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Thoughts on Made in China Masts?

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Created by eluviis A week ago, 23 Jun 2022
eluviis
39 posts
23 Jun 2022 3:38AM
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I ordered a 100% RDM carbon mast from a well-known company. It cost an arm and a leg. This is the first 100% carbon mast I buy. Back in the day the most I used was 30-60% because it's all I could afford. Anyway, I was under the impression this mast model was made by NoLimitz in US or Reglass (Italy). Originally, I was going to go with the 90% version, that I'm pretty sure is a NL build. However, the shop was out of those and "upgraded" me to the 100%. It did cost $100 more, but I figured it would be better, so I accepted.However, upon opening the package I was really disappointed to see "Made in China" printed on the mast. I mean, it's light 1.5kg and looks nice. But the main problem is that it isn't what I expected. I have plenty of Made in China products... including windsurfing gear. That's not the issue. The issue is that I was expecting something else - specially for this price and level. I even asked the brand about the different masts and did mention that I was looking forward to a NL or Reglass mast. They replied comparing the different models, but never mentioned where they were made.

What do you think? It's a hassle to send these things back. However, if I keep it it's always going to be in my head that I didn't get what I thought I was buying. If it ever breaks and punches a hole through my brand new sail, I'll be VERY upset. Do you guys know if these Chinese masts are good? Either way, it was still $100 MORE than a 90% NoLimitz SUMO... so there's that too. I feel I could have just gotten that and saved $100. However, I would still have to pay shipping to ship this one back.

BVoros
28 posts
23 Jun 2022 3:45AM
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Almost everything is made in China, the main reason for this is because they are good at making things. Look at your iPhone as a prime example. I would be concerned more if something was not made somewhere with a proven history of making good quality products. I am sure your mast is up to spec and will be just fine.

sailquik
VIC, 5834 posts
23 Jun 2022 12:07PM
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What brand is it please? It would be helpful to know which brand names/models are made where.

Tardy
4388 posts
23 Jun 2022 11:55AM
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Covid was made in China and that seems to be quite strong

Mark _australia
WA, 21491 posts
23 Jun 2022 12:08PM
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sailquik said..
What brand is it please? It would be helpful to know which brand names/models are made where.


Agreed. Be nice to know - I sorta see the OP's point as it seems he bought what was traditionally made in USA and unbreakable and suddenly its China.... and they upsold him on more expensive higher carbon and yet made more cheaply perhaps...? Hmmmmm

decrepit
WA, 11123 posts
23 Jun 2022 12:41PM
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Mark _australia said..
>>>> USA and unbreakable and suddenly its China.... and they upsold him on more expensive higher carbon and yet made more cheaply perhaps...? Hmmmmm


Obviously a higher profit margin, I think that's in "Salesman 101"

Ben1973
777 posts
24 Jun 2022 9:06AM
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It's not where it's made it's how it's made. No reason china would be better or worse than anywhere else.
when we were getting bikes made there we where offered the same frame from anywhere between $40 and $1000, you pay more you get a better product, you pay less you get something that looks the same but...

so quality is really down to the company that orders the product not the factory that makes it, they get what they pay for

oh there are some factory's that will try to cut corners if your not looking so we also found that having someone there in the factory keeping an eye on things helped.

Mark _australia
WA, 21491 posts
24 Jun 2022 9:41AM
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^^^^ Yeah nothing wrong with chinese stuff done right etc.......... but like the guy says if the 90% model has always been made by no limitz and you know how good they are, they talk you into buying the next model up for $100 more and its now made in China - I'd possibly feel a bit put out too.

OP we need more info

DavMen
NSW, 1490 posts
24 Jun 2022 12:03PM
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China can and do make very good stuff.

They do need a good design and a spec to follow.
The factory must have a track record of suppling similar goods.
The factory must have good QA procedures in place and prove via documentation that they follow these.
There should always be a third party keeping carefull eye on process and product (before it leaves the factory)
There should be regular visits by a representative of the client to the factory (designers/engineers NOT management alone)

This is all from experince of working with a chinese factory and many visits to their factories for over the last 15 years.
Its never a set and forget process with China.

That followed you will have an excellent product to your specificatio/design, but if the design/spec is crap thats what you'll get.

