The Association decided at their 2009 AGM, to experiment with trying to make the halyard rig more competitive by allowing the use of the lighter, more flexible tube mast. The stock mast of extruded aluminum is significantly heavier and stiffer than the tube mast and it was felt that a lighter, more flexible mast would allow for additional performance from new sails. North Sails in Vancouver were contacted and new suits of halyard race sails were ordered by a couple of the members in order to test the theory.
A supplier was found for the aluminum tubing (irrigation pipe used in Alberta) and for the sail track that was needed for the halyard main sail.
Just prior to the 2010 Beach Cats Regatta at Lake Newell, Norm & Don spent about a full day building a new tube mast for a halyard suit of sails. I have uploaded the photos we took of that mast build and they can be viewed on the Photos Page.
The whole process was relatively uncomplicated – be sure to have the appropriate pages from the class rules handy; make sure you have read and fully understand what they mean, where to measure from, etc. in order to speed the process and prevent errors.
You will need to gather all the parts you will need – remembering that both sails will be using a halyard; that the side shrouds may need to be replaced; that you need a location to build that has lots of length (20’10” minimum!); that you need to carefully choose your length of tubing; and that tubing is much easier to bend and kink than your old halyard mast so be very careful!