Bend It Like…a DN Mast

Photos: Kuba Micinski

This beauty of a vintage Dutch DN is a reminder of the “old days”.

DNs are famous for their unusual bendy masts. Polish photographer Kuba Micinski posted his collection of curvy masts on the Polish DN Facebook page today and they are too cool not to share. They were shot a few weeks ago on Lake Oresjon in Furudal, Sweden.
So, what’s going on with a DNs extreme mast bend? Lots of different forces are being applied, basically from the head stay, side stay, and main sheet. The biggest component that adds pressure to the mast in the form of compression is the very narrow and small angle of the head stay. The narrow angle of the head stay is so small, that the mast can’t handle the compression without bending. The key to having a good mast is in the stiffness (specific to the sailors weight) so that it bends just at the right time. The bendy mast automatically depowers the sail and that’s why modern DNs are so much easier to control than in the old days when stiff masts meant more hiking.
Thanks, Jeff Kent, for explaining all – Ed.