Saturday, February 11, 2012

Building the New Boom

Back in 1999 ol' Hal the Gullboy came up with a simple and effective sailing rig for our canoes in anticipation of our 400 mile trip.  Of course the mast were not placed in the correct place but they worked beautifully!  We used our poles for the mast and Hal "found" some nice lengths of bamboo for the booms, Bambooms!  The beauty of using these was that they were strong, lightweight, and for storage fit into the clips we had contouring the hull but keeping most of their shape when taken out.  Very little memory in that stuff.

I ended up handing my original setup off to a friend who never ended up using and got a new piece of bamboo from Wickerbutt who grows it on his land.  This one lasted about six years when I finally noticed that it was splitting.

About half of the boom is now split
 Now my sail is a triangle that measures 10' high by 9' long to the end of the boom and there is significant pressure on that boom when I get underway.  The last thing I would want is to have the bamboo break while under sail.  It's time for a new one.

Sailing down the St. John River

This is how it looks under sail

Now this is an easy and straight forward project providing you want to use bamboo.  Since I know that what I have works I am going the same route.  The first thing is I need to trim down the new bamboom, it's a tad too long but I know that the old one was a tad to long as well.  I can afford to cut.

Old with eye hook, new still to be cut
In the picture I am going to cut back to what I call the knuckle of the bamboo which is just about 2 inches back from the original.  From there I take some plumber's epoxy and work that into the end of the stick for a least an inch and while still pliable I screw in my eyehook and then let it sit for a good long time to setup.  This will be the third one I have made and this system has proven to be rock solid.

Turning to the end that attaches to the mast I am going to use the exact same way of doing it.  It is simply a rope looped in and then tied over with a touch of duct tape to help shape the loop for the mast.  Again, has worked for years!

Simple and effective

Next will come untying this and trying to remember how in the hell I did this in the first place.  I have thought about using some glass and epoxy to strengthen everything but sometimes the KISS way of doing things is the best.

More to Come

February 18, 2012

Today seemed like a good day to finish off the new boom.  I cut the new bamboo to the length I had decided on and set the eye hook in the end.  There was enough wood to go that route but if it starts to fail I'll go with plumber's epoxy.

Setting the booms side by side I started by unwrapping the old one.

 As you can see it's a mighty simple rig but works just fine.  A length of rope held on with more rope, a couple of crappy knots and some duct tape!

I suck at tying knots
I thought I might be able to use the old rope but as soon as I cut off the duct tape it was apparent this stuff was at the end of it's life.  I rounded up some new rope and went to it.

All new rope, should last a few years!
Within 20 minutes I was done and will have to wait for warmer weather to test it out.  An easy job and simple materials to work with!

A Done Deal

 Now it's on to rebuilding some gunwales for an Explorer and a total rehab of Mad River Malecite!

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