Neat Rigs on the Cheap

Pulling this post to the general forum under a new thread so it can get out of the thread that it inadvertantly hijacked.

So does anyone have any CHEAP and neat rig ideas? Ways to be cost effective and have a little flash or wow effect in your rig at the same time? Something that makes your boat different . . . without breaking the bank.

In an other thread I posted pictures of these two little compression goosenecks, the first one designed to be a jib gooseneck, and the second one, in the cruddy picture designed to be a main gooseneck that fits around the mast butt. <font color=“red”>(edit add) These two pieces both started from the exact same section of carbon, and are just built up with different bearings suited for their end use</font id=“red”>. Took me a little time to develop them, but now are cheap and easy to make. When posted to the multi one forum was initial ridiculed as being too expensive and only fit for classes like the marblehead. However, this carbon piece can be built for under $5.00 USD plus the cost of the bearings. It works very nicely with the KISS philosiphy and is actually quite simple.

Building this piece can be done in a few hours and you can make enough for 3 rigs at a time (make one 3.5 inch piece, cut it to 3 one inch sections, enough for 3 rigs).

Can be made in various sizes limited primarily to what you can find for bearings.

Dick, you mentioned using XC ski poles for rigs, which I have tried myself with so so success. What poles have you found that are good bang for the buck? I found some blanks on sale for 30 bucks a pair ($15 for a free standing mast aint bad). Another member of our club bought some SUPER light XC ski poles for $80/pair that are nicer than mine. Lighter and softer. . . almost the right flex. Please do share!


<font color=“red”>EDIT for picture size/WIS</font id=“red”>

Umm. What do you need a ball bearing for? Rotating mast?

I mean isnt this as overkill as ball bearing rudders on rc scale?

  • HJ

“Expertice is gained trough mistakes. However repeating
same mistake is not learning but stupidity.”

Most of the IOM guys use ball bearings on both the gooseneck and on the jib swivel. On smaller boats, a very smooth and light touch gooseneck is important to make sure that in light wind the main sail can be eased out. If you have any appreciable amount of friction in your gooseneck, sailing against someone that has very little friction in light winds, you will see that their sails will ease out and catch the wind going down wind while your sails are still sitting on center line because of the friction. I personally have found ball bearings on goosenecks to be worth every penny, and every ounce of wieght.

On bigger boats, the sail area is large enough to overcome the friction in the gooseneck even in light winds and this is not AS important as I feel it is on 1 meter boats.

Ball bearings on the rudder . . . I personally dont think there is a need for this, because as long as you are using an appropriate servo, the friction force can always be overcome. This isnt always true with light winds on small rigs.


Hey Todd,

If you look in the latest issue of MY you will see my gizmos.

When I show people my swing arm sheeting system and my offset elliptical vang, I get a lot of head nodding and chin scratching followed by a comment like “Man, that is so simple yet it works so well. I’m gonna add that to my boat!” So far no one has…

For some reason I can’t upload files right now so I can’t show you the results, but check out lester’s site for some of the technical details. I’ll see if i can get him to add some of my latest pictures that I can’t post here…

  • Will

Will Gorgen

Will, for pics maybe: [;)] a one shot pic shot


_/ if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it! _

I unfortuneately let me dues laps with the amya and didnt get this past issue. e-mail me the pics and I will host em for you to share.

I heard some chatter, but havent gotten to see the article myself.

Sounds interesting though!


<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”>Originally posted by ~tb

Dick, you mentioned using XC ski poles for rigs, which I have tried myself with so so success. What poles have you found that are good bang for the buck? I found some blanks on sale for 30 bucks a pair ($15 for a free standing mast aint bad). Another member of our club bought some SUPER light XC ski poles for $80/pair that are nicer than mine. Lighter and softer. . . almost the right flex. Please do share!

<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

Todd -
first off, thanks for providing a price point. I (personally) think the reply was a bit “stiff” but understand Matt’s point - had price been included, it may have had a different reaction. Usually, “carbon fiber = big $$” - but in this case $5.00 isn’t so terrible. Add in the bearing and brass and I can see where initial reaction might have assumed a huge debit to purchase.

That said, I have only one problem with my ski-pole source - and that is a piggish, non-friendly reason for NOT naming names. I have no problem suggesting what to use - but others need to do a little leg-work to find sources. They (you) are free to contact any ski house, or ski-pole manufacturer to see if they have poles that would work, what sizes and as in my case, any “throw-aways”.

This brings me to my poles - after a bit of research and correspondence, I managed to find a “manufacturer” who was willing to send me (free !!!) as many pole sections that I wanted. They even picked up the shipping costs! Sure the poles were various sectional lengths, and most had broken tips near the basket end. Some were test poles, some were warranty replacement poles, and some were their own in-house R&D poles. Regardless - they were free to me and being a “pig” I am inclined to keep the supplier confidential. The last thing I would want is to have questions coming to them from all over the country/world for free products. They aren’t the only manufacturer, so anyone can contact their own sources to inquire about “trash” - just be polite and you may be surprised. The other thing, is some may be so unscrupulous as to get the base product for free, trim to length and then turn-around and market the product.

Specificlly, you should seek competition poles that are carbon fiber. Don’t get “recreational” ones - look for the “pro” grades as they are extremely stiff to prevent bend when pushing. When racing, flex in poles is not desireable and at the pro level the less is better. This translates into very stiff mast sections for us. My mast base is about 1/2 inch and tapers to just under 3/8 at the tip.

I also found a different company that sells two poles (blanks - no tips, no handles) for about $90 and as I recall they are about 6 feet total length. I will need to look them up at home to find name and verify cost. Sounds like you too have found a decent price point for blanks.

Like the goose that laid the golden egg - no one wants to give away sources for “free” stuff. I have no problems with noting names of places where you have to pay for the product and it is reasonably priced. A few internet searches will provide a wealth of information, and then it is a simple matter to contact them and ask… of course, my masts “will” carry their logo decal since we can advertise in the multihull classes.

Here is a site that offers all sorts of materials. Every once in a while they have something for us r/s sailors. Minimum order is $10.00, but often I find other uses for the stuff. I have purchased 1/2 inch thick rubber anti-fatigue matting for horse stall floors and to hang on walls for our foaling stalls to keep the new, little ones from getting hurt when first born. Also can use it for bow bumpers. Place is called “MaterialScraps” - and you need to check often as products come and go.

Hope you understand my reservations on posting a company name that has gone out of their way to send me their “free trash” which I was able to use for a different application.

You mentioned onthe other portion of this thread that you might do a little photo-essay on how you make these parts. PLEASE DO! I have tried to make some with limited success and a few tips would be more than welcome.

Don Case
 Vancouver Island

Todd was gracious enough to host some pictures for me…

Here is a picture of my vang system:

The theory can be found here:

It is simple and quite inexpensive. The vang is comprised of a pekabe block attached to a traditional rigging screw vang (both parts available from Great Basin as well as other places). The block rides on a bridle made from rigging line. The bridle is attached at two offset points that are simply holes in an aluminum plate on the base of the mast. The line re-appears through another set of holes on the forward part of the plate so that I can adjust the bridle length if needed.

The result is that the vang will ease on the reach and then tighten again on the run. Here qare some pictures showing the effect on sail twist:

Close Hauled:

110 AWA Reach: (note the increased twist)

Dead Run: (note that the leach has closed off again which will minimize the “spilled” wind)

The system works great and has made a big improvement in my downwind speed.

  • Will

Will Gorgen