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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:38 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:40 pm
Posts: 3
is the bravo comp tip fiberglass ? I was told that it is carbon fiber but I don't think that it is

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:12 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 2993
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
The term Comptip refers to the non conductive portion of the masts on most Hobie boats (ie h16) that after 1986 was added as a safety feature to prevent possible electrocution from hitting power lines accidentally. Obviously a solid aluminum mast would be the worst condition since aluminum conducts electricity easily.
I believe the bravo has a similar mast to the TI which is carbon fiber composite. I don't think there is a lot of difference between a fiberglass mast and a carbon fiber mast, the resins used are similar, the main difference is the re enforcement used during construction and the weave pattern used for construction making the carbon fiber mast much stronger (and usually way more expensive). Yes carbon fiber is conductive but the carbon threads are are very small in diameter and very long, it could be as much as hundreds of feet of fine thread between the top and the bottom of the mast as it's typically woven in a spiral fashion in an opposing fashion layer on top of layer with resin in between. If you take an ohm meter and place against the mast you can't get any reading. I'm just guessing here but am assuming if you hit a 25kv power line with a carbon mast it would act like a fuse and vaporize at the point of contact but the mast is a very poor conductor when compared to an aluminum mast. Can't carry high current without vaporizing....because of the diameter and extreme length of the threads.
Ultra high voltage lines could possibly pose a danger (whether it's fiberglass or composite) but they will always be mounted way higher than your mast.
My feeling is never take the chance regardless what your mast is made of. I had a close friend who was killed when his kite hit a high power line thru 300 ft of just regular string so it's not something to take any chances with. We watched in horror as what looked and sounded like lightning followed the string down to him where he burst into flames, pretty much no different than being struck by lightning, it was all over in a second and there was nothing any of us could do. (Thomas Edison (a sick bastard) would have been proud ( he hated AC and would go around the country electrocuting dogs, cats, and elephants))

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