Imax1
QLD, 3790 posts
24 Jun 2022 7:15PM
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Remember Jap crap ? Top of the line now. China , India , and Korea are catching up and overtaking. They make good stuff as well as crap stuff . Overtaking a truck uphill in my wife's Korean buzz box today , 170 km when I finished the manuver in like three seconds . Frigging awesome . ! First time I really put the foot down , didn't expect that.

Mark _australia
WA, 21491 posts
24 Jun 2022 6:08PM
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Agreed they do but I'll stick with the NL or Italian made RDM's that most people can't break and are $100 less. There's a few RDM's I've never seen broken.

As to the car analogy its well known that some brands have the same model made in numerous places and the Phillipines one or the Mexico one or the India one falls apart yet the others are good. You can rightly be pissed off when you buy something that has always been Japanese or USA or whatever made, and quality, then without realising it they've changed and you score a new factory cheapo and its farked.

The OP says he asked and the company dodged the question so its all a very valid topic I think.

remery
WA, 752 posts
24 Jun 2022 6:58PM
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I remember when Italian motorbikes were considered crap.

sailquik
VIC, 5834 posts
24 Jun 2022 9:45PM
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remery said..
I remember when Italian motorbikes were considered crap.




Yep, I also remember when British Motorbikes were leaky and unreliable..... oh wait....??

Ben1973
777 posts
24 Jun 2022 8:13PM
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That because in England we scribble a rough sketch on a piece of newspaper over a breakfast of eggs and bacon then go down to the garden shed to make it

boardsurfr
WA, 1622 posts
24 Jun 2022 9:34PM
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There's a major US brand that used to sell NoLimitz masts under their name, but switched suppliers a few years back. If your dealer knows that and tells you about it is a different question, though. Except for NoLimitz, though, I'm not at all eager to buy "Made in the US" carbon products. I've had a mast and several booms "Made in the USA" break without any obvious reason. The mast was an RDM that was quite heavy, so that was a real surprise. The booms were the largest (non-formula) size they sell, and I had 2 break within a couple of years (not in crashes). The smaller carbon booms from the same company seem to hold much better, though.

For stuff made in China, quality control is a huge issue. Small companies may not have enough resources to have their own QC at the factory, and not enough economic power to reject sub-standard products.

philn
496 posts
25 Jun 2022 10:39AM
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Goya 90% are made by NL. They have 2 versions of their 100%, one rated for waves, the other specifically says not for use in waves but is ridiculously light. I believe both are made in China. At the recent IWT contest in Oregon the Goya team riders were using the 100% mast so I think that is a good indication that they are not cr@p.

Mark _australia
WA, 21491 posts
25 Jun 2022 1:11PM
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^^ The same way F1 cars last longer?

The NL 91% (like Ezzy) are so famous for being unbreakable that if I was using them still it would be a bloody hard sell to make me buy the 100%
When its that exceptionally good for that long you become pretty pessimistic of changes.... no matter how good China 'can be'

Of course its all hypothetical until the OP comes back.....?

Overner
66 posts
26 Jun 2022 12:17AM
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At what point are you supposed to change your masts?

I have exclusively NL masts. But they are 15 years old. I have tried some more modern masts from a friend and their wall thickness is much less thick and the masts were less skinny. NL masts are far more skinny than anything else I have had my hands on.

I generally sail on the coast in the UK, but our 'waves' are typical Euro soft mush, so even when rolled it is like getting a gentle massage from a caring lover.

decrepit
WA, 11123 posts
26 Jun 2022 9:27AM
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Overner said..
At what point are you supposed to change your masts?


That implies there is some sort of authority, governing mast change.

It seems to me that some of the larger companies do this by changing the mast curve specs of their sails. Soft top one year hard top a little later. This means changing masts if you want your sails to set properly.

If your sails rig fine on the masts you have there is no need to change, unless you suspect they are liable to break on you miles off shore!

Most of my masts are 25 years old, and still perform brilliantly, made in NZ by Killwell.
I've had to buy new shorter ones as luffs have shrunk over the years. But one of those broke in a not long after.
So as long as I can buy constant curve sails, I'll stick to the tried and trusted oldies.

Subsonic
WA, 2582 posts
26 Jun 2022 6:03PM
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decrepit said..

Overner said..
At what point are you supposed to change your masts?



