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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2009

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the wind is off-shore, sail no more. How soon we forget the basic safety rules. As you pointed out, complacency creeps in through time. Glad you are ok.

Coachg
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT - Thanks for posting... glad it worked out for you... and all this advice is "right on".

But one more thing that hasn't been mentioned yet -
I know of two Mistral Prodigy's that are way newer than your Bamba (I love Bamba's and had a few of them, the last ones, '92 to '94, were the best)... anyway, these Prodigy's had the same thing happen, as happened to you. Mast-tracks came clean, right out of the board while sailing. These events happened with on-shore winds... so it worked out. But rigs were lost.

So, the other thing to stress is that when sailing in salt-water, gear should be rinsed really well from time to time. And, any metal parts should be checked once in a while. Mast-tracks are easy to un-screw from boards... I wonder how much corrosion would've been noticed before these failures.

95% of my sailing is fresh-water sailing... but I have friend's that sail mostly saltwater... I'm going to stress gear rinsing more after these stories.
Greg -
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1493

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last week, a novice friend had his mast base break (25+ year old HiFly 700) a 1/2 mile from shore. Warm water, light winds, no waves so no real danger, plus he was wearing a life jacket. I just got the full story yesterday.

It took two other windsurfers and one kayak about 45 minutes to get him and his rig to shore. He swam most of the way. Much of the time was spent between the rescuers debating the best method of bringing him in.

The point is that old stuff breaks much more frequently than new, and many beginners/novices buy the old cheap gear. Keep an eye out for them.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14322

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:
a novice friend had his mast base break a 1/2 mile from shore.

It took two other windsurfers and one kayak about 45 minutes to get him and his rig to shore. He swam most of the way. Much of the time was spent between the rescuers debating the best method of bringing him in.

Gotta chuckle. As I was swimming everything in from a kilometer out after the wind quit Sunday morning, sailors on bigger gear would sail by and holler "You OK?". At my "Yup. Just need some wind.", they just kept on truckin' and I just kept on swimmin'. I swam most of the km, refueled, grabbed bigger gear, and joined them. At non-threatening venues it's just part of the sport.

At Chrissy I'd be taking two dumps in my wet suit, hollering into the marine radio and cell phone, broadcasting my GPS coordinates, inflating my life raft, sending up flares, firing up my locator beacon, throwing tires on the bonfire, screaming, swearing, crying, and waving my $100 bill at any passing vessel or person.

Prepare/dress according to venue and conditions.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to say. The two Prodigy's whose mast-tracks pulled out, were also sailed in saltwater almost exclusively.

Yes, check old gear... there aren't that many parts, and most of them are easy to replace.

But for those of us that like raceboards, longboards... as well as shortboards... DON'T FORGET about the mast-track !!
Alum. tracks held in with stainless steel screws work great for a LONG time. But if you sail in salt-water... you MUST rinse them.
Over time, those 2 different metals will fail, if left with drying saltwater on 'em.
There are lots of great boards out there, still rippin' that are more than 20 years old (although the Prodigy tracks failed at 10 years).

To not check, is asking for trouble... you could be seriously screwed, in a worst case scenario.
And, if you bought a used longboard, it's very easy to take the mast-track out and check it. Also easy to rinse it throughly, often.

With new raceboards from Exocet and Starboard costing $3000, compared to Equipes and Mega-Cats and Bambas and Lightning raceboards which are still competitive with them... there is incentive to keep the old gear in good condition.
Greg

PS - Yes, I agree be cautious when sailing in off-shore winds. But I wouldn't say, "never do it". Cause in that case, most of the 1000's of happy people windsurfing in Aruba, would've never done it.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1365

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I too like the Bamba Gregnw44. It didn't quite cut it racing against the Cat, Equipe, and Lightning brigade, but it ticked a lot of boxes for long distance sea cruising. Mine is one of the first Mike Eskimo psychedelic pink patterned (what WAS he on?) model which is the heavier and more durable Ace Tec versions before they lightened them in an attempt to make them more compeitive.

The construction is still sound after 20 years use, and after its refit (fixing mast track, new slot gasket, and regripping deck) it will probably outlast me! I must admit there is a satisfaction in using good and attractive old boards, and I enjoy it. It's memories 'innit'!

There is no doubt that the 011 and 012 Phantoms are superb light wind performers, and also capable (if bouncy) in stronger winds. But apart from the cost there is still the issue of durability, and the need for careful handling. Fair enough really since their purpose is to win races, pure and simple, and not for cruising far from land.

There isn't a market for heavier and much more durable versions of such boards, more's the pity because a high performance long board with essential dagger board and superb upwind abilities is the ONLY type of windsurfing board capable of going anywhere to sea in any wind direction, and getting back safely, just as a yacht can. When I said I see the long board as 'a kayak with a sail stuck on top', I meant just that. i.e. it can go anywhere. The main criteria being that it must not break. (Like any yacht won't.)

