Using random 1990s vintage windsurfer mast, boom and sail on dory, skiff, etc?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I came into a couple windsurfers (160Liter) and few masts, booms and sails that I'm getting rid of(I'm too 'big' for these boards) and I'm wondering if I should hang on to at least one mast, boom and sail for possible use on a small boat.

    I'm sure this has been tried but couldn't find any good info.

    Any links and what sort of windsurfer sail works best?

    Here is one, kinda, but looks like 'windsurfer-ish' sail and custom for the inflatable.

    How about converting this double shell into a tri, using oar locks as outriggers? Might want to extend the outriggers, but at least I'd have something to clamp onto.
  2. NoEyeDeer
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    NoEyeDeer Senior Member


    ETA: You may find this interesting too.

    If you can't see the attached images in that second post, what he has done is to use a basic aluminium tube stub mast that supports the windsurfer mast at wishbone height. This is how those masts are meant to be loaded, so it's a good solution for not much extra trouble. The stub mast sits in front of the windsurfer mast and it attached to it by a basic rope.
  3. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Nice tip on stub mast.

    I was thinking of copying the Aquaglide to rig a smallest sail on a big canoe or alum runabout. The base of the mast would sit on thwart or seat in some clamp, and the rest would be just a few ropes.
  4. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Most windsurfer rigs are designed to propel very low-drag boards at high apparent winds. While they have low aerodynamic drag, they also have comparatively low power. That's fine when you are on a slalom board on a reach in 15 knots but not good trying to generate the power to drive a boat to windward in 5 knots.

    Effectively, it's a bit like a peaky little racecar engine into a truck that needs lots of torque. In practise the examples I have seen haven't worked too well in terms of delivering comparable performance to a boat rig of similar sophistication. Whether that is important to you is another issue, of course. It's just that the line of reasoning that some people have used, which is to say "windsurfers go fast therefore their rigs are fast" is simplistic.

    A Raceboard sail, designed to drive a 12 foot board in all conditions as well as upwind and square running, has a deeper shape and less twisted leach than a slalom sail and performs better with a larger hull.
  5. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    please don't call anything from 90s vintage. It makes me feel old. Even if its a game console or some other gadget that turns old really fast - pleas no vintage 90s. :)
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You think you feel old, I still have a phone with a dial on it.

    Windsurfer masts generally don't hold up well as stationary rigs and especially as pointed out, on boats significantly less easily motivated as a sailboard. They tend to break. I've broken about a half a dozen personally, attempting to use cheap windsurfer rigs, which are in abundance here. I've tried stubs, stays and other contrivances to make them work and the best I can come up with, is a moderate wind, relatively low aspect stayed rig, that will spill off in gusts, until the mast breaks, typically just below the stay attachments. Free standing, the tend to break just above the end of the stub, so pick your poison.
  7. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    I had a 12 ft flat bottom dinghy once. I fitted a lee board and windsurfer rig .the mast just slipped into a hole in the front thwart and onto a stub. I left the boom at home and used to sail across the harbor to my fishing spot, wrap the sail around mast with an ocy strap and go fishing. worked quite good and fast as well. took about 30 seconds to rig at the ramp.
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I too have had some successes with windsurfer rigs, but getting enough area or a light enough boat are the butt kickers. If the boat is light enough and easily motivated, no issues, except that you'll probably want more area or can live with a hull that just barely doesn't qualify as a windsurfer hull. My best setup was a cat ketch with widely separated sticks, which pointed surprisingly well. The boat was scrawny for it's length and still could have used more area to reach it's full potential. At least it could carry beer, which made it tolerable.
  9. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    the windsurfer my rig came off almost qualified as a boat it was that big, it had a huge daggerboard as well. so the rig was probably heavier than the modern boards.
  10. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    If you could roll your rig around the mast it probably was one of the old "pinhead" longboard sails with short battens, as found in the early boards. With their deep draft and tighter leach they actually seem to produce a lot more lift than modern sails, but at the cost of much higher drag.

    In light winds those old sails can do very well for their area against modern windsurfer rigs. A classic illustration was about 6 years ago when the amateur class at England's biggest windsurfer event saw a guy on an original Windsurfer with its dacron "pinhead" 6 metre come in a very close second overall in a fleet of over 220 entrants, some of them using modern sails of 12m area!

    Some of the older sails are actually much lighter than the new ones - a modern 6m can easily weigh over 4kg because of all their battens whereas the Original Windsurfer 6m sail is 2kg. The funny thing is that windsurfers hate hearing that fact because they are so convinced by the manufacturers' claims that their modern sails are lighter and better in all ways.
  11. garydierking
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    garydierking Senior Member

    The stub mast method actually works really well. If you should become overpowered, you can easily drop the rig into the water like a sea anchor. Just like windsurfing.
  12. Manfred.pech
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    Manfred.pech Senior Member

    ManfredSwedenBoat1.jpg [​IMG]

    This was my sweetest boat I`ve ever built. It was built for a vacation time of 5 weeks in Smaland in Sweden. As I had not much time I built it without any calcs from cheap sheet ply and styrodur. It came out 4,80m x 1,30m weighting 55kg. I took one of my surf rigs (6,5m²), strenghened the mast with carbon and fitted a bent shackle for the stays on it.
    When sailing I had to heel the boat and it sailed and tacked wonderful and was fast. I had a great time on the lonesome silent lakes in southern Sweden. After the vacs I gave the sharpie to a man who did social work with boys. He tested it, capsized and broke his left arm trying to recover it. He gave it away and got an Optimist for it which was better for the boys.
    The Surfrig was perfect. There were no problems with the mast as the boat heeled easy (90cm beam at the cwl).

  13. BobBill
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    BobBill Senior Member

    I just came across this thread...Par, you still have a dial phone and use it?...I love it. (I remember when the only phone was the neighbor's and it cranked.)

    Anyway, I have 4 sets of surfer cast-off carbon masts, and plan to join in some way to craft a 25 foot yard for an outrigger, (200) square foot sail) and maybe use some sections as the boom.

    I did one already and sleeved it (graphite) for Kite dinghy to use with Force 5 sail and mast base and it worked perfectly, so figured why not? Light and with sleeves, should do it, I can figure out joinery and how to attach the sail and not screw up the carbon...

    I am waiting for some warmish weather proceed.
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