Replacing a Fanatic Windsurfing U Shaped Pin

After recently acquiring some older windsurfing gear, I was introduced to a lot of old parts and connector systems. Namely, rather than the modern connection systems, a 1990’s era Fanatic board use a U shaped pin to secure the windsurfing board’s female end with the mast’s male end. A stainless steel pin is then slid through existing holes to trap the mast from pulling out. The downside to this system, at least for me, was that the pin was lost while not in use as it’s not permanently attached to either the board or the mast extension. So I built a DIY pin.

It’s a very hard part to find, but as as temporary fix I went to my local Home Depot (hardware store) and found 3.5″ (3 1/2) common nails, the size also referred to as 16d. These were bright with a smooth shank.

At that length and with the bright coating, these are the perfect snug fit into the Fanatic board’s connector. I then tied some rope (in my case, I had some paracord) between the two ends with a single knot and viola, a makeshift pin! After taking it out for a few hours on the water, the pin didn’t move at all! The box of nails cost me around $4, while a replacement pin from a windsurfing shop with lots of old parts cost me $10. Needless to say, it’s a great fix and the box of nails makes 20+!

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