- Had the pleasure of spending this weekend at a friend's lake home near
Rhinelander Wisconsin, in the heart of the Nicolet National Forest. He
has about ten acres that could potentially be covered with ship/boat
masts. The trees there are truely spectacular- straight as an arrow,
saplings to 24" in diameter at the base, and upwards of 50 feet tall.
The species are as mixed- red and white oak, red and white pine,
hemlock, spruce, and red maple. My thoughts turned to my eventual need
for a mast for the 18 foot catboat I'm building. Ruling out the
deciduous due to their weight, of the conifers, I'm sure that spruce
would be most suitible for a solid mast 7" diameter at the base, 2 1/2"
at the top, and 22' long. Which would be a second choice if a spuce
cannot be found- white pine??
As to preparation-- should some/all of the sapwood be removed, or can
it be left in place? Next, what can be done to ensure that minimal end-
checking occurs. Finally, and worst of all, is bending/warping during
drying out a concern, and what if anything can be done to prevent it?
Obviously, solid masts were the norm before modern adhesives-- What was
done to minimize these deformities?