The project begins – May 19th

two-wheeled device pictures is landboard for windskating 🙂


More work – May 21st

Removed foot straps
Testing cross member


May 22nd – Don’t stop

Recycling footstrap holes

Seat layout testing

Measuring for blocking

Birds eye on tail of lower frame
View from aft


A couple more views – May 23rd

Detailed in the mid lower right, are two clamps near the rear, these model two supports I will build to help reduce the lower frame torsion when sheeted out. Also pictured above are two straps securing the cross member mounting plate to the board. I ultimately will go with one strap and a 1×4 running lengthwise from the bow to the mast track and over the cross member frame. This will provide reduction about the z-axis. It will not be considered support to prevent heeling forces, which will be supported by one 400lb working load strap (which is strong enough to start crushing the board if I overtighten it…)
Getting that damn seat back post to stay in place during testing turned out to be the bane of my existence (the one I used was 4 foot long, not pictured above)

May 24th – further development – increasing plates on the aft of lower frame and cutting cross member frame supports

Don’t ask why I have three different types of clamps…Side note, I now own 4 clamps, that are 3 different types 🙂

Dying to own a chop saw at this point…

Strap ultimately will go over both the 2x4s that are vertical, but not until cross member is bolted in place. Strap shown is for mockup purposes only and not final position.

May 26th – Gluing up, beefing up aft lower frame, more seat post mock ups

The pieces shown taped on ultimately were secured with glue. Though they may be overkill now that I changed to a no-moment load on the bolts design
Paper protecting me from gluing frame to the board.
This futon/couch workbench is really saving my back!
Actual seat back frame piece. Very heavy piece of 2×4 (maybe only 6 lbs really)
The miter/bevel/angle required to get this joint correct, as well as the number of holes I would have to drill and align perfectly (not to mention assembly/disassembly time), ultimately led me to change from a four 3/8″ through bolt design to a one thick 1/2″ bolt design with an extension to the rear and a truss support on the back.
I really kept wanting to sit on the frame, but gravity was not in my favor and board wanted to wheelie (even with the couch moved much further aft underneath the board. You would be surprised how much weight it puts on the back of the board when I’m on the frame, something that is of great concern to me during this design and building phase…

May 28th (misc work)

May 30th

New strut/truss design

May 31st

Extra feet to support forces in Z direction

Installing truss support frame

June 1

Testing new struts from a recycled awning. They are steel, but strong, small and lightweight.

June 2

The white board going from the frame to the nose is to resist rotation of the frame on the z (vertical) axis.

Roughing out the seat 🙂
Planning on having a slight incline to the seat bottom, the seat back is about 60 degrees or so from horizontal.
New foot pedals. Might need to shorter or remove depending on if sail hits them…
Rudder assembly. Turns out the control lines need to be very close to the center to increase rudder movement, duh..
How I will mount the rudder assembly. Steel brackets, will be primed. Looking for plastic ones but I’m using HD as primary source and trying to avoid internet binge purchasing atm.
New rudder system in progress!
I almost went with an isosceles triangle, but I was trying to reduce weight and the extra compression wasn’t too bad. I did a spreadsheet in excel to compare different base lengths of the triangle and the corresponding compression forces in the truss member(s). Yay statics!

June 4

Roughing out the ama connections. Armrest from office chair. I will use two lag screws (or bolts) into the cross member (which might end up being steel tubing) and weld a subframe to connect to the ama.

Some foam molds I’m working on for the nose cones. Nevermind that I bought polyester resin instead of epoxy…(polyester resin eats styrofoam)

Foam cutting frame. This side project, to help cut the foam, is causing me some slight grief. I need to get a rheostat to adjust voltage to the exact power output needed to cut foam and not disintegrate the wire.. Tried a steel strand of picture wire, not impressed. Will try guitar string next. Too cheap to buy the ni-chrome resistance wires recommended…Stryofoam is my second least favorite mess behind fiberglass shards…

June 6 (current state of affairs, not much new going on)

June 9

My first fiberglass attempt. Almost a complete disaster (notice removed delamination at leading edge) but I was determined to try my first attempt at glassing something. Ended up thinking my tsp was a tbs and put in WAY too much hardener in this batch.. I think I will try to recover the piece, put another layer of glass on each side and see what I think about it. I’d REALLY love to vacuum bag this stuff but budget restrictions are currently in full effect (starving student, sort of)

Cut the seat frame 🙂
Trying out a shape for the fiberglass nose cone. I’d love to glass this over, but the form isn’t solid enough in the tip… I really should use foam and glass, groan.
Notice the wave cutting shape 🙂

June 12th upload – ABS time

Due to fluctuations in local gravity fields, the 10′ section was not quite cut into equal lengths. This will serve as an interesting study into the length of the vessel and maximum speed. I would expect the longer ama to produce slightly higher top speed when on the leeward side. We’ll see, it’s only an inch or so
Glamour shot of my favorite saw. I HIGHLY recommend worm drive Skilsaws. This is the magnesium alloy case version with factory included blade featuring laser-cut balancing tabs (not even joking)
Made with two cuts (7.25″ blade won’t cut 4.5″ OD ABS in half…)
High tech clamp setup

June 13th upload – pictures of the welded knee joints

How the knee joints connect to the ABS outriggers. This is one of the more complex pieces of design/fabrication of the project. Thanks to my welder friend, got these done right up.
Two holes to bolt to cross member
Reinforcing plate shown. Those six welds are more than sufficient for the strength I need.
Where armrest meets the aluminum frame member. A real dog of a weld because the upper material is very thick (with a hole drilled through) and the lower material is thinner. The heat distribution was very uneven. Thanks again to my pro welder friend.

June 15th – cross member that didn’t make the cut

This guy failed in the middle under load testing. Better in my living room than on the water!

Some “non-destructive” testing turned into some destructive testing during development, back to the heavy 2″x4″…

June 16th upload – behold a rudder (and failed vacuum bag attempt) I tried to connect two food vacuum bags together. It looked great for about 2 seconds…This represents the second fiberglass attempt by yours truly. Lamination and uniformity is good with almost no bubbles. Areas at the edge are not perfect, on account of my less than ideal core material which is not highly compatible with the polyester resin. Another attempt will be made with a vacuum storage bag, because they are about $50 cheaper than actual veneer vacuum bags.  Now I just need to get some darn bleed cloth. I swear, the costs just never seem to end, but I guess some of this stuff will last for more than just this project.

DIY fiberglass rudder

June 19th upload – more pictures of knee joints (cross member to ama) and rudder (still WIP).  I will ultimately put some kind of nice cover on the top of the knee joints, where the padding was previously, I am thinking of something like a carbon-fiber cover, just for looks. It is kind of low on the current list of priorities though, and will have to wait until after a successful water test, especially since I need to get at the bolts at that area during assembly and disassembly. The rudder will be sanded, maybe patched in just a few areas on the edge, bondo, then primer, paint and prayer. Plus a couple of holes to mount to the PVC rudder shaft.  SUPER BIG shout out to my Whittier friend for helping me weld this all up. I never dreamed of being able to weld up some stuff for this project.

Reinforcing plate on the interior of the old armrest to reinforce area where it bolts to cross member. This is in consideration the bending forces transferred to the plate on account of the outrigger rotating about the axis perpendicular to the direction of travel
Designed to sit on the ABS pipe which will initially be attached using simple backpack strapping and plastic buckles. It might be upgraded in the future, but I like affordable, non-metal and simple. I also heart Aluminum.
PVC rudder shaft slotted in band saw. Drill hole at final destination then cut in to the each edge of the hole. Don’t try to slot and then drill the end..
Knee joint showing 1/2″ Al bent and welded in place.Two small straps will be used to hold ABS to subframe.

June 20th upload – mast track bolt and seat incline

Just a bit of an incline to help keep me planted in the boat and comfortable. I still need some side stabilization otherwise I might fall right out of the seat for lots of lulz.

bottom of forestay eye-bolt. There was originally some sort of little plate that covered this area under the nose of the board but it was missing upon purchase. No matter, it is basically always above the water anyways.
Forestay will connect here

An associate had this piece of metal just lying around. Fits like a dream! Of note, the previous mast track bolt actually fit in the groove above, but I figure the lower rail is perfectly acceptable from a strength point of view.

My “vise” and tapping procedure.
the piece has three previous holes drilled in it, of little concern for my application. Even better, it was Aluminum just like the track it fits into.

June 22 –


June 23 –

June 25 –

Body filler on the nose cones and rudder round 2

a BUNCH of pics from July 2nd to July 10th

The main frame – stern to the port of frame
The final detail at the tail end of the outriggers. Simple cleanout cap turned with a lathe.
After some sanding

New foot pedal axle
Pedals are getting a haircut to ensure they are well clear of the sail during tacking (or jibing)
Spacers labeled for assembly. I dont like hacksaws as much as band saws…

I added spacers between the pedals and at the ends
Re-purposed PVC brackets hold the foot pedals.
Gluing up the rudder

These lines stop the foot pedals from folding down towards me
Main cleat
The foam is mostly cosmetic. It matched the paracord too perfectly.
Eye bolt picture directs the main sheet from the pulley at the seat post, forward under the frame and around the axle then back into captain’s hands. It’s a WIP.


Finished nose cone – fast edition
Fast edition top view

Finished nosecone – slow edition

July 13th pics – Last of the major construction modifications and paint

I could have got this tinted any color, but because I am a highly creative individual, I went with the base tint white.
This is my new favorite paint. Goes on super smooth, dries out amazingly even. Probably a good mix between normal top coat and a filler primer.