I've found the Bamba to be the most durable of the old, and the Kona 1 (and Mahalo) to be the safest bet of the new. If only they had that superb Phantom performance built in!!!
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi "Gurgle"...
I was "associated" with Bic, all during those years... so can give a bit of history, if you care, Ha-ha Smile

Yes, you're correct, Bamba's didn't get the same race results, as the other big 3: Equipe, Mega-Cat, and Lightning raceboard. These 3, being the models, that were made after '92. The Mistral's, Fanatic's and F2's from earlier were also good... but the Bamba was competitive against them, for bigger guys... because they had more vol.

The first Bamba was in '89. graphics were all white, with a few big "arrows" in pink and teal colors. The wild and cool Mikey Eskimo graphics were '90 to '92.
So... you have the yellow to pink fade graphics? Is that the year with the "go-go dancer and secret agent" graphics, printed on top of the color fade?
The '93 graphics were tame. Professional, conservative and race business-like. They didn't sell all the '93 models... so the last year of Bamba sales, was '94... when they finished selling all the '93 boards.

I owned every one of these models.
You're correct to notice that they changed the name of the construction method from Are-Tec to Race-Tec, somewhere in the "middle of the run". But just so you know... "that" was a marketing thing. The construction method did not change... and all the model's weighed about the same. The only weight variation, was + or - a certain %. Just like it still is. With BIG vol boards, there can be a couple pounds variation, just cause of the size. But anyway, the avg board from '89 weighed the same as the avg board from '93.

So, the hull shape and weight never changed.
But, they did make other improvements every couple years to the components. By '93 (compared to '89) these changes had been introduced: better footstraps, a new mast-track (although, I liked the original track just as much), better fin-box, better fin, better centerboard casette (although the centerboard itself never changed), and better anti-skid.

Something you should be aware of, since you're doing off-shore cruising.
My last Bamba was the last year they made 'em... the '93 model. I sailed it a lot, for all the years up til 2009. I'm 200 lbs and have sailed the Bamba in hi-winds, besides most the time being in light winds. The fastest I ever went on it, was 30 mph. I was in 25 mph winds, and using a 7 M race sail.
Anyway, in '09... one day, I was sailing it in 15 to 20 mph winds, going up and down wind. On an upwind leg... all of a sudden, the centerboard snapped. It broke right at the bottom of the hull.
Anyway, I had no problem sailing back down-wind to the launch. But just wanted you to know.. that those epoxy/fiberglass centerboards can break. The centerboards are all exactly the same, for all the years.
I never fixed the centerboard, but I "almost" gave it to a friend.. and he built a new centerboard.
And, I bought a '93 F2 Lightning raceboard off craigslist, shortly after theat incident... and continue to sail it.
BTW - the other big brands back then, changed to carbon centerboards about '92-ish. Bic should've done that, but they didn't.

Anyway, just some info for you Smile
Greg -
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1365

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant Greg. Thanks a lot for the centreboard warning. I had one snap off flush with bottom on the earlier Be-Bop model when a fair way out, and spent a long time beating back in without it. I had the paddles, of course, but there was sufficient wind and speed to 'pinch' back upwind without them. I made a good wooden dagger board replacement which worked better, and I still have it hanging on the wall. (For old times sake. Razz )

I intend to keep the Bamba so it may be a good idea to make a wooden one for it, too. Interesting that Ace-Tec and Race-tec are in fact the same thing. (Naughty Bic,) Perhaps they were trying to out advertise the 'big boys' who had their honeycomb interiors. Also, I didn't realise that they didn't change the weight. I must just have been lucky in getting one the heavier toleranced (perhaps stouter)ones. Always did say some folk were born lucky!

I checked with a repair friend about the alloy fin box fitting, and he assures me that they have a flange arrangement and are securely 'gunged' and keyed in place. It appears solid, so I'll leave well alone. I stress that, as already stated, I always (flimsy ones scrapped)carry powerful kayak paddles as backup, (just as yachts have engine backup), which are strong enough to power a loaded kayak against force 6 winds for half a day, so sacrificing the rig in any emergency will get the board safely home.

Thanks for all the info Greg. I am a long time fan of Bics, and my Bamba stays in the toy shop, whatever! Laughing Laughing
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2439

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

some of the best wave sailing, both paradise and domestic, is with offshore winds. lotsa folks that may be ready to partake of truly excellent wave sailing need only give it try. lots don't because of the advice to stay away from offshore scenarios.

better to check your gear for wear more often. seen some inland waterway folks get in serious trouble because they assume they are safe. check the gear.

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rswabsin



Joined: 14 May 2000
Posts: 218
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we are sharing some stories of survival on the water, I thought I'd pass on this link to two other really chilling survival stories from the Pacific northwest coast (these are from the iwindsurf Northwest and Canada forum section). Scroll down to near the bottom of the first page and read the two stories posted.

http://www.iwindsurf.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25140

Rob
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