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Bamboo Windsurfing Rig

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This Instructable shows how I made a windsurfing rig from bamboo and an old Laser sail, using only some basic hand tools and materials I had lying around.

Why would someone do this, you might think? It all started when I found an old windsurfer board at the local dump/recycling place, I bought it. But you can't sail without a rig. In my country there's no Freecycle or craigslist, besides, bamboo is much cooler anyway. I built this without using any power tools and so can you. You'd be surprised how much fun a hand drill is :-) No tools and supplies list most of the time because on a project like this it's important to 'wing it'. Be creative and use whatever you have lying around taking up space.

I sometimes ramble a bit  so if anything is unclear check the pictures!

(Ok I'm kind of lying. An electric sewing machine was used to modify the sail. So that's a power tool).
 
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Step 1: The Sail

For this project I used an old Laser dinghy sail. It was what happened to be available at the local dump/recycling place, but any small boat sail that has a mast sleave will do (Topper, Micron etc.) If you go for a different sail then you will have to change the dimensions to suit.

Unless you are a giant or windsurfing pro, you will want to make the sail smaller. In my case I didn't have any really long bamboo for the mast, so that decided on the dimensions for me. Besides, having a small sail means you can use it in almost any wind, and I can let smaller kids at the sailing club have a go. Having said that, I do wish it was a little bigger :-) So I'll make another one!

After deciding on the size, cut off the sail. Scary, but it has to be done. Sew the bottom edge (foot) of the sail. Now two new eyelets and a gap for the boom need to be added. The gap is easy, just cut a short section out of the mast sleeve, making sure to leave the stitching holding the mast sleave in place intact. Then sew the edges. Make the gap bigger than mine, about 30cm, this lets you adjust the boom up and down.

Before the eyelets are added the corners need to be reinforced. There will be a whole lot of sail material left over for this job. Look at the old tack and clew and copy what the pros did. Or let your mum :-) Instead of using grommets I sewed metal rings onto the sail. One was a random ring, the other a very strong key ring. They are both starting to rust though. Lay the ring onto the sail and draw around the inside. Cut a big X, then another one at 45 degrees to the first. Fold the little triangles over the ring and sew around using strong thread.

You might also need to make some battens for the sail, I just used bamboo.
Fabulously brilliant! I love your creative ideas. Thanks for sharing.
petitmermet3 years ago
congratulation it looks great!
yogibearyo4 years ago
 Great work! I'd love to see some pictures of yourself surfing, maybe a video too. Congratulations
tdem (author)  yogibearyo4 years ago
I've uploaded a video now. Nothing too spectacular, but proof nevertheless that It really works.
yogibearyo tdem4 years ago
 Very nice!
tdem (author)  yogibearyo4 years ago
Thank you!

I'm working on a video at the moment. Unfortunately my computer passed away so it'll be a little while longer. Hopefully I can get some high wind videos made too!
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