Using Windsurfer for blank

A local windsurfing/surfing shop has and old board that they are giving away. I want to take it and use it for a blank for a longboard. What would it take, or how, do I remove the Epoxy skin on these. Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated. I’m going to use this to make my first board so I figured that I would rather do this then waste a new clark foam or EPS blank on my first board. The only thing I’d like to change is adding a stringer. I really would like one. I’d like to make this board into a clone of a fish I had as a kid. Short, thick, and loose twin fin design.

OK, which is it, a fish shorty or a longboard???

As for skinning the sailboard, just sand thru the rails at the peak, then peel off the epoxy resin and glass. Depending what kind of sailboard, it might be pure glass, matt, divinicell, 3/32 Aussie Pine, carbon, kevlar, or any combination of the above.

If you’d like to name the sailboard, I might be able to identify not only it’s composition, but also make a recommendation regarding the suitability of the blank for either one of the two completely different boards you are trying to make.

Either way, you’re gonna waste about 150 on the materials, as epoxy resin would cost you close to $75, cloth about $45, finbox, fin, sandpaper, and all the other shaping and glassing materials.

I think that by the time you rip off the epoxy skin…assuming it’s just one skin and not a glass-denser foam-glass sandwich over a very light foam core, which is quite possible with mass produced boards…you’re going to have a very unsuitable blank at best, let alone slicing it in half to put a stringer in it which is only likely to make it more horrible. Rather than worrying about wasting a blank to make your first board, why not think in terms of how to make your first board both as easily and as well as possible.

So, buy a blank to make your fish out of ( see the Archives for appropriate blank choices) - they are relatively cheap. Why make life any more difficult than it has to be?

Though as something to practice on to get your technique down and get a feel for the tools and what they can do, the ol’ thang is probably ideal. You’ll have a fair job of work getting the skin off: I’d set a skilsaw shallow and make passes about 6" apart, nose to tail, then pull the strips off while running a blade along on top of the foam, kinda like filleting a codfish.

hope that’s of use


NOW I know why I hate to clean and filet fish, I’ve always sliced under the meat, near the bone, and try to peel off a nicely thick slice of good eating fish.

Next time, I’m gonna do as you say, take a skill saw set half the depth of said fish, cut 6" apart, and peel.

YUMMMM… my tummy awaits.

haha good one lee. Well I’ve been wanting to build a longboard, but I don’t think this one would be good. It’s an OLD sailboard made for lakes, not a wave board. I don’t know the brand, and don’t know if it’s on there or not. I don’t own a truck so I have to wait until a buddy of mine can get his, then we’ll go and pick it up. I was thinking of using it for a longboard, but after thinking about the center board cut through, I figured I may be able to get about 6’ out of it to build a fish. I can keep it thick and short like my old board used to be. For the longboard, I’d definatly need to fill the hole from the centerboard or something similar. Plus I thought I MAY be able to get away with a shorter board with no stringer. That or see what the local EPS guy would charger to put a stringer in. I just have little cash right now to waste, so I wanted to practice shaping a board and glassing one before working on my 9" longboard that I want to build. I have bought the glassing 101 video and read through the archives for a number of things I’m looking for. I just figured if I can get some materials for free and practice, hell even if I just made the neighboars 6 and 10 year olds surfboards for material costs it would be better then nothing.

Sure, good fun when destroying anything is involved.

I used to love taking things apart, just to see…

Before you spend any money glassing it, take the time to justify the total cost of glassing the menagerie.

Said sailboard is prolly epoxy styro, can be poly, or a mix of both. Just a name and model I could maybe tell you. Length from 13’ Meritex to 12’4" anything else to 10’ 6" transition board. I’m possibly the foremost historical expert on windsurfing that will come into this forum. Should be, worked in windsurf shops from '83 to '02.

Cost of 6’9" H, for fish, is about 65 bucks. Cost of poly resin is about $30, glass for about $40. You can make fins and leashcup with left over glass and resin, to save $$.

