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 Post subject: Delrin mast bearings?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:28 am 
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I am looking to make my own mast bearings since the precut teflon chips are stupid expensive. A 12"x12" sheet of 1/16" teflon costs about $20 (+$10 shipping). I believe the mast bearings are about 1.25" diameter, so that should yield about 90 bearings for $30 instead of 3 for $8 (+shipping). I also noticed that Hobie used to make a Delrin mast bearing cup. Delrin is much cheaper than teflon ($5/12"x12" sheet), but is a little more rigid, not quite as slippery, and absorbs a small amount of water.

I just purchased a 30 year old Hobie 16, so I am not yet concerned about racing performance and am on a tight budget. I am just looking for a low cost bearing solution.

Has anyone tried making their own bearings out of Delrin sheets? Any feedback on their performance/longevity compared to teflon?

Also, can someone confirm that they are 1.25" diameter? I do not have any to measure.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:23 am 
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Don't use delrin. It was mold in the shape of the cup. Never very good. I don't think flat delrin is going to form to the cup properly.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:55 pm 
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Ditto on that (don't use Delrin). Delrin squeaks. You don't know annoying until you listen to the mast squeak on every wave in light air. Chinese water torture.

I bought a bag of 100 Teflon chips from Sailing Systems, Inc. back in the late '80s. Four 16s and two 14s later, I still have ~25 left - even after using them as trailer roller bearings and who knows what all.

The stock chips are a bit thicker than 1/16". 1/16" thickness from McMaster-Carr is $50 for a 12"x12" sheet. A 1.5" hole punch is $57. (Mast chips are 1.5" diameter, not 1.25")

So, for a little over $100 (+shipping), you could have a 40 year supply of mast chips. Most people find that 3 for $8 isn't that bad.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:06 pm 
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Teflon it is. I ordered a 12"x12"x1/16" sheet for $23.50 shipped and have a 1 1/4" pipe scrap that I will use to make a punch by filing the edge. This should yield 63 or 68 bearings depending on exactly how it's cut and will come out to about $0.35 per bearing. Will report back once I try it out...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:43 am 
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MBounds wrote:
The stock chips are a bit thicker than 1/16". 1/16" thickness from McMaster-Carr is $50 for a 12"x12" sheet. A 1.5" hole punch is $57.


MBounds wrote:
(Mast chips are 1.5" diameter, not 1.25")

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:33 pm 
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Location: Winston Salem, NC
I don't understand why you need so many mast chips. I owned my boat for 30 years and don't remember buying more than a dozen chips in that time. I turned the boat over to my daughter and her husband (I still have access to it) and there were three chips with it. One probably used up, one dished and still usable and the third still unused. I bought those chips a long time ago. I did a lot of sailing with that boat. On one extreme day, the mast chip was squeezed thin by the force on the mast but that was the exception not the rule.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:35 pm 
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So a guy on a budget spends $25 + time (to 1. make the punch and 2. punch them out) to make chips that are thinner and smaller than OEM - that will give him a 30-year supply - for a boat that's already 30 years old.

When he could have just paid $8 for 3 chips that will last longer than his boat.

Something ain't right here. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:28 am 
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+1 I have owned my boat for 11 years and only replaced twice

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:09 pm 
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Time or two over the years I've been caught without one. Laid a quarter in there and set the mast. Worked real well without damage to mast socket but the quarter wasn't worth a quarter anymore. Emergency situations only, wasn't gonna let a little piece of plastic cost me a day of good sailing :D

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:54 am 
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Location: High Point, NC
Go to any store that sells golf stuff - Walmart is fine. Buy some of the small plastic wiffle type practice balls and cut one in half. It will fit perfectly in the mast base cup and last for a long, long time. It's self lubricating and will do what you need it to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:42 pm 
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Location: Lake Gaston, NC
The best thing I've ever used was a 50 cent piece with the copper core.

edited to add: I checked ebay, and they're going for a buck fifty now.


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