GMT Composites has been building carbon fiber masts for sailboats longer than anyone else in the world. Our masts have sailed in every ocean, including many successful passages around the world, and have competently handled the most demanding wind and weather conditions under sail.
GMT masts are light (approximately half the weight of aluminum), safe, dependable, and will make your vessel faster, stiffer and drier. They are less inclined to heeling and hobby-horsing and thus are able to provide a more comfortable motion at sea. Their beautiful finish, compared to aluminum, is easier to care for, doesn’t corrode, and is exceptionally long-lasting.
A mast to suit your requirements
GMT has engineered, detailed and built masts for an unlimited range of vessels and types of sailing. Whether you own a heavy displacement megayacht, traditional or modern cruiser, a classic yacht requiring a replacement spar in refit or a round-the-world race boat, GMT has the experience and successful record you can rely on. We have built masts from 30 to 140 feet (10 to over 40 meters) in length.
GMT masts are built on a custom basis to suit individual vessels, their owners’ desires and the variety of sailing conditions they will potentially face. There are different approaches for developing masts for racers, cruisers, and passagemakers. GMT offers both conventional masts as well as in-mast furling systems. The advantages of a GMT custom solution become clear as this process develops.
A choice in finish
Most of the earliest carbon spars were finished in clear-coat linear polyurethane. This allows you see the distinctive color and weave pattern of the carbon twill: it’s a high-tech look that remains distinctive and popular. But linear polyurethane paint also comes in an almost limitless range of colors, so we can match your hull, your deck or even a color swatch you provide us.
GMT pioneered in the development of the “faux bois” finish. For traditional yachts, restorations of old and historic vessels as well as for those who just love the look of wood, our faux bois (“false wood” in French) finish is ideal. Even close-up, faux bois appears to be wood. We can match the color and grain of any species of tree and have been sent sections of actual wooden spars whose color, grain structure and even natural imperfections we were able to duplicate in polyurethane.
Fittings & Rigging
Building a custom mast allows you an unlimited range in choices: what hardware you want, where you prefer gear to be mounted, and to build this into your mast in the most harmonious way. While GMT offers the finest and most up-to-date standing and running rigging, hardware and sail management systems, we also understand that not everyone has a grand prix racer’s budget.
GMT rigs are fully customizable, allowing less exotic fittings and details that still deliver the benefits of a carbon mast but at less cost. For example, an alloy masthead and spreaders or a stainless steel gooseneck can be specified in lieu of all-carbon construction.
Mastheads are custom built to your specifications including the number of halyards, arrays of wind instruments and electronics, as well as custom cranes for large roached mainsails and code zero headsails. And our masts can be delivered with all the attendant standing rigging, whether you specify wire, rod, PBO or carbon
Some frequently asked questions
Is a carbon mast worth the extra cost? For many, yes. Carbon saves a lot of weight aloft, so it reduces heeling and pitching, making boats faster, more close-winded, and noticeably more comfortable.
How strong is carbon? At far lighter weight, carbon is stronger than aluminum. GMT has customers whose masts have survived boatyard accidents, unintended gybes in storm-force winds, and a full 360 degree roll - all situations those customers felt would have destroyed a metal mast.
Will a GMT carbon mast last? A GMT mast was fitted as original equipment on CCP Cray Valley, an Open 50 race boat (currently named totallymoney.com), and continues to race single-handed and double-handed across oceans and around the world; it has traveled without repair for over 120,000 miles. GMT’s first two carbon spars made in 1990 are still sailing today. GMT spars last!
What modulus carbon does GMT use? We build spars in either standard or intermediate modulus carbon fiber. The choice depends upon your individual requirements, and we will discuss the optimum solution with you when we hear about your requirements.
Is a carbon mast hard to maintain? Actually, it’s easier to maintain than aluminum, which can pit or corrode if not perfectly maintained. The polyurethane finish is more durable than paint on aluminum and can be touched up if scratched or worn by abrasion.
What boats carry GMT masts? GMT spars have graced yachts built by Alden, Baltic, Brooklin, Concordia, Cherubini, C&C, Deerfoot, Freedom, Hinckley, Herreshoff, Hylas, Lyman-Morse, Morris, Nautor Swan, Northshore, PJ, Sabre, Tartan, Open 40s, 50s and 60s, and hundreds of custom yachts worldwide.
More questions? You probably have more questions; please give us a call for answers. We welcome inquiries from builders, designers, sailmakers, riggers and, of course, from boat owners.
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