A mast used for hoisting flags should be tall enough to be seen from far-off distances and sturdy enough to not break in the wind or be under heavy strain. Ideally, it should also be well-grounded because flying flags need to withstand strong wind gusts even when wet due to rain or snowfall. Find in this article on using a sailboat mast as a flagpole.
There are many reasons people want to re-use sailboat masts as flagpoles. In this article, we will be discussing different types of sailboat masts, how you can use them as flagpoles, how to build, things you need to pay attention to, and other FAQs. Let’s jump into it.
Types of Mast Suitable for Flagpoles
Small sailboats rarely have masts taller than 20ft or shorter than 8ft. Sailboats between 20 and 30 feet typically use masts that are up to 30 ft tall. If you own a larger sailboat, it will be possible for the mast to be over 50 ft in height. If you want to use the mast as a flagpole, you need to use the mainmast. It is the longest and sturdiest. It has about the same diameter and length as a standard flagpole (20 feet).
There are two types of mast based on materials, which are carbon and aluminum. Aluminum has the greatest strength, and carbon is lighter and stiffer, both rather desirable. Some masts in yachts or catamarans are not taller than 15 feet, so you might consider this feature when designing them into flagpoles.
Instant Solution for Mast to Flagpole
Some manufacturers readily create masts that can be carried inland and act as flagpoles. Like this one below, The Nautical Single Mast Flagpole from Online Stores. It has a notable appearance that brings a piece of the ocean to any inland location. The flag pole resembles masts of sailboats with an aluminum yard arm, pulleys, and halyards.
Mast-style flagpole designs are popular along coasts. The Nautical Flag Pole comes in several heights from 20 to 80 ft and is excellent for flying two or more flags at a time. You can pick this option for the quickest way in using a sailboat mast as a flagpole.
How to Create your Flagpoles
If you still want to create your flagpoles from the mast. Check out the below diagram.
At the very basic, you need to pour the base with a Sonotube that extends above the ground a couple of feet. The shrouds are attached to the concrete floor. After that, raise it at the top with some poles to get more height.
For a flagpole to be wind-resistant, you should plant it deep enough in the ground that most types of wind won’t topple it. Though many boat masts are also less thick than flagpoles, they can still withstand some weight if secured with shrouds. They are using the shrouds for support and sinking it 3-4 feet into the ground to keep it stable.
One of the problems is the lack of a swivel at the top. You can add this later with the modification project at the lower section of this article.
For the final result, your flagpole could be like this made from Hobie mast below:
For the complete flagpole building, you can see from the YouTube channel DIYTyler
Keep the base foundation solid.
First, dig the hole for this flag pole 36″ deep and about 8″ in diameter. If you are still not convinced, you can dig a deeper hole by sacrificing some mast height. Mix and pour some concentrate to keep it sturdy.
Attach the flagpole
Next, you need to make the flagpole. The holes for the pipe are 30″ apart. The pole should be at least 3′ above the ground, so make sure to put the screws in correctly. You can use this easy DIY jig to drill the straight holes to mount the cleat. Fasten it with two self-tapping screws to tie it down.
Then use the same drill bit to drill a 1/4″ hole through the 1.5″ pipe at the very top. This will be where we mount our eye bolt, which will go through the pulley.
Add the accessories
Fasten in place with lock washers, make sure the eyebolt is oriented as shown below. If you can’t see it, there are number 4 markings on top of the nut to indicate orientation. This will prevent the bolt from opening over time and dropping the pulley.
Don’t forget to add rope. After that, you will still need to cut the cord. For now, just tied the spring clamps to it using a loop knot while making sure that the rope runs through the pulley and down to the cleat. The spring clamp is clipped onto the flag through this knot.
Start by adding the top clip first, then stretch the flat tight before adding the second clip. When it is mounted, cut and tie an appropriate length of rope to allow you to secure it down.
Raise it high
In the final step, you can clean off the lettering on the pole using some high grit sandpaper and mineral spirits before putting the stake up. Arrange for some more dry lubricant to be applied to the flag pole’s bottom end. Fit it into its sheath, clip on the flag, and then raise it high. Add a solar light that will shine on Old Glory throughout the night.
How much does it cost to build a flagpole from a mast?
If you already have the pole, then the cost is just for the concentrate mix and accessories. It should cost you around $100 to $200. If you want to use an instant solution like the Nautical Flagpole, it can cost you a bit more, up to $1,000.
Can you build a flagpole from a wooden mast?
Wooden masts are not as natural as their aluminum and carbon counterparts when used as flagpoles. For this, you will need carpentry and woodworking stuff and techniques to make it work, but it is possible. However, we don’t recommend it for its longevity and durability.
You may also want to read about the Cost to Build a Bridge Over a Creek.