Cheap boom replacement ideas for small sailboat? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of Old 02-11-2011 Thread Starter
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Cheap boom replacement ideas for small sailboat?

I am looking for the cheapest way to (safely) replace the boom on my 16' Melges sailboat. I understand that sailing is not the cheapest hobby, and maybe someday I will be able to afford a new boat, but for the time being I would really like to do the best I can with what I have.

I bought the entire boat in as-is (poor) condition for $100 last summer, understanding that it could sink on the first day. With a few DIY repairs, it sailed beautifully all summer, until the homemade wooden boom began to split from dry-rot. As a $100 boat is not worth a big investment, my goal is to spend the minimum amount of money necessary to keep my boat on the water and sailing.

Fully rigged booms can be purchased from the Melges website for just under $500. Does anyone know if/where it is possible to purchase a generic boom (approx 10-12')? Is this even a good idea, or would I spend just as much rigging it in the long run anyway? Anybody tried making a boom?

I have limited tools to work with, but I'm not afraid of a little hard work, and despite all the information the internet offers, I have found very little to answer any of the above questions.
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post #2 of Old 02-11-2011
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honestly, with limited funds, and limited tools, the $500 boom with hardware is looking pretty good. Add in what your time is worth, and it becomes a fair price.

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3" pvc schedule 40 pipe. attach the main as a Loose foot,


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post #4 of Old 02-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
honestly, with limited funds, and limited tools, the $500 boom with hardware is looking pretty good. Add in what your time is worth, and it becomes a fair price.
i would take a minute to consider weather or not your boat is in danger/nearing another serious failure. just hate to see you drop five hundo to have something else break for another five hundo etc... at some point you may want to consider 'hmmmm... how much am i willing to sink into this as opposed to using the funds i would have spent on repairs to get something in better shape.'
just a thought, good luck

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post #5 of Old 02-11-2011
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Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
3" pvc schedule 40 pipe. attach the main as a Loose foot,
Go schedule 80..it's stronger... heavier too... but if you're going cheap...sch 80 makes more sense.

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post #6 of Old 02-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Go schedule 80..it's stronger... heavier too... but if you're going cheap...sch 80 makes more sense.
Agreed, you were going with schedule 80 you could probably go with 2 inch on a boat that size.

I once made a adjustable whisker pole with 2" and a piece of 1 1/2" that slid on the inside of the 2" all out of schedule 40 for a 19 foot Y- Flyer that I had at the time. It worked well.


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post #7 of Old 02-11-2011 Thread Starter
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great ideas

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!
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post #8 of Old 02-11-2011
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I would price out a piece of Aluminum Tube before going with the PVC as its pretty flexible even in #80 and will be hard to fasten stuff to it compare to Aluminum as you should be able to get a hunk for about 60 bucks

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post #9 of Old 02-11-2011
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I think the cheapest way would be to go with wood again, and take all your hardware from your old boom. Thats what I would do. Pretty simple too

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Dwyer Masts has extrusions and fittings for not too much money. Get the parts and assemble it yourself.
Would probably be over 100 though, but less than 200.
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