About this blog
This all started because of moving house.Not as many places to fly although i was very near a large common pasture ( Beverley Westwood )
In the summer the place is full of dog walkers , children , cows and cow sh#t and lots of grown men in rupert bear trousers hitting little white balls
with bats ,then trying to find them in the rough grass.
But in winter its a bit of a bleak place the walking sh#it machines have gone indoors or into burgers and only the hardiest dog walkers tackle the mud and slopes.
I had a short time kite buggying around the westwood , the ground was not great with a fair few slopes but it was almost doable, but after a few near misses with dog walkers who dont seem to have the first clew about theirs or there dogs safety i started to think about ways to make life a little easier.
Que Mr Holgate ....
Lets convert our kite buggy into a land yacht !!!!
( spoken with an aussie twang )
After sitting through a few videos and reading some forum posts i contacted JH , a few messages and a few kind words and the build was on.
I must apologise at this point for the blatant and fully intentional copy of the Blowmax ,i must also let you all know i am not an engineer by any stretch of the imagination , i dont have pots of money to throw at projects , i dont have a competative bone in my body but i do know how to laugh at myself and dont take life to seriously......
I am quite content to plod up and down a freezing cold beach on my own giggling like a girl whenever i manage to powerslide or go through a bit of water.
My buggy started life as a standard flexi bought from BigE second hand.
I was kindly given a new front end and downtube by Redsky which improved the bug massively allowing me to stretch my legs more.
Next came a buggybagman seat , again from BigE which made the bug so much more comfortable and gave plenty of support
( at 6ft 2 and 100kg i aint no lightweight )
and if the seat worked for E then i should be ok ( not often i have to look up to speak to someone but E is Big )
A set of midi lites for the rear and midi upfront completed my frankenbug.
I found tons of info about land yacts and how to build them , i read so much info from chook on a couple of sites and again blatantly copied what i thought might work.
For a guy who so obviously excels at his chosen sports , Chooks posts were all so positive and helpfull and not full of YOU MUST GO FASTER,YOU MUST WIN even though he does !!!!
I started collecting bits and pieces for the build.
I am lucky that we have a contractor at work who does all our pipe fitting and welding (stainless Dave ) all in stainless steel.
For the cost of a couple of bottles of rioja ( thats wine , thats red , thats not in tinnies ( ; ) i could get most of my welding done to a good standard.
First thing was to extend my axle from the standard 1000mm to 1550 , dont know why 1550 , it just seemed a good number.
This at least should give me more stability and less chance of tipping , at least that was my theory and a lot of people in the know seemed to agree.
The new axle diameter is 46mm , this has added a fair bit of weight but i think its a good move
Next came the mast step supports , these are made from 10mm thick alloy ( ebay £8 )
These were measured up and drilled to fit over the downtube without any mods/drilling to the downtube.
The supports had to be packed out to accomodate the mast step , i used ptfe sheet ( £6 off ebay ) for this ,very strong ,easy to work with and cheap.
I sandwiched 1mm rubber sheet between the ptfe , support plates and the downtube my theory was this may give a slight flex to the support rather than the downtube taking all the torsional twist under load , on the other hand i could be talking boll#cks.
Next came the mast step , 500mm long ,60mm ID s/s tube.
I had 2 M12 studs welded to the front of the mast step , these were to fasten the braces on that would go to the back axle.
Also a fastening point for the downhaul pulleys + a cleat to tie the downhaul too.
The mast step is held by one bolt , this will allow the mast to be angled (rake ) 7 degrees approx , a lot of conflict on the amount of rake on the forums , most people seem to agree between 3 and 10 degrees so again 7 seemed a good number.
At the moment the braces are fixed so the step angle cannot be easily altered , but in the future i will have new s/s braces made with turnbuckles on them , so the angle can be easily altered , for now i need to prove the project works.
The braces i have used are scaffold poles ( total overkill ) but they were free and alloy so no rust.
Whilst doing all this i managed to bag myself a mast ( carbon ) ,boom and sail ( 5.5 mtr single cam baton ) for £30.
The sail is not in the best condition , but again it will do to prove the concept ( or not )
Once i had the braces mounted , they are bolted to the mast step and fixed with U bolts to the axle , i realised how much more solid they made the bug feel.
I put a reducing sleeve inside the mast step , then inserted a 1.5 mtr length of scaff pole into the reducer/step.
The scaff pole has 150mm slots cut in the top end to allow flex.
The mast then sits on this scaff pole , the pole goes 1mtr into the mast and 450mm into the mast step.
The mast rotates freely on the scaff pole , although i have not fixed the scaff pole in place and cant decide if i should or not. ???
The scaff pole has a cap on the end and i have put a squash ball in the mast step for the whole thing to rotate on.
Still a fair way to go but lets get the sail on this thing.
The sail has a single cam baton , i have never been near a windsurfer before so this all looked a little odd.
Do you slide mast along the cam or do you get mast in the luff tube then try and pop the cam onto the mast ? ( listen to me with all the technical words , normal service will be resumed shortly )
Anyway i got the big flappy thing on the long stick and popped on the little plasticky bit ( thats better )
I had the buggy on its side at this point to make it easier to mount the mast , once all in place i set the buggy back on its wheels.
The 1st thing i noticed was how high the mast was and how big the sail looked.
The 2nd thing i noticed was my neighbour storming towards me because i had blocke all his windows !!! ooops.
As i set the bug back on its wheels i realised how rigid it was with the braces , almost no twist at all , i hope thats a good thing.
The sail looked pretty good although as mentioned not the best example , then i started to sort out the downhaul.
I am using a triple block at the sail end and a double at the mast step.
Once i started pulling on the downhaul line the sail took on a completely new shape , the mast started to get pulled back by the downhaul ( probably about a metre from vertical ) and the sail eventually became drum tight over all its area.This is when all the posts that chook had made about downhaul made sense.
It was now time to set up the main sheet line.
I now realised my pulley blocks are probably to small , i only have 6mm main sheet line when i reckon it should be 10-12mm ???
What the hell , i can get new pulleys later i need to finish this so i can sail , drive,ride it over christmas.
The mainsheet line was just overlapping the bottom edge of the sail and i was worried this may cause an issue when the sail changes side.
More images on the web and it seems a lot of land yachts have an extension off the back rest which seems to cure this problem.
Lots of rummaging in the garage but nothing springing to mind then a eureka moment , old bike handlebar stem , piece of stainless tube , drill a hole , bit of string , now this is my type of engineering and the rear backrest extension thingy is born.
Now i could carry on with this blog and say how well it went , how fast i went , how much fun i had and how much cow sh#t i got on my tyres but the truth is , its 2 days until christmas and with a wife , 3 children , 3 grandchildren a dog and probably a partridge in a pear tree i wont get to try this for at least another week so for now
Thats all folks