Going with PVC definitely sounds like it's worth giving a shot. QuickMick sums up my feelings pretty nicely, I don't want to drop $500 on a new boom only to have the hull disintegrate on me a few months down the road. I wasn't even aware that the main could be attached as a loose foot, but this would certainly be much easier (and more in the range of my DIY skill level). For a loose footed attachment, is the sail only connected to the boom at the clew? I've been browsing other posts, but I'm not seeing anything that makes this completely clear. Anyway, thanks for the great advice, and wish me luck!