Sorry E.T., too much time on my hands......
Bought my first PSH, a 12' Gun, in January 2017.
No idea what attracted me to the board - I can barely surf, had no idea PSH no longer existed, but something sounded right.
Unusually for me, the board was reasonably local, I could go and check it out.
Collected from Torquay, got it back to my factory.
Liked it a lot. Pretty good condition, I stuck on loops to hold a drink bottle and a camera tether, used it a fair bit as a flatwater board, easier for a quick afternoon paddle that a 17' SIC.
I was a bit challenged by balancing on the board, but got better over time.
Always intended to give it a bit of a tidy up, but other projects got in the way.
As winter gripped Melbourne, it got less use, and was moved to Ventnor at some point and stored in my garage.
After our August trip to Sydney and Merimbula, that 11' Nalu went north for Aloha Hugo to try and buy.
It was a board I really liked, but ended up rarely using after buying an 11'6" Tom Carroll, that became my main surf SUP.
Figured as it was virtually unused, and Hugo wanted one, no harm in letting it go.
But a couple of weeks later, I had the thought "What about my windsurf rig?"
The Nalu was the only board I had with a windsurf insert, so now I had a rig and no board.
This would not seem to have been a huge problem, since I hadn't windsurfed in the 30 years prior to buying a Fanatic Ride rig from Warwick maybe 3 years ago. And 30 years ago, I was not particularly good at windsurfing, occasionally using borrowed boards. The mists of time have obscured weather I ever actually owned a windsurfer, and I doubt I did. But everyone did it.
In the time since I bought the rig, I had tried to use it once, and that time I seriously considered abandoning it in Westernport when I got stuck a few hundred metres offshore in a dying southerly, and had to paddle back dragging the rig.
But a rig and no board - that wouldn't do.
To be continued.....
August and September passed, other projects happening, October trip to Robe in South Australia with The Wife One presented a week of howling on shore breezes and little opportunity to paddle.
Thought about the windsurf thing, thought I could put one of the M8 inserts in another board.
Since my Fanatic rig was red (by the way, Ride rig with mast, boom, sail, everything you need had seemed great value) I decided I could put a mast insert I'm my red 12' Gun.
Sitting inside in Robe, started on line searches. An M8 insert seemed to not exist.
Emailed a mate who used to make windsurf boards in the '80's, he replied he put fin boxes in for the mast base.
More searching, ordered some mast boxes. Whole project getting more complex, my idea of drilling a hole and gluing in an M8 thread now involved an insert of high density divinycell foam to take the mast box, 3 layers of glass over the divinycell, glue the box in, 1 layer of glass over the box. Ordered all the bits, waited.
Back from Robe, October 19th the mast boxes showed up.
Now I once sort of knew how to do this sort of thing, and had gained confidence with work on Iron Phil and the Pretty Blue Gun, but this was a whole new thing again.
Needed to make holes in the board for the inserts and boxes, I needed a router.
I had never used a router before, so what could go wrong?
Went and bought one.
No idea how to use it, traced a mast box on some pine to practice on.
Initial trial, hard not to be wobbly.
Noise major, and I don't know if variable speed routers exist, but this one was very "all or nothing".
But OK for a first go.
Now for a more realistic trial.
Broken bit of a Dc board...
Taped on some rulers as a guide for the router to run along.
Guides moved a bit, but better result.
Carbon skin of the board even noisier than the pine, and smelly.
Killed the work vacuum cleaner clearing routered foam.
Taken me two days after work to get this far.
On line orders had also included glass, mast track inserts, etc.
This is how it's meant to work.
Because the EPS our boards are made of has basically no strength, I needed to put in some high density divinycell foam around the mast box.
Another on line order.
October 20th now, time to take the Pretty Blue Gun down to Ventnor and retieve the red Gun, soon to become a Gun Da Windy...
To be continued.....
Gundawindy back at the factory.
And I'd retrieved the rig.
