I was at Alvord dry lake in South Eastern Oregon having a great time buggying with several of my North West Buggy Pilots Assoc. friends when I spotted some dirt boats a few miles up the lake. I had lusted for a dirt boat for some time and was just about to order a Twin Manta so I thought I would go visit the land sailors and get their opinion on the sport. While talking to them one fellow mentioned that his dirt boat was for sale as he was almost done with a much larger high tech unit. Well, he made me an offer I could not refuse. So I bought this very nice dirt boat at a very good price and the demo ride convinced me.The picture on the left is my demo ride at Alvord dry lake. This unit uses a wind surfer sail and boom and came with a 4.0 meter sail, and a 16 ft. sectional aluminum mast, as well as a larger 5.5 meter wind surfer sail that had been cut along the bottom and intended for a standard boom. It has a wheel barrow front tire and wide airplane tires on the rear. Once the tread gets to thin for a small private airplane these tires are discarded but they have lots of life left in them for land sailing. I have since made a conventional boom for the large sail and have purchased two more sails. The picture on the right is the modified sail and conventional boom. One of the wind surfer sails I bought is 3.5 meters for higher winds and the other is 6.0 meters for lighter winds. Good used wind surfer sails can be purchased from $40 to $150. For anyone interested in a used windsurfer sail or related equipment see Windance at Hood River Oregon. The 3.5 meter will use the wind surfer boom configuration and the 6.0 meter will use the conventional boom configuration. On a day I hit 45 mph on my buggy at Alvord the dirt boat hit 48 mph using the 4.0 meter wind surfer sail.
The picture on the left was taken by Steve Irby of my demo ride. The 5.5 meter sail was used but it was just wrapped around the boom and not pulled tight for good performance.The picture on the right is after I sewed a boom pocket on the bottom of the sail. I have since modified it further to move the sail control rope attachment to the boom directly above its pulley on the aft end of the buggy.This pulls the boom lower and gives the sail a better shape. I have also added a padded headrest. If anyone is interested in having a dirt boat made then contact Rich Crinch, Wind Techniques Inc. at 22982 Vintage Lane, Bend Oregon 97701, Phone (541) 382-7840. He does good work at more than competetive prices. He is currently concentrating on welded sculptures art work but can probably fit a land sailor in if you are not in a big hurry. I am really happy with the one I bought from Rich, it is too much fun. I have already used it at Washaway Beach in Grayland and intend to go to Sunset Beach in Oregon soon.
Here is a picture with the wind surfer sail and boom. This was taken on the beach at Grayland Wa. As you can see this is a smaller sail and it took 12mph wind speed to get going good. The larger sail should be good for the beach.This other picture with Mike Powell driving the yacht and me on the buggy demonstrates that buggys and dirt boats can share the same beach.
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