That implies there is some sort of authority, governing mast change.

It seems to me that some of the larger companies do this by changing the mast curve specs of their sails. Soft top one year hard top a little later. This means changing masts if you want your sails to set properly.

If your sails rig fine on the masts you have there is no need to change, unless you suspect they are liable to break on you miles off shore!

Most of my masts are 25 years old, and still perform brilliantly, made in NZ by Killwell.
I've had to buy new shorter ones as luffs have shrunk over the years. But one of those broke in a not long after.
So as long as I can buy constant curve sails, I'll stick to the tried and trusted oldies.


I had a 2nd hand powerex mast i bought when i started really getting into it aroud 10yrs ago. I sold it to a mate dirt cheap because it was starting to show a few broken carbon strands, and it didn't quite match up with the sails i was using. I've since broken 2 replacements (both bought new). he's still using the powerex.

gavnwend
NSW, 1219 posts
26 Jun 2022 8:26PM
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I have a x9 Pryde mast ( Italian made). Brought this second hand about 8 years ago. This mast is unbreakable, don't use it now,but l will keep it.makes me wonder how some high N masts break after been used a few times.

Imax1
QLD, 3790 posts
26 Jun 2022 9:00PM
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gavnwend said..
I have a x9 Pryde mast ( Italian made). Brought this second hand about 8 years ago. This mast is unbreakable, don't use it now,but l will keep it.makes me wonder how some high N masts break after been used a few times.


Isn't there a saying , " if a N mast lasts 6 months , it will last forever because you got a good one " , ?

Mark _australia
WA, 21491 posts
26 Jun 2022 8:21PM
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Ben1973 said..
That because in England we scribble a rough sketch on a piece of newspaper over a breakfast of eggs and bacon then go down to the garden shed to make it


I skip the sketch.

Longlines
46 posts
27 Jun 2022 8:12AM
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sailquik said..

remery said..
I remember when Italian motorbikes were considered crap.





Yep, I also remember when British Motorbikes were leaky and unreliable..... oh wait....??


A bit off-topic but of interest some, may be. In the mid 60s I pulled down two engines side by side. A Triumph Bonneville 650 and a Honda Dream 250. The latter's internal design was a revelation. As was the soft alloy, drilling out engine casing bolts and re threading. Gearbox spacers soft. Leak through gearshift shaft seal fixed by Honda redesign after consumer complaints (a clue to Japanese success).The Bonne had Sheffield Steel stamped on the cogs (no chain in there). Leaked a bit and vibrated plenty but charismatic.

So back to masts and things like that. I put my money with companies that are known to be helpful like Ezzy sails.

Sandman1221
1996 posts
27 Jun 2022 10:23AM
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Subsonic said..

decrepit said..


Overner said..
At what point are you supposed to change your masts?




That implies there is some sort of authority, governing mast change.

It seems to me that some of the larger companies do this by changing the mast curve specs of their sails. Soft top one year hard top a little later. This means changing masts if you want your sails to set properly.

If your sails rig fine on the masts you have there is no need to change, unless you suspect they are liable to break on you miles off shore!

Most of my masts are 25 years old, and still perform brilliantly, made in NZ by Killwell.
I've had to buy new shorter ones as luffs have shrunk over the years. But one of those broke in a not long after.
So as long as I can buy constant curve sails, I'll stick to the tried and trusted oldies.



I had a 2nd hand powerex mast i bought when i started really getting into it aroud 10yrs ago. I sold it to a mate dirt cheap because it was starting to show a few broken carbon strands, and it didn't quite match up with the sails i was using. I've since broken 2 replacements (both bought new). he's still using the powerex.


I got a Powerex z-speed 460 SDM 100% carbon mast used for $135!!, still going strong 5+ yrs later, it is my main mast now too, used 90% of the time.

515
654 posts
Monday , 27 Jun 2022 11:28AM
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Yeah Decrepit
"Most of my masts are 25 years old, and still perform brilliantly, made in NZ by Killwell".
Broke an early prototype and went to Killwell factory and great to see the mandrels and layouts, very interesting (in my board making days).
Was great to use the same masts for racing and wave sails all designed around the mast curve and stiffness made for great controlled sailing



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"Thoughts on Made in China Masts?" started by eluviis