Monday, June 3, 2013

Bilge Board Blues

While sailing at Cedar Key, the port bilge board pennant chafed almost all the way through.  I already knew that the bilge boards needed some attention because I could see the stainless steel banding that is wrapped around each board, coming loose but I figured that could wait.  The chafed pennant needed immediate attention so I jacked and dragged the Egret most of the way off the trailer in order to drop the board and replace the pennant.

Egret's flat bottom made for easy jacking and blocking.
The banding is separating from the board.  The boards are 1.25" thick and absolutely flat with square leading and trailing edges, yuck!

Nasty rotten ply core reveals itself as I drag the first board out from under the boat.
Might this have anything to do with Egret's lack of windward performance?
The latest in hydrodynamic leading edge profiles. 
When I lifted the board it literally split in two.  Both boards are in this shape.  The round pieces are lead.  Each board has about 25lb of lead in it.
Last but not least this is one of the monster 3/4" diameter board pivot bolts.  The head of the bolt fell off as I was putting a wrench on it.  Textbook case of crevice corrosion.  Bolt looks OK from the outside.
I'm trying to decide how much effort to put into building new boards.  The easiest solution it to just cut out new ply cores and re-bond the old 1/4" glass skins.  But then I'm still sailing around with crap shaped boards.  Foil shaped boards would look a lot better but I wonder if that would make any difference on a triangular ultra low aspect ratio board.  Hmmmm.


  1. You know what you have to do here, Simon. So do it.

    1. How about replacement boards shaped with MIK's leading and trailing edge templates?