This is how it was meant to work.
Getting serious now, time to start measuring.
Further consultation with my ex windsurf builder mate had decided 6' from the back of the board for the back of the mast track was the spot.
To pre empt a bit, if you are using feet and inches, get a tape with only feet and inches on it. If you are using metric, metric only.
Cut my divinycell inserts.
Two 15mm layers to make a 30mm insert, mast box just under 30mm.
There's that feet and inches thing again.
Now for the real thing, remove some deck pad.
Seeing as I was planning a full pad replacement in the future, removed a strip full width.
Required turps soaking.
Decided to make full timber guides for the router.
Hang on, That's not right.
No offset for the size of the router.
Seems to work.
Now for the real thing.
Am I about to destroy a perfectly good, and possibly collectable board?
Left it there overnight.
To be continued..................
Back again the next day.
Taped down the guides for the divinycell inserts.
No going back now...
First pass to cut the skin and remove the first layer.
2 passes to get the depth.
Second cut gets very freehand as nothing to rest the router on.
Inserts seemed to fit after a bit of adjustment.
Next day after work, time to glue in.
Purchased some horrendously expensive epoxy glue.
Anything relating to boats seems to be really expensive.
Mixed up, scales I bought somewhere in the process really good - removes the guessing.
Smeared in the recess, and over the inserts.
Somewhere here I decided this was a really good way to cover your camera in glue.
Side project, I needed to blend new glass in to the skin of the board without lumps.
Set the router to half a mm or so, assaulted the broken DC again.
Seemed to work.
Made up a router guide for the mast box.
October 27th after work now, shaved back the blend area.
On line purchase of 4 oz and 6 oz eglass, pro advice was 3 layers of 4 oz over the divinycell.
Peel ply is a thing I'd never heard of, but you put it down over the glass to remove excess resin.
Tried to buy it before, but the supplier said it was a rip off, taffeta dress making fabric the same thing.
Decided I would rather my on line purchasing profile reflected purchasing boat building materials rather than dress making materials, found another supplier.
Second layer October 28th.
Peeled each layer, third layer October 29th.
Merimbula in late November looming as a deadline.
Peel ply really good at presenting a smooth surface for the next layer.
Things going well, I was painting resin on the insert, then laying the next layer of glass down.
This meant the initial placement of the glass was a bit all or nothing, couldn't move it once started, I was ending up with overlaps not quite where I planned.
Thought I had a good idea - I would lay the glass down, then wet it out with resin - the glass would be where I wanted it.
This went well, but used a lot more resin.
Doing this in the afternoon at work, went back in to try and focus on some work, came out to find an almost repeat of the snake headed foam monster.
The peel ply was bubbling up, I assume because f too much resin and too much heat.
Deflated it as best I could, left it overnight again.
A little bubble, not too bad, but excess resin where the peel ply had lifted.
Pre glassing completed, marked some centrelines.
Somewhere here, and I think you can see it in the above shot, 6' from the tail got confused with 1.9m, or 1.96 m, or something, and the box ended up not quite where planned.
But ready to go with the mast box install.
October 31 - time moving on.
Time to show no fear.
Happy I didn't go through the divinycell routering the box out.
Mast box fits...
Now just to glue in.
Masked off the box slot, mixed glue, set in.
Whenever I mix resin or glue, I panic that it's not going to go off.
Hence the anal precise scales, so after gluing the box in. I was at work for another hour or more, and the left over unused glue wasn't going off.
It should go off quicker in the pot than spread, nothing.
Then I thought.
I've spent a week mixing resin at 1 to 5 ratio, then switched back to glue at 1 to 2 ratio.
But I had carefully measured the glue at 1 to 5.
I had Colas in my head telling me epoxy will go off with not enough hardener, but not with too much.
I looked at my pride and joy project.
Sorry Colas, I decided I had nothing to loose, pulled the box out, re mixed glue, re set.
No photos, stress level too high.
