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carbon boom, needed or not?
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5435

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keycocker, I have to ask, if you were living in an area where bigger sails were the norm or a necessary requirement (7.0 and up), would you be such a strong advocate for aluminum booms? In those circumstances, I think that you would begin to recognize the merit and performance of carbon booms. If we were talking about another topic, like fins, there are clear lines of demarcation between polyester, G10 and molded carbon materials when it comes to size and performance concerns. Each does have its place, but the boundaries are clear cut.
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kevinkan



Joined: 07 Jun 2001
Posts: 1084
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carbon booms are a luxury item, but once people go carbon, few go back to aluminum. pretty much the only downside to carbon is the cost (which is a huge consideration).

If carbon and aluminum booms were the same price, we would not be having this discussion.

of course there is a range in quality with both aluminum and carbon booms, so it's hard to nail down comparisons without comparing specific models/sizes.

the most is important thing is to make sure you just have a boom so you can go sail when it's windy... the rest are just details.

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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3017

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

long post so summary is that I think carbons are a waste of money in small sizes and will only find use with big cambered racing sail apps in the future.

I think the boundaries with carbon booms are not so clearcut in 2013 as they were when you bought your old carbon.

Most usual size in Belize is 7.0
Locals don't often sail larger but tourist rentals must be larger size for the day because they often cant wait for wind.

I posted earlier info on some renters opinion of the carbons vs. alus.
The renters sometimes were over the top grateful we rented them a carbon colored alu boom because of the HUGE improvement in sail response from carbon looking booms.
In Maui we sail on small sizes. Some older sailors swear by carbon in tiny booms also. some say it makes a huge difference in their 4.0
.Young guys use more mono. We pass booms around at the site but the perceptible dif in weight and stiffness is awfully small compared to the reports of huge differences.

The view I have on this subject comes from selling and renting hundreds of booms and discussing the issue with manufacturers.
Many of us in the biz. think that those who decided carbon is better years ago, will continue with that idea because it works for them.

There was an excellent tech specs test done in Wind magazine on every boom they could find, before mono alu was made.
They used the facilties of the Euro space agency.
The lightest boom was Carbon Creations. It was also the most flexi.
The heaviest boom was also the stiffest. It was also a carbon.
The stiffness and weight range of the alu booms was inside the range of the carbons.
The alus were usually a pound or so heavier and less stiff.
Now with the monos, alu is both stiffer and lighter and the gap is closing down while carbon boom price goes up.
New young sailors who demo both are likely to choose mono booms and uncambered sails in our store.
Old sailors buy carbon. They decided the matter based on tech from years ago and that settles it.

This strikes me as the same as cambers in a way.
I have clients who sailed since the 80s who are just now accepting the idea of uncambered sails, partly because they can no longer get small cambered sails at all.
I can remember the first carbon masts. Euros wouldn't buy them from us because they thought they all broke.
They even made fun of us when we sailed together, bringing us a distress flag. They were on polyester or alu masts!!
I think as the biz contracts carbon booms have the same future as cambered sails. They will take a ever smaller spot in our quivers used for certain conditions.
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outhaul



Joined: 27 Sep 2011
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many great posts here, I'm almost more undecided now. I keep going back to the fact that the 180-246 Chinook is close to 3lbs lighter than its alloy sibling. Sadly I then remember it also costs 3 times more.
Is there a down side to re-gripping a carbon when the time comes? Does one need to be extra careful with solvents?
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 481

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sailed aluminum booms for a couple of decades and found nothing wrong with them. Then switched to hybrid booms (carbon tailpiece) for more stiffness, liked them better. But they are the worst in corrosion.
Finally bought a Chinook carbon boom that fits my sails from 4.5-8.5. Lighter than my hybrid boom (NP X6) that has 30 cm less extension, much nicer. Seems the boom adds range to sails. I now rather re-rig so I can use the carbon boom than grab the hybrid. A second Chinook carbon boom is high on my wish list.

Weight differs by manufacturer. The Chinook carbon feels a lot lighter than the Chinook aluminum and the Aeron v-grip. It also seems lighter than my wife's smaller Maui Sails carbon boom. But for at least one manufacturer, the weight actually went up when going from aluminum to hybrids, and again from hybrids to carbon. That manufacturer has stopped listing the weight of the booms in their specs. Last time I checked in their flagship store on Maui, their prices were 50% to 100& higher than competing brands.

If you scrape together the money, go for carbon. Chinook is great, but Maui Sail booms also have a very good rep.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3017

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevincan,
We have the same experience in our store.Those who come in committed to carbon don't switch very often but some do.
I remember one kid who really wanted to win our race series but the shop team dominates on aluminum booms.
He was a back of the pack racer.
His carbon boom was damaged on land and the guy gave him US$800 to settle the matter.
He came in the shop and bought the same race sail and alu boom we used. Never won but he was podium twice after that.
The alu didn't improve his speed but the money spent wisely was the key to his success.
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KevinDo



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 338
Location: Cabrillo Inside

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is this guy that gave this kid $800...I must meet this guy Very Happy
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 3601

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/spo/4057637139.html

While we're on topic, I've got a nice Chinook carbon boom and some boards for sale. I'd take $195 for the boom. It would look beautiful with a new grip!
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joe_windsurfxxx



Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the OP has a boom stretched to max
can a modern aluminium boom do that well ??
whether aluminium or carbon, i prefer NOT to extend too far - stiffness again
Sailboarder tried my HPL Hybrid 220 which is actually all carbon
i use it with 8-oh to 10-oh sails and am 220 lbs / 100 kilos average
i got it for $230 + $80 carbon re-enforcement suggested by Bruce Peterson
so, it cost me $310 total
i was NOT looking for carbon and was not even sure it was all carbon when i purchased it
in other words - like someone suggested - get what you need to get on the water - used carbon booms are available - like previous poster
then get on the water and have FUN
i have used booms too big and even too small just to get on the water
and i can assure you - there was always a smile on my face Very Happy
so, get out there n ride Smile
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outhaul



Joined: 27 Sep 2011
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

joe_windsurfxxx wrote:

i have used booms too big and even too small just to get on the water
and i can assure you - there was always a smile on my face Very Happy
so, get out there n ride Smile


You kidding, having the boom stretched to the max has not stopped me from enjoying my new sail! To the credit of Chinook, the Pro Alloy actually feels very good fully extended in the moderate conditions I've sailed the 8.5 in so far.
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