Cost of epox resin can run you $70. Cloth 40. You need more expertise to shape and glass styro, as it likes to chunk and not sand.

And you might read up on the current links here about glassing styro…not the easiest for any kind of durablility, but can be done with expertise and years of glassing experience.

Just how big a chunk of spare $$$$ is burning a hole in your wallet?

i got an old glass windsurfer that was about 4" and ten feet long and tired to do the same thing… the problem i ran into was the mast box, they sink those things very deep into the board and by the time i rourted it out i was more then half way through leaving me with less then a 2" inch thick blank… i eventully shipped it to the landfill uncompleated and then spent a few hours sweeping up the mess… a better use for it would be to find an old rig and learn to sail the thing, i got my first windsurfing set up from Goodwill for $50 and i can say it was the best thing i ever did… windsurfing is the perfect complemnt to surfing if you live in a high wind area (hawaii, sf, etc), as i tell my friends when the are bitichin about the blown surf “i have made my peace with the wind”

I windsurfed for about 2 years. I had a trailer I bought with 4 boards and complete setups. I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t find any friends that even wanted me to teach them how to do it. I just figured if I could get some foam for cheap and practice my shaping and glassing it would be a decent deal. I’ve seen threads about $35 boards in the archives using Foam from home depot and just figured this may give me a foam blank for free. I don’t have a ton of free time to stip the blank as I have 3 automotive projects (340 hp new beetle, 16v turbo VW cabriolet and a 1978 chopper), that take up alot of my time. I just really enjoy surfing and unlike my other projects this one would actually allow me to enjoy the beach and get some time where I REALLY like to be. Plus once I make my initial investment the shaping may be a way I can make a few $$$ to recoupe my costs from my friends that want boards. I really miss surfing as often as I used to, but want to get a quiver that I can ride just about all the time. My current 6’8 is great on some days, and useless for me( 5’8, 220lbs) on other days. Since this is something my friends actually enjoy learning (I’m teaching them), it’s a good way for all of us to bond and enjoy our time. I have also always enjoyed makeing my own stuff and learning to fabricate all kinds of things. I’m a fairly well know guy in the VW turbo community and learn all my stuff under the car before and after work. I want to try and do the same thing surfing. I figure if I can make my own boards and get decent at it, I can help become proficient at another one of my hobbies. I really appreciate the help and advice I’ve recieved by alot of the “old timers” on here and be sure to take that advice for the years or even decades of hard work that went into gaining that knowledge.

JJP, too bad you thinned out the whole blank. I would have left just the cavity, and filled it with foam.

About 2/3rds of my windsurf gear are freebie throwaways from other people, mostly 3-7 years old.

Freebie stuff… at least 6 boards.

                     20+ sails from 1995 and newer 

                     7+ masts that cover the range, all twopiece carbon, but some  

                          stuck together 

                     5 booms to cover the range 

                     I use my storebought bases from '98 still 

                     Ditto fins.

i was planning on filling the mast area with the left over foam and epoxy in there to “glue” it in. I know expoxy isn’t cheap, but I was guessing if I can make a fish like my old one that I loved before my father sold it when I moved off for college. $100 in materials would be well worth it.

$94.50 9’0" N with 1/4" pvc Stinger $94.50

$30.80 10yds C06-1297 6 oz. X 27", E Glass, Warp Cloth $3.08

$??? Leash Cup

$??? Fin Box

$30 Fins

$50 Resin/hardner

this is my cost breakdown for my longboard I was going to make. I figured if I can cut out that $90 blank I could make my first board attempt much less financially difficult. Maybe even spend that money on a planer and a surform

Impressive thread. I dont think I’ve even SEEN a cod, but when I need to skin one I’ll use Doc’s Sawzall method. Must be meeeaaan buggers. Anyways, it is really important to consider not only cost but your experience gained into the untility equation. A real blank will be close to the shape; REALLY close. The windsurfer might be too thick and too bellied. It will most likely be off-template so you will need to restructure a new foil to your new outline. Might consider leaving the poor thing alone, or burying it for the archaeologists to study one day…

It has to be a mighty big codfish before I break out the skilsaw…

Apropos of nothing much, old, dull industrial hacksaw blades make great fillet knives, once you grind 'em to shape. Thin, flexible spring steel that takes a great edge. They don’t try to resharpen them so you can generally get all you want for free. If you’re really fanatic, you can retemper them to something you like, after grinding to rough shape.

I start on a codfish at a point forward of the dorsal fin, run the knife tip along the bones ( gives a feel like running a stick along a picket fence) and make long sweeps back while rolling the fillet up and out of the way of the blade, generally leaves too little meat on the bones to make a decent fish stock from 'em.

Generally, I like the skin off the fish fillet before I cook it. Hold the end of the fillet to the table or board with your thumbnail, skin-side-down, take your knife and work the edge along the skin, away from you, to peel the meat off the skin quite nicely. Though your thumbnail kinda gets gummed up after a few fish. There’s a fish-house tool for doing that instead of the thumbnail, you nail a bottlecap to the end of a short piece of broomstick and use that bottlecap edge to hold the fillet skin. Works like a charm.

doc… did I ever mention I used to work in a fish house??..

Oh, one more thing before we completely hijack your thread with fish stories…

Lam-ing a styro blank is more complicated than glassing a poly blank.

You have to insure complete lamination with styro blanks, either stiple, vacuum bag, rough shape, or use of exotics.

You should spackle/seal the lam coat before moving to hot.

Stringers are not needed if you glass strong, use big laps.

You need woodie reinforcements around boxes and leash plugs, tied thru to other skin.

for Cod sakes…

all I need is a recipe and I’ll have the cod thing covered…

cod forbid…

The way my late fishing buddy Phil Burke liked to do fish, so they’d eat it even after 10 days working on a fish dragger, was this.

Take the skinned fillets of fish, roll them in beaten egg and then some flour to which he added salt, pepper and a little bit of celery salt. Fry 'em in butter over a low heat until barely golden brown, then pop 'em into a medium oven ( ‘medium’ was as close as it got with the old oil-fired Shipmate stoves) while you’re cooking the rest of the fish you have for supper. And let 'em all sit for maybe 15 minutes, and plate 'em up.

Me, I took that a little further, freely stealing from Howard Mitcham’s Provincetown Seafood Cookbook. After you finish with sauteeing the fish, add a little more butter to the pan and some slivered almonds and toast the little devils some, barely browned. Toss in some chopped green onions if you like, just a little for color and flavor. Put in a little fresh lemon juice to deglaze the pan ( get the nice crunchy bits ) and reduce it a little and you have Fish Almondine. Nice with cod, great with haddock and pretty good with flounder.

oh, cod, all this floundering around has given me a haddock…


Didn’t you forget to mention wood chips in your recipe, Doc?

For Doc’s sake…

Ah, that’s grilled cod… basted with a little olive oil which has had some herbs steeped in it, plus maybe a little raspberry vinegar whisked in, grilled over a hot oak fire with apple chips added. Best to do it on one of those fine-mesh fish-grilling grates, as cod tends to flake apart when it’s cooked just right. You could drizzle a little hollandaise sauce over it or not, depends on what you like.

hmmm…y’ know, a guy called doc who’s into cod… kinda figures how I sometimes get things backwards.

just in case you ever wanna dominate your local spot, keep the board. some guy was out surfing his windsurfer the other day and was getting in so early it was disgusting.

Oh for heavens Hake…

i give up.

I was just kidding about the recipe, now I feel compelled to go out and git me one of them tough-skinned buggers (just for the Halibut)… …my mouth is watering. Great thread…