New Guy With Some "Mast" Answer Questions

G'day All

My name is Steven or Scuba (I have been called and answered to many names.) I've recently joined seebreeze to gain knowledge and ask stupid and obvious questions about land yachts.

I live on a farm just out of a small town called Murtoa (near Horsham in Victoria) and I attend Murtoa College in my 12th year (form 6). I am currently in the process of making a landyacht for my VET (Vocational Education and Training) engineering course that I attend in Horsham. This is my first attempt at building a landyacht; I've found most of my information on seabreeze (Great Site) and other places on the net. I am making this yacht for use in the back paddock in my spare time. I have based my design around many different plans and pictures that I have sourced, it may not be technically correct but whatever the outcome it will be a learning experience for me.

However there is just a few things that I would like to know that will hopefully help with my decision making and understanding of a landyacht.

From the copy I have of pacific magic plans there are few things in the mast step section that I am unsure of.

Firstly are the rods that are inserted in to the side plate just to adjust the angle of the mast?

If that be the case what is the advantage of this?

Does the metal holder rub on the mast very much? Does it need some type of padding like foam or rubber to stop/reduce this? 

I have recently bought a wind surfer mast from a great bloke down in Sandringham, Melbourne and I was wondering in what would be my best option for a mast step/holder.

Written on the side of the mast are the length (4650mm), diameter (48mm) and stiffness (6,8). I was wondering what the stiffness is measured in? Is it young's modulus or something similar? And how much does the stiffness affect the speed and stability landyacht?

The black plastic bottom part of the mast can be pulled out of the aluminium and the aluminium continues around 300mm into the mast.

To hold up my mast I was thinking of getting a bit of steel tube with a diameter slightly bigger than the mast, cutting the bottom of the tube to 8-100 then welding it to my frame with two steel plate gussets either side. If anyone has a better idea or could suggest a change to the idea I am all ears. (or eyes as the case may be)

I'm sorry if what I'm asking may have already been mentioned in another thread but I must have over looked them. Any comments or advice are most welcome.

Thanks Scuba