View Full Version : Which alu booms for formula experience?

18th June 2007, 12:14 AM
I read about the formula experience that rigs up 11 m2 are allowed for senior sailors and that carbon booms are NOT allowed...

Which aluminium boom (brand construction etc.) will be able to carry an 11 m2 sail with a 100 kg rider for racing??

Just curious:p

18th June 2007, 12:56 AM
None... The Nautix seem to be pretty popular though, but some (like Remi as he mentioned elsewhere) chose to run a string/strap throigh the sail between the boom arms to stiffen it up.

18th June 2007, 02:49 AM
"run a string through the sail"... Does that mean you have to make a hole in the sail? And how will this work when you use the outhaul and the hole will move??:o

18th June 2007, 03:29 AM
Hi, Aluminum booms are getting better each year. I have seen lots of improvements in the last 5 years.

But at the end will say that the Nautix Formula Experience boom is really good and durable also for a heavy racer.

About the hole, its just to make it stiffer than normal, what increases a bit the performance I guess. Anyway, you dont need to make a hole in your sail.

If you dont know what I mean, Remi has made a small hole in his sail and has tied a rope from one arm of the boom to the other thru that hole. anyway is a good way to distribute better the weight into both sides of the boom. I friend is trying it, says it works. I have not tried it, I use Chinook aluminum boom for Formula Experience, they are good, but at your weight I guess Nautix can be stiffer.

Best luck!
Ricardo Guglielmino

18th June 2007, 05:15 AM
Hi Per,

The aluminum boom thing is one of my personal pet peeves that I won't back off from being outspoken about.

Aluminum booms are a joke that is just waiting for a failure. I've been really forthright about this before on a number of occasions, because it really makes no sense to buy an inherently flawed product that has a very limited life, especially in salt water. I stopped buying aluminum booms in 1992, after so much unhappiness with them. I would never go back, regardless of current claims of their improved nature. Of course, they're much cheaper than a carbon boom, but the cost difference isn't out of this world, especially if one was considering investing in the formula scene. Somewhat of a minimal argument can be offered for wave sailors using smaller sails, or maybe for limited recreational purposes using larger sails (up to 7.0-7.5), in my mind I wouldn't waste the money, especially in circumstances where you might be a heavier sailor.

I remember you indicating earlier that your interests in formula sailing were recreationally focused. Despite a more casual approach, I would highly recommend buying a carbon boom, even if your intent is to invest in a 3 cam Formula Experience level sail and a 75% carbon mast. Unless you are committed to formally racing in the FE environment, no reason to invest poorly in aluminum booms.

The idea of cutting into a brand new sail to accommodate use of an inferior product goes against my grain. Maybe to make windsurfing cheaper, we should all go back to injected Lexan fins. Yeah, right!

18th June 2007, 07:46 PM
Carbon is lovely... but at a huge price these days!!!

I've got lots of carbon booms, but for me I decided to get my smallest wave boom in aluminium as I think in this size it'll be fine. I have an X6 boom which has a carbon tail piece.... time will tell!!

Problem I find in booms is anything not made of carbon goes... so aluminum cleats, grip all die first!! With aluminium the whole thing dies.

Anyway for me carbon used to be the only choice... but now with silly prices.... I'm being a bit picky as my new X9 wave was sure not cheap!! :o

19th June 2007, 11:54 AM
7 years ago all carbon booms failed when using with big sails, today failure is almost nothing.

4 years ago when aluminum booms started to be used in big sails happen the same...now, this problem has been reduced a lot.

I will say that the experience of booms 2 years ago with today is a lot better. Maui sails formula booms are really strong. Chinook have come this year with a new formula boom much better than previous for Formula sails and Nautix have an indestructible aluminum boom specially designed around an stiffer allow for big sails.

I think time has given a second chance to aluminum booms...and now they are a step forward tha booms we saw 2-3 years ago.


19th June 2007, 12:22 PM
Hi, we are a fleet here of about 40 people racing Formula Experience.

Yeap, we had some broken booms specially with 11.0 sails during 2003-2004. Dont remember any broken boom with a 10.0.
Also, this year, all Seniors and Youths that use 11.0 sails have not experienced any broken boom as far as I remember, and we use them a lot. Most people is using the Chinook booms with competition boom head (not triple clamp as this ones are too stiff and can cause it to break). And others are using the Nautix FE boom.
No problems with any of them reported in this year.

We got used to aluminum booms since we are racing FE. For sure, a Carbon boom feels a lot stiffer but, for FE is only allowed Aluminum. By the other side, a Carbon boom costs 4 to 5 times more. For some people this can be the difference between buying a Formula rig, or not racing. Budget can vary really a lot. We have here 280cm booms in 204 USD, same boom in Carbon can cost 800 USD, other "better carbon booms" up to 900USD. The difference is really big.

I call that "cost effective".

Best luck!
Ricardo Guglielmino

19th June 2007, 01:18 PM
Thanks a lot all of you.
To be more exact, the sail I plan to buy is a Tushingham Lightning 10.3 (twin cam). The boom length of the sail is 257 cm. Doesn't it make a difference when I use a boom like the Nautix that goes 250 to 290 cm?
I mean the extension is almost nothing.. I would never use an aluminium boom to its max extension anyway.

I won't power the rig like "real" formula sailors that go with their 10.7 sail in 20 knots or more. I will sail in 9 to 16 knots whereafter I can comfortably rig my 8.5 or 6.5 on something smaller and more loose (my ST 115 goes like a rocket in 20 knots with my 6.5)

20th June 2007, 11:21 AM
Hi Per,

I have Chinook Aluminum formula boom which I have used for up to 10.6 sail sizes. I like it, and it was cheap.

Obviously it's not as stiff as the carbon formula boom I used to have (which broke, partially motivating my move from formula to longboard racing), but it gets the job done just fine for recreational sailing. The only time I really notice the difference is if I'm overpowered in gusty winds, and then I can just switch to smaller sail, anyway.

Good luck.

20th June 2007, 11:58 AM
Hi Per,

I using since last year in january a Nautix boom 250/290, the special one for formula with the wide rear head. I am between 85 kgs to 90 kgs and until now my boom is in perfect condition.

Yes do a hole on my sail to make the boom real stiff, with this the boom is stiffer than a crabon one for the same lenght. This help a lot for pumping and in gust, the sail profile doesn't move, so you accelerate immediatly.

All the best

20th June 2007, 12:12 PM
Hi Per,

You can see here the Nautix boom with modification on the sail inaction


All the best

20th June 2007, 07:00 PM
Hola Remi y grazias...

It looks like seriousely good action on equipment for everyone..
How much do you extend your Nautix boom? What sailsize do you use?
How did you make the hole ( I really doubt I will bring the knife through the monofilm on my brand new sail:o

20th June 2007, 10:44 PM
Hi Per,

The sail is the new 11m² Overdrive who is really excelent for this class.

It's a normal boom of 250/290

For the hole is simple, I put first a big sticker in the spinacker material and after I cut a hole.

This doesn't affect the quality of the sail, just contrary you really increase your performances.

All the best

21st June 2007, 04:42 AM
Hi Remi

Nice photos. The hole in the sail seems to be oblong and about 20cm by 10cm? What is the tie off system to stop the rope from moving?


21st June 2007, 09:48 AM
Hi Philip,

"What is the tie off system to stop the rope from moving?"

My english is not perfect, can you said it differently

All the best

21st June 2007, 11:20 AM
I think he means (el nudo) the way you have tied the rope in the boom so its tensioned all the time.


21st June 2007, 12:16 PM
Hi Philip and Ricardo,

So I don't the name of this but in french is CABESTAN

All the best

21st June 2007, 01:20 PM
Thanks Remi,

That would be a clove hitch.