Michigan Windsurfing

Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan

While reviewing a video, I noticed that the aluminum boom was really flexing. I'm about 200 lbs, and this was a new boom and a 6.5 m2 sail. I didn't intend to make a video about this, so I don't have a similar shot with a carbon boom for comparison.

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Comment by Brian on May 29, 2011 at 11:42am

Actually, I'm planing to "heal" my carbon boom.  I'll post something on that process. Stay tuned!

Comment by Don Ferguson on May 29, 2011 at 10:52am

Ribs heal, carbon booms don't!!   

Just kidding, We know so many people that have broken ribs windsurfing it seems to be one of the major injuries that take place. Although, Bernie the bigger fellow that was with us at the Cass Lake swap stayed with us in the house in Hatteras. On the last day, the friday, we were out frist thing in the morning windsurfing and by around 1 in the afternoon the wind and tide had dropped the water level to inches where we normally jibe on the inside and as Bernie came around in his turn the fin bottomed out and he was catapaulted hard forward cracking the nose of his board with his shin. He drove home that night and by the time he arrived home his shin and leg were orange, black and blue. The next day at the clinic the doctors put him on cumadin a high level blood thinner as they were afraid of the dangers of blood clots from the injury. It looked like his leg had gotten run over by a car. In the house across from us in Avon a fellow that was windsurfing on a big 4.0 day crashed and broke 2 or 3 ribs and his leg and had to be taken away by ambulance. these accidents are very detrimental to boom integrity in the long run. (sorry couldn't resist!)

Comment by Brian on May 29, 2011 at 9:22am
I've broken several aluminum booms and one carbon boom.   The carbon boom broke during a hooked-in slam, during which I also broke a rib.  In that case the boom broke right at the harness line load point.  My lines are usually about ~ 6" apart.  The aluminum booms have broken at the harness lines a couple times and also at the head.  I weigh 200 lbs, so I think that's part of the problem.  All this equipment is targeted for "typical" 165 lb pro.
Comment by Don Ferguson on May 27, 2011 at 4:36pm
Very interesting thoughts!! They say to keep your harness lines together so the sail can pivot on that center point acting as a fulcrun alowing the sail to twist in a gust, and it is supposed to be less work for the sailer. The smaller sails tend to work better with the new single attach at the boom lines however most people use double point attatchment lines as the sails get larger ( ie: 6.5,7.7.5 and up) as the draft on a larger sail does tend to wander a bit. Funny thing with my booms is that they break just behind where the head attatches to the arm, at the mast. I wonder if the downward force of using a seat harness has some play in this as well. Also some of the newer Chinook booms are continuous alluminum head instead of 2 separate arms, and again I am not sure if this will make any difference. I am comming up on 25 sessions with my Chinook Course (with new arms after they broke on around session 70 last spring) I keep track now. Just not sure with Annabels boom as I haden't kept very good track of hers and we occasionally switch up or down rigs depending on conditions, I think she is getting pretty close now and as I say we both sail somewhat powered up ASAPossible.
Comment by Tim Westlake on May 27, 2011 at 1:38pm
If you sail with your harness lines close together, you are really putting a lot of pressure at that one point on the boom.  I know that it is said to place them together for optimal sailing, but I like to sail with mine about 10 -12 inches apart. I have never had a aluminum boom fail and I like to sail fully powered up too.  It would be interesting to see a vid where the harness lines are close together (as in above vid) and farther apart at various widths.
Comment by Don Ferguson on May 24, 2010 at 12:17pm
This is a graphc example of why I have been having so much trouble with aluminum booms failing after about 70 sessions. Seems the older ones were better than the new asian basin ones. I sell mine off every year. When researching it on the net, carbon seems to last longer but it seems like there are different opinions on whether it lasts 3 times longer or not. Some say yes and some say nay, it's not worth the extra expense, if you sail aluminum just get rid of it every year and buy a new one. I sail quite powered up and have a host of stories on boom failures and mast failures. My wife and I have gone to RDM's in the last few years and have as yet no problems with these, but she did have an aluminum boom fail in Hatteras this spring.


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