End result same as above, but the hammer and the sledge hammer head were at the other ends.
Too be continued.....
Back again next day.
Everything had gone off and set
So had the incorrectly mixed glue, so Colas was right.
And it seemed to work as intended.
But what next?
Layer of glass over the box.
Ready to peel.
Peeled, sanded, filled
Time to find the box again....
Not enough glass over the box, peeled away.
Not sure what the final finish was going to be, masked off the pad and did a little spray.
Planning to replace the deck pad in the future, patched the bit I had cut out with similar cammo stuff.
November 3, mast box fitted, ready to go....
To be continued later.............
In a day or so.........
With the board pretty much finished, went to retrieve the rig from Ventnor.
Decided I better see if I could remember how it went together.
Trialled on the board.
Weather not cooperating, consulted Hugo re suitable fins.
Loaded everything in the Kombi to await a suitable opportunity.
After a morning paddle in the second week of November, breeze filled in from the south.
This is the situation I want the wind sup option for - a bit breezy to paddle, but nice on the water.
So, off on my second windsurf attempt in 30 plus years.
How do you do this?
Surprised myself by pretty much remembering what to do.
And I could crash and fall in just like the old days.
Managed to sail back and forward, completed a tack of sorts.
Kept at it, could sail back and forward, but not get much closer to where I had started from.
No centreboard and pretty soft rails forward on the board.
But good fun.
Stopped before I hurt myself and walked back along the beach.
But pretty pleased with myself, and calling the whole thing a success.
Got enthused enough to paddle the Gun a few times before Merimbula.
Wet sanded some paddle marks out of the sides and deck, clear coated and put on some railsaver.
Finished off with some Shark Eyes.
Or so I thought.....
To be continued.....
With the board ready as planned for Merimbula, paddled it at home a few times.
Somewhere in there my Gopro broke, second time in a year. Replaced under warranty, but annoying, and meant I didn't have it for Merimbula.
Weather at Merimbula often seems windier than is ideal for paddling, which is probably not surprising since it started off as a wave sailing event. Idea behind the windsup board was to extend the range of activities.
Got up there, small surf on the Bar meant I re finned Gundawindy, and successfully paddled over and surfed it.
Calm early morning conditions were giving way to windier afternoons - time to windsup.
Big fin back in.
Or actually windsurf on the old Cobra board Hugo dug out of his garden.
Windier than I was comfortable with, but went well - old skills emerging slowly.
Wind died, back to SUP.
Board would reach back and forward OK, but didn't want to go upwind at all.
Tacking difficult, initial power up resulted in a big sideways slide.
Better once planning, looked at the centreboard in the Cobra, and started to plan a forward "centreboard" fin.
Next day similar.
Hugo testing Gundawindy.
Same problems with sideways, we both found the board had a fatal attraction for moored boats, jetties, a houseboat I T boned.
Plans for a forward fin firmed up.
Tried the Ride rig on the Cobra that was continuing the Melbourne - Sydney board exchange program by coming south with me.
I wouldn't go as far as to say the windsurf option saved the week, but it certainly gave us a lot more to do.
To be continued.........
Back in Melbourne, the need to get some work done postponed any further works.
A couple of flat water paddles on Gundawindy, but no windsup.
Decided the forward fin was a good enough idea to add to the Sunova Search "Nozza".
Did manage to buy some blanking plates to fill the forward box when not in use.
Curiously, possibly because they are British, they are too long for an 8" box, and too short for a 10" box.
December 6th started again.
Measured and marked centrelines, positioned the box 5' from the tail based on intuition, and the centreboard position in the Cobra board.
Not sure if required for this, but decided to do the divinycell insert again.
I had saved the router guide from the mast box, so made the insert the same size.
Really worried I was destroying a good board this time - no hiding what I was about to do under deck pad.
Possibly due to warmer weather, the duct tape stretched and the guide moved.
Non stretchy tape.
Having learnt a bit from the mast box, I routered full depth where the box was going to end up so I could rest on the "islands" and get a neat cut. Only had to freehand in non critical areas, less smoothing with sureform plane required.
Anticipating needing to fair the bottom of the board, I recessed the inserts an additional 3mm or so.
Similar process to the mast box.
Tinted some filler to repair the nose from where I T boned the houseboat.
Three layers of 4oz. glass.
Switched to a 10" box a bit further back to allow more experimenting.
Guide moved again while routering.
Sanded, more layers of glass.
Getting a bit frustrated as days going by, my recess not filling.
Think I did 4 layers of 4 oz., decided I needed to fill.
Tinted red again to aid colour matching.
But since I had a lot of filler, I was squeezing in a lot of pigment.
The dropper thing shot out of the bottle, dumping about 25 mil. of pigment in.
Well I wanted red......
To be continued......
Sanded the red filler, more glass with red resin, progressively overlapping the old skin.
And decided I was never going to colour match the red. Instead of a bad red patch, would add a white stripe.
Tempted to go for the Search "Nozza" scheme, even masked the logos to do it, changed my mind to a diagonal white stripe.
More filler, untinted, sanded.
December 20th now, Christmas looming.
Decided it was faired enough, time to find the box again.
Filed away the glass - much more successfully with thicker layers.
Filed box, fitted a fin.
Marked out the stripe, sanded.
First coat of paint.
Rushed the coats a bit over the next couple of days, unmasked on Christmas eve.
Christmas interruption, packed up boards, tools, deck pads and shifted base to Phillip Island on December 27th.
My plan was now to make a deck pad with the same diagonal white stripe as the board.
Red and white pads I had ordered for the Search had arrived.
Traced a pattern from the old pad.
Tried to mask off the railsaver with glad wrap, soaked the pad.
I was very heavy handed with the turps, resulting in most of Ventnor smelling like turpentine.
Let it soak overnight, cold, windy day gave the opportunity for more progress.
Waited as long as I could, checked the pad.
Peeled easily, re applied the soaked towels to the remaining glue.
Discovered I'd forgotten to bring a scraper, made do with a wide chisel.
Cleaned off easily.
I left the tail pad more because I have removed chunks of board trying to get them off in the past, rather than having any real expectation of using it.
Got the pattern to cut the new pad. Transferring the diagonal lines from bottom to top of board impossible without everything looking bent.
Ended up eying it through, confident you won't be able to see both sides of the board at once.
Found I'd also forgotten my pad cutter - used scissors resulting in the pad looking a bit like I chewed it out.
Stuck down in between trips to the BBQ to cook dinner.
Very pleased with the result.
December 29th, and back to the bottom of the board.
Wet sanded the white, then did the red to try and remove scratches.
Sprayed on clear coat, but ran out so it ended up a bit patchy.
Will fix later.
Fitted the forward fin.
Then cut and painted blanking plates for the forward box.
So December 30, I'm calling Gundawindy finished.
To be continued......
Morning of December 31, time for sea trials.
First in SUP mode.
Did a 5km loop in a similar time to I would on a 14' board, which surprised me a bit.
Helmy and family arrived, breeze up, time for windsup mode.
Initially didn't feel much different, except I was pointing way higher than Helmy on a 10'6" Nalu.
Steered up and down easily, steered through a tack quickly.
Accelerated in gusts well, didn't feel too "stiff", or inclined to trip over the fin.
And could make ground upwind, tacking.
Helmy took over.
Very pleased with the result, both the look and performance of the board.
And with these two boards, If I can't find a way to amuse myself on the water in any conditions, I'm not trying!.
Or The Beginning - had several more windsup sessions now, lots of fun.
Nice paddle today in SUP mode, wife found Robdog's 10'6" allrounder very nice to paddle in pretty choppy conditions.
Great posting Nozza !!!
Good research and everything explained/photographed really well
Thanks for sharing!