How to Make a Small Boat Mast From PVC Pipe


A mast is the largest spar on any sailing rig. It receives the bulk of the stress under a press of sail and is a critical element of your boat’s propulsion system. Light aluminum or steel alloy masts have largely replaced wood on production sailboats. Fabricating custom masts out of metal is largely impractical for the hobbyist builder. Building wooden masts require expert technique and materials that can intimidate an amateur builder. While not ideal, PVC can be used to make masts for small rigs.

Things You'll Need

  • One length of schedule-80 PVC two-inch pipe
  • Hacksaw
  • Drill
  • Two-inch PVC pipe cap
  • Pulley with eye-mount
  • Eyebolt, washer and nut
  • Cut a 3/4-inch slot on opposite sides of the pipe at the top of the mast with a hacksaw. The slots should be at least four inches long.

  • Drill a hole in the center of the two-inch PVC cap.

  • Push the eyebolt through the hole in the center of the PVC cap. The eye end of the bolt should be inside the cap. Place a washer over the end of the bolt. Secure the bolt with a nut.

  • Attach the eye-mount on the pulley to the eyebolt.

  • Push the cap firmly onto the top end of the mast. Line the pulley up with the slots. Your main sheet will fit through these slots to raise and lower the sail.

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  • Photo Credit egyptian sailboat image by A74.FR Ben Fontaine from
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