Since their appearance in the mid-1970's, free-standing masts and wing masts have become available on a number of production and custom sailboat designs. Being made primarily of composite materials, their engineering; and development is complex and subject to much trial and error. Yet practically nothing; of this development has been written down outside of what the various manufacturers have recorded for themselves.
This paper outlines the basic criteria for free-standing; mast and wingmast engineering; and design, discuses current rig arrangements, materials and manufacturing methods, and gives two design examples. Weaknesses in the engineering; process are also delineated, and guidelines are given for future research which could eliminate those weaknesses.