Thursday, February 2, 2017

Off Center Board Part 2

The basic shaping of the board has been completed.  Per Dave Z's suggestion I roughed it out with a power plane (a vintage Skill 100!) which worked really well (thanks Dave).   I then used a 3x24 belt sander with the coarsest belts I could find - #30 - to finish the shaping.  Looks pretty good for me.

The wider leading edge is going to get a 5 foot piece of 1-1/2" steel round bar bedded and faired in with thickened epoxy.  Once that is done, the whole board will be wrapped in a couple layers of 10 oz fiberglass cloth set in epoxy resin.  The thinner trailing edge will be left flat and not rounded off.  Ideally, from a hydrodynamic point of view, it should taper to a knife edge.  But that would be fragile.  Also, if I rounded it off, this would create turbulence as well.  So it is best to square it off for the least turbulence.


  1. Nice shaping job. Wood surfboard makers do the same but to a finer degree..... and charge $1000 a longboard, usually.

    I never saw a reason Michalaks single offcenterboards wouldn't work on a larger scale save the brutish hardware involved. It always made a LOT more sense than a trunk and all its headaches and eliminated the flopping about of large traditional leeboards (which, to me, seemed entirely unseaworthy due to such huge mass being manipulated by a gale out at sea.... ripe for holing a hull or smashing a seamans hand). I am especially appreciative of your experimenting with leading edge steel protection that doubles as ballast.... if it works then so much nicer than messing with melted lead. Plus a super robust bottom scraper and grounding alarmer!!! Right on.

    Given your particular beam-length ratio it will be neat to see how your offcenterboard works out with such a large hull. If well I imagine longer and trimmer box hulls might do even better. Once I mentioned to Jim MIchalak, in correspondence, that many of his hulls would be awesome bluewater boats if blown up double and I meant offcenterboards and all. Now you're about to proof it. Best wishes on it.

    1. Thanks Robert! I have some confidence in this working out well. It seems beefy and strong enough, and once wrapped with the epoxy/fiberglass I think it will be very strong.

      We are once again snowed in with the biggest dump of the season yet. I can't leave the house at all, and likely won't be able to until the end of the week. But I did get my steel bar and got it glued to the leading edge of the board with PL Premium. I have epoxy and I have wood flour, so I'll be able to fair it in over the next couple of days. I'll post again once that's done.