After many moons, I almost completed the sailrig in time for the annual pilgrimage to Westport MA (the OTHER Westport...). Spent one more day at the beach finishing and then sailed....
Had a rudder attachment failure, quickly fixed with the appropriate part from West Marine in Newport (should have done it right the first time...) and then, while enjoying some decent wind, the leeboard started cracking and snapped, while sailing with it on the windward side. Boat still sailed home fine with some lateral slippage...
leeboard was built to design with a layer of 4 oz glass wrapping the outside.
Fortunately, I had supplies with me so I smoothed out rough edges, layed a layer of 6 oz glass through the split and wrtapped the whole thing with two layers of the 4 oz that I had as well.
Having repaired it AND reinforced it, I decided to see if it made any difference....
Better wind next day, it worked well, even under strain. It would bend a little more on the windward side than leeward, I noticed.....might be because more of it is out of the water on that run...? Held up well under similar stress to that which broke it previously...sailed up and down and around with only issue being the need for a few paddle strokes about half the time when tacking. I also added the weight of an @ 50 lb rock to the front cockpit as I was sailing solo and sitting in the back of three cockpits - definitely helped.
On my last run coming back into the Westport river mouth from Buzzard's Bay, I was surfing along some waves with a good breeze pushing me (awesome...) when a large fishing boat blew by and sent a couple of good sized waved right against the leeboard...SNAP!....sailed it back to the boathouse (home) with some lateral slippage and decided to enjoy the other recerational opportunities, and my family for the remainder of the week.
I talked with some local sailors and a wooden boat builder about the leeboard issue and the consensus was to beef up leeboard and/or add a cheek plate or more surface area to the leeboard bracket.
I'm curious if anyone else had experienced issues with the leeboard failing..? I'm SURE someone will have some advice to share.. (please!)
PS -TONS of compliments on the kayak and sