This may have been done before, but.Replying to another topic about the cost of r/c sailing it occurred to me that there are obviously a lot of every day household things that can be used to make parts for boats, that go a long way to keeping the cost of sailing down.I’m sure everyone has a favorite “substitute” or whatever you want to call it that they are eager to share.
To start off with some to give the idea of what I mean:

1.Carbon Fibre tube.
Arrow shafts
Golf club shafts
Fishing Rods-especially if you want a tapered section.

2.Small diameter tube.
Aluminium knitting needles–usually increase in diameter by .5mm steps and are up to 300mm long and can be coloured as well!

Household buttons–especially ones with 4 holes.Come in a vast variety of shapes,sizes and colours.

4.For a great source of small rods,screws,nuts,fasteners,light-weight metal brackets etc.drag out your old Meccano set.

Got the idea? Then share it with us.


I’ve learned, That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
(what am I doing here?)lol

ahem brother
you have hit it right where i have been trying to say
you do not have to spend $2000. why do you have to have a rigging screw worth $5 usd. when you can make use of a screw eye? or a chain plate? do you realy have to have that $10 backstay crane? or can you bend a 1/8 brass rod to shape?
long live the cup

Cougar old mate,
Looks like you and me are the only ones trying to save money OR are the only ones prepared to share our unique money saving hints with everyone else.
Here’s a few more ideas :-
Small Diameter rod.
Welding electrodes come in a variety of diameters and metal types,scrape off the flux and away you go.
Apart from fishing trace wire,try piano wire and single strand steel guitar strings.([:-bulb]
use a tuning fork to hear if you have the right tension[:-headphones])


I’ve learned, That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I use the old steering gear(ball and socket)from r/c cars for the gooseneck fittings and boomvang. I also use rigging screws and stainless welding rods for the boomvang.
Stainless welding rods make really good solid rods. They are about .75mm diameter.
Fishing snap swivels are used to attach the stays to the deck and have with bowsies on them for rig tension. Fishing trace wire is used for the stays.


stop stealing my ideas. i do the damm same thing.
this is how i keep the cost done. my boom vang on my first IOM was a sterring arm from my rc car. you can adjust it by turning the rod left or right. the bowise I will admit. i make. i buy a piece of lexen. cut it too shape and drill 3 holes. i use the swivels for the jib attachment, i dont need a a roller track… i meen it would be nice to have. but i think sails are more important than a turn backle that i can make myself
long live the cup

OK, here is one for you… guess what the window tint shops THROW AWAY every single day? Heheheh your new set of mylar sails… that’s what. They use mylar as a backing to the window tint. If you are a real hoser like me… you can use the old… " I am collecting it for my BOY SCOUT troop, and we make models out of it"
They give me a bag of clear mylar that I can make enough sails out of to last a lifetime.

Don’t say I never gave you anything… hehehe

larry ,
that may be the neatest thing i have ever heard of. i used tyvek myself for a while. ever use packing tape to seal off the deck hatched then fibreglass over them?
long live the cup

for my vic i just used a tapered fly rod for the upper mast section aluminum tube for the bottome section aluminum scrap cut to shape for the crane, and brass tube stock for spreaders than carbon tubing for booms, nice and simple most of it came from my basement[:-bigeyes]

i love tinkering with these boats it takes up time i’m sure my girfreind is going to hate it soon

Get to know some power kiters, they dont like being lifted up on old lines and replace them pretty often, giving you 30-60m lengths of pre-streached dyneemer!

Luff 'em & leave 'em.

I’m only new but I am wondering why you all are after money saving ideas? I build all my own fittings cause I enjoy it, but I wouldn’t imagine model boat parts would be that expensive to buy anyway.

Thanks StevenA

steven you are new
we are all looking for a cheaper way of doing things. i make some of my own fittings simply because i dont feel like paying $6.25 for a eye bolt? are $90 for a mast. that is not inculdeding booms. sperader bars ect? thing can get pretty wild on the money side of this. i like matt idea of checking out kite stores. i my self like using a pine dowel for a mast. untill i can fine tune the hull.
long live the cup

In the spirit of this section, I will share something I have been working on for a while.

This is a deck mounted gooseneck for a US one meters similar to that which is used on Swede Johnson’s Orco. On swedes boats, this is a deservingly pricey component. The above picture was made from one part made by myself accompanied by exactly $15.23 of parts ordered from McMaster-Carr online. The same piece can also be used to construct a jib pivot if desired.

I use this piece with a quarter inch thick balsa core boom setup that has a threaded piece in the end to work as a compression vang. Will have more pictures available once the boat is put together sometime this week.


Todd, that’s poetry!
How did you do it?
I still have to contact Herb for the alu ones, but yours…


Nice job Todd-
good luck with the boat. I recall you had a new design? love to see it.

Hey Gio,

I was going to keep this part hush hush, as I put some time into getting the system to work. . . But, I guess I will be nice enough to share this, as I doubt many people will really want to take the time and effort. I went through quite a many bad attempts before getting everything to work.

I first decided on the diameter of the bearings I would use, and ordered all those parts. Then as I was waiting for them in the mail, I made a carbon tube that was 4 inches long and had a matched ID to the OD of the bearings. I used 2 layers of 5.8 oz cloth, 45-135 degree fiber orientation (one piece that wrapped around the mandrel twice). 2 layers of 5.8 is way overkill, but you need more than one. . . While that was curing in the oven (and under pressure applied by shrink wrap tubing available at any good electrical store) I also laid up a piece of U chanel around the edge of a piece of 1/4" thk lexan. This was made of 1 layer of 5.8 oz caron at 0-90 and another layer at 45-135. This cured under vac bag pressures. When the two parts had cured, they were trim sanded and roughed up with 220 grit paper. I then carefully aligned U channel and the tube and tacked them in place with CA.

With these two parts together, I took another 2 layers of carbon around the outside of them both. Once again, one at 0-90, and one at 45-135. This yields a piece with 4 layers of carbon throughout which can very nicely handel all the loads.

so, I now have a 4 inch long piece that looks like an extrusion. I cut off a section that is .75" long, cut out the shape of the gooseneck and drill the hole for the pivot. The bearings pop right in with a spacer in between and a precision shoulder screw passes through the entire assembly.

Sounds like more work than it really is. I might be able to make the carbon piece available to people for a nominal fee if there is interest as well as letting people know the exact parts that should be ordered from McMaster.


Hi Todd,
Well, thank you very much for sharing your building technique.
You are right, it sounds complicated but I guess that with a little practice and the right tools it shouldn?t be too complicated.
I was wondering if you ever considered using a lexan rod with the same OD of the bearings as a mold for the tube, and maybe you could cut time by vacuum bagging the rod and the ? lexan at the same time to have a single CF piece.

Let me know if you are making the piece available, I?m definitely interested??
Thank you again


P.S. I?m looking forward to see your USOM completed

Hey Gio,

I did try that once, but it was a royal pain in the butt to get it to align correctly and have all the layers stay in place while getting it in the bag and to pressure. Actually, for me and my abilities, impossible. In the future I will be changing the lay-up schedule slightly, but most likely sticking to the same 2 step process such that all can be aligned properly.

I just rolled up my cost of making the carbon part (materials and time). If you are interested, please contact me outside of the forum as I do not want to break any rules. I would love to help other people save money by making this piece available to people though.


I promised myself that when I got going hard on this that I was not going to goof around with the expensive boats… hehehe (not that they ALL are) but wow… the dough that people are shelling out for these IOM’s… it is starting to get to me. I may have to put my design in on one of these. I would hate for someone that wanted to pitch out all that cash and not have something new to chose from! Heheheh… never can tell. I really did not want to get into those… but wow… they sure are popular.

Somebody stop me before I start another plug… sheeesh…