to maximum thickness per stave as per the section drawings, then we scarfed all eight staves together to give us the 48’ building length needed. Somewhere in that process the planks were ripped to a little over needed width as well. Once the scarfs had cured all eight staves went thru the planer again, now bringing them down to final maximum thickness. That was obviously done with shop doors open as it now needed a 100’ run (50′ on each side of the planer).
Next step will be the detailing of the staves, trimming to final width and thickness taper towards the top, and then heading for bench set-up and dry-fitting. Stay tuned!

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