|| The guide to
windsurfing in N.Z.
by Brian Scrimshaw
Ever had something break/lose something small and not been able
to sail when it's a really good day? After spending a few years
working out what is most likely to break (by breaking it), I have
equipped myself with a windsurfing tool kit that (I hope) should
keep me sailing in all but the worst disasters. I went to the
warehouse and bought a cheapie plastic tool-box with a double
fold out tray. Here's what I've put in it:
- A pair of sturdy scissors (Also from the warehouse,
surprisingly good and very cheap)
- Some sail repair 'sticky-back'. You can get this from
sailmakers, mine was free, just an off-cut. If you get a
tear in your sail, put this on and it'll stop it getting
bigger. It is waterproof so can also be cut to size and
put on dings on your board to stop them taking in water,
as a temporary repair.
- A bunch of zip-lock sealable plastic bags.
- A pack of Band-Aids.
- A little bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide (cheap, you can
get it at chemists) This is excellent for stopping
infection on little cuts you get on your feet. I squirt a
bit on any cuts when I stop sailing and never have any
- At least two spare lengths of downhaul. (you can use
these as a harness line if you break one, and snapping
your downhaul is a real bummer, easy to make friends if
you have a spare one)
- A spare spring clip for your mast-base (the clip that
connects it to your extension) lose one of these and
you're off the water.
- Spare bolts for your fin, at least two spares (I find
it's much cheaper to get these at nut and bolt shops,
like MicoWakefield-specify stainless- than windsurf
- A spare flat nut that goes in your mast base track.
- Screwdrivers that fit your fin screw, footstraps and
anything else that's likely to come off your board.
- Nuts and bolts that go thru your mast base.
- Any washers, O rings etc that you use in your mast
extension, boom extension.
- A cigarette lighter (to burn the ends of cord that you
may cut, and a competitors sail)
- A solid felt marker (so you can mark things like ideal
boom heights, harness line positions for given sails,
- Waterproof tape
- A selection of grades of wet and dry sandpaper and a
small sanding block and a few drawing pins, to sand dings
out of your fin on a no-wind day.
- A few dollars (in case you're caught short and real
If you're real keen you could also carry:
A socket set A spare rubber UJ/tendon A spare set of harness
lines (if you don't like buying them, you can make your own, see
Gerard Elkink, home- made-Harness-line expert) A board shaping
bay, complete with spraying facilities A sailmaker and rigging
assistant Bjorn Dunkerbeck Helen Harrison has a great idea, she
has a solar shower. So always a warm shower as soon as you stop.
Regularly check your downhaul and outhaul lines (especially
downhaul) they wear and break with use, and if they're looking a
bit threadbare, replace them.
Always check your mast base and UJ. These things do not last
forever and I've seen people lose there gear and get into real
trouble because they didn't check/replace them. If it's loose and
floppy or cracked, replace it/take it apart and re-tighten it
(with Loctite). You only need to snap it/have a nut come undone
once on the water and you'll realise how hard it is to hold a
separated sail and board and swim home. It can be very very
expensive (and dangerous)
Wash out your mast base and boom regularly with fresh water.
They'll move better and last much longer.
Any suggestions/additions welcome... Brian