Forget weight, forget flex: foil masts have to be stiff and torsionally rigid to achieve controlled flight. The stiffer, the more stable. And the more stable, the more control and more performance the foil delivers. Starboard masts are built in 100% pre-preg carbon, with forty layers of wrapped high-modulus uni-axial, bi-axial and tri-axial Toray carbon hydraulically pressed, heated and fused into one monolithic mast of incredible stiffness.
The shape of our mast has also been optimized for flexural and torsional stiffness. Computer-simulated analysis shows the Starboard mast, by virtue of its shape alone, is already up to 52% stiffer than a traditional mast.
We found G10 wings and glass fibre wings to flex too much, no matter what we tried. Flex reduces control and stability. Since thicker wings would reduce performance, we chose to make all Starboard Wings in 100% pre-preg Toray carbon. Like for the mast, stiffer wings equal controlled and stable flight.
Aluminium. Why aluminium? A-B testing repeatedly found aluminium fuselages to outperform carbon fuselages in spite of their weight and the extra care needed to avoid corrosion. The longer the fuselage, the more apparent it became: unlike masts or wings that are thin, because of the solid, circular cross-section of a fuselage, not only is an aluminium fuselage stiffer, it is also tougher, stronger and torsionally more rigid. Since added weight is not a disadvantage in foils, possibly even an advantage, we chose 6061 aluminium for the fuselage construction.
The key to a good saddle design is width and square, mechanically locking shapes. With a flat and large mating surface that makes the most of the fuselage's width, Starboard's wings bolt-on with ease and allow wings of all shapes and sizes to be fitted. Want to attach your own wings? We supply G10 shimming blocks that allow you to bolt on any wings to the Starboard Modular Foil Platform.
A super stiff mast, a hyper-rigid fuselage and full carbon wings would all go to waste if the fuselage fitting wasn't up to par. So we designed our own patent-pending fuselage fitting that not only allows for convenient disassembly, it also allows four lateral bolts to crank up the fitting pressure between the mast and the fuselage to the max, enhancing torsional rigidity and creating a single, fused high performance unit. Three Torx bolts on the bottom carry the vertical loads. When the fuselage fitting could be the weakest link in a foil construction, our patent-pending system turns the design equation upside down, making the connection a stronger and stiffer link than had we made a single-piece mast fuselage combination.
Our mast head is compatible with tapered windsurf-style Deep Tuttle fin boxes or flat-bottomed foil boxes found in some foil boards. The elongated holes allow the bolts to rotate and adapt to both angles: parallel or tapered. The stainless steel nuts are oversized and deeply recessed into the head for maximum strength. In our crash tests, the bolts bent and the board's fin box hole broke first. The mast and the locking nuts in the mast head survive with scrapes and bruises.
Foils need to be disassembled and reassembled every session and each bolt needs to have a high amount of torque applied to create a stiff, high-performance unit. Hex, Flat and Philips may be more common but they eventually wear out and become frustrating to use. Torx is mechanically more robust and reliable by design. At the end of the day, that's most important. A Torx tool is supplied with every foil set.
To insulate the carbon wings from the aluminium fuselage, we've built an insulating layer of fibre glass into the saddle, shielding the carbon wings from the aluminium fuselage. This can be seen as the solid black area in the photo above.
Important: to avoid corrosion, it is still recommended that the complete foil gets rinsed and disassembled for storage and the bolts loosened or removed after every session.
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