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Old 19-06-2013, 06:50   #1
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Lost the Boom on my Aluminum Mast

Hello Cruisers,

I am new to the sailing world, and my research so far has come up empty on making a wooden boom for an aluminum mast.
The boat in question is a 26 footer

I can't seem to find any relevant links when googling.

Is it possible? Doable?
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Old 19-06-2013, 07:42   #2
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Do you have access to a really long lathe?
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:00   #3
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Re: Lost the boom on my alu mast

No, I only have the most basic of woodworking tools.
The main reason I'm looking to build my own is to cut down on cost.
However, I don't know if this is even feasible if I'd have to buy machinery as well.
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:00   #4
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Re: Lost the boom on my alu mast

Looks like the problem will be finding a premade dowel long enough. You could cut down a small tree and use that.
You might ask these folks:
Building a new wooden boom - BoatBanter.com

Here is a 4 foot dowel
Dowel Pins, Jigs and Dowel Rods, Dowel Pins, Hole Plugs and Buttons, Lumber and Veneers, Wood Products - Rockler
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:11   #5
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Re: Lost the boom on my alu mast

I believe your problem is going to be weight. The boom should be hollow. That is why I asked about the lathe. You could glue 4 pieces (8 would be better) of 1 by to make a hollow post. Without a lathe I guess you could use a belt sander to round it so less snagging. A router to make the channel for the rope assuming your sail has a rope. Also the knuckle or shoulder that attaches to the mast will be a challenge. Post pictures of your progress!
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:15   #6
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My old Pearson vanguard had a solid spruce boom. Yes it was heavy, but it worked just fine. The foot of the sail was attached using slugs the ran on a track screwed to the boom
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:20   #7
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Re: Lost the boom on my alu mast

Ebay, Craigslist, Sailing Anarchy, Lat 38, Sailnet, all have classifieds. Booms are always on Ebay but probably aluminum. FWIW Old style booms are just a solid tree. Heavy, too.
Or try here.
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:26   #8
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Re: Lost the Boom on my Aluminum Mast

I've never made a boom before but i've made a yard (crosspiece that supports a square-sail). We did it all using hand-tools and it wasn't too difficult. We used 2 by 6 planks of good wood and laminated them together to get a square-cross-section beam. Laminating several pieces together gives a stronger end product than one big piece but it's more labour intensive. Once you have the square beam, plane down the 4 corners until you have a uniform 8-sided piece, then again to get 16 sides, and again to 32 sides. Eventually you end up with a nice long, strong round piece. As you're doing this shaping you can take more material from one end than the other so that you get a bit of a taper (you want it to be thicker at the tack end as that's where the highest load is. The outboard end can be thinner. It will still be very strong, but lighter than a uniform piece). Attachment to the mast is actually quite easy - rather than trying to attach to a mdern welded aluminium fitting simply make a peril to go around the whole mast, lined with leather or somthing similar so that it doesn't chafe the mast. You'll also need a line to keep the inboard end of the boom down where it meets the mast. Take a look at some old gaff-rigged boats and you'll get the idea.

Wood is an exceptionally strong building material - much stronger than many synthetics for it's weight. It's also easy to work with, versatile and not prone to sudden failures as so many welded fittings are. Go for it!
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Old 19-06-2013, 08:30   #9
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Re: Lost the Boom on my Aluminum Mast

By the time you've found timber, tools then made it you'll find you could have bought two alloy booms, if ally is unpainted there's practically zero maintenance.
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Old 19-06-2013, 09:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefinitelyMe
I've never made a boom before but i've made a yard (crosspiece that supports a square-sail). We did it all using hand-tools and it wasn't too difficult. We used 2 by 6 planks of good wood and laminated them together to get a square-cross-section beam. Laminating several pieces together gives a stronger end product than one big piece but it's more labour intensive. Once you have the square beam, plane down the 4 corners until you have a uniform 8-sided piece, then again to get 16 sides, and again to 32 sides. Eventually you end up with a nice long, strong round piece. As you're doing this shaping you can take more material from one end than the other so that you get a bit of a taper (you want it to be thicker at the tack end as that's where the highest load is. The outboard end can be thinner. It will still be very strong, but lighter than a uniform piece). Attachment to the mast is actually quite easy - rather than trying to attach to a mdern welded aluminium fitting simply make a peril to go around the whole mast, lined with leather or somthing similar so that it doesn't chafe the mast. You'll also need a line to keep the inboard end of the boom down where it meets the mast. Take a look at some old gaff-rigged boats and you'll get the idea.

Wood is an exceptionally strong building material - much stronger than many synthetics for it's weight. It's also easy to work with, versatile and not prone to sudden failures as so many welded fittings are. Go for it!
+1 what he said!
How did you lose the boom? Overboard?
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Old 19-06-2013, 13:42   #11
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Re: Lost the Boom on my Aluminum Mast

The simplest, very strong boom construction consists of a "T" shape with the 2 pieces glued and screwed together. The top should have the wood grain running with the wide dimension. The vertical bottom piece should have the grain across the short dimension. For a 26 ft boat, 2 pieces of 1 1/4' x 3 " should be adequate. This style was standard on all Venus yachts that I know of.
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Old 19-06-2013, 14:05   #12
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Re: Lost the Boom on my Aluminum Mast

I just had to replace the boom on my 22' Nomad, since it was missing when I got her back.

I found a new Dwyer aluminum boom, with gooseneck and hardware, on ebay for under $300 shipped.

I thought about wood too, but by the time I bought materials, tools and hardware, I would have spent a lot more than buying a new boom.
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Old 19-06-2013, 14:20   #13
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Re: Lost the Boom on my Aluminum Mast

A wooden boom in a salt water environment will require a good deal of maintenance. It would look great, but the frequent cleaning and varnishing are issues you'll have to deal with. Sail away!

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Old 19-06-2013, 14:32   #14
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My last boat had an aluminum mast and wooden boom....worked fine. I would think you could find a used aluminum boom somewhere for less than making a wooden one though.
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Old 19-06-2013, 15:15   #15
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Re: Lost the Boom on my Aluminum Mast

How long is the boom on a 26ft boat? say 10ft?

I would make an H beam shaped one out of wood with tapers each end. Epoxy resin and screwed together with a good paint system. Probably look as if it is meant to be that shape.

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