Bespoke work away from masts and oars

With a proven pedigree in the world of wooden yacht masts and oars, our skills and knowledge have often been called upon within similar industries. As a glue-lam specialist and with the flexibility and facilities to take on a wide range of projects, diversification has become common place.

With the growing demand for traditional and sustainable materials within modern architecture, internal and external columns, both structural and cosmetic, have become regular work to satisfy this growing market. With the ability to turn almost any size of column from a variety of materials, there is little we cannot accommodate. 

The link below will highlight some of the bespoke projects we have undertaken over the years. 

The logical progression into wooden masts

Over the years Collars' spars have been used in Olympic competition, crossed all of the worlds Oceans, and can be found on nearly all wooden sparred production boats ever made. With a capacity of producing any wooden mast or spar up to 100' in length....

Oars

Having made our name in producing the finest quality wooden rowing oars for crews throughout the world, it is hardly surprising that we are still producing a comprehensive range today. At the lower end of the range are the standard wooden oars, offering quality and value for everyday use. Using the skills from three generations of the Collar family, a pair of Spruce spoon or skiff oars can be produced individually to the customer's requirements.

Flag poles

Whether looking to replace an historical flagpole, or raising a celebratory flag, our pedigree in producing the finest quality wooden masts for over 80 years makes Collars the obvious choice for making any flagpole. Using the finest quality timber available, our skilled craftsmen are able turn by hand, any size or configuration required. With our bespoke service, we will guide you throughout the complete process, from an initial consultation to erecting the finished product.

Projects

With a history dating back over 80 years, we have produced mast and spars for some of the most beautiful yachts in existence. Specialising in producing the finest quality yacht masts and spars, we pride ourselves on a personal, tailored service and maintain a close and constant contact with our customers. From the critical choice of timber to the final stages of smoothing and varnishing, a Collars product has over eighty years of experience and expertise put into it, making us the number one choice time and time again.

The following links are a small selection of the some of projects we have been proud to be part of in recent years.

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Which Timber is best?

Timber

Timber Options

There are really only two species of timber that are used in yacht masts; Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir

However there is sometimes a bit of confusion due to the many names that the timber is know as: Sitka Spruce aka Silver Spruce, Pacific Coast Spruce, Mast and Spar Spruce, Tideline Spruce: and Douglas Fir aka Oregon Pine, British Columbian Pine. Both timbers have their own individual characteristics although equally suited for use in yacht spars. Which to use is really down to the yacht, the rig, and the owner.

Most gaffers need stiffness in their unsupported spar section and for this Fir is the first choice due to it being stronger and stiffer. It also offers a tougher wood fibre, better suited to the wear and tear from the gaff jaws or saddle. Weight on a gaffer is often not such a major problem and therefore there is little doubt in it's suitability. The lighter, more flexible spruce lends itself to performance dinghies and day boats where every kilo saved has an effect on the performance. With complicated spreader arrangements as found on the development class dinghies and little race yachts such as 6 and 8 meters, the mast works as a hollow tube kept in column at all times. There are boats that cross over the between the two, and we will be pleased to advise on the most suitable material.

The initial selection of the timber that goes into a spar is probably the most important part in producing a quality yacht mast. Spotting the tell-tail signs before the timber is cut into is the key, and keeping a degree of flexibility throughout the construction is always important should the timber reveal any unexpected problems.  

'Compression' caused by a prevailing wind or even a tree grown on the side of hill can unlock all sorts of problems. When the tree has been exposed to an uneven stress, one side of the tree will grow stronger to compensate, and this hard timber is known as compression wood. It can be spotted by reddish colour streaks running through and along the board often with perfectly fine light colour grain on either side. Should this be used there is a likely possibility that these hard red streaks will 'pull' the spar round during construction, often during the shaping process when one starts to remove excess timber. 

With making all sorts of products from small 4' paddles right through to 90' masts we are able to use almost every piece of timber that comes into our yard. Selection is the key, and if you start with the perfect piece of timber you can't fail to produce a beautiful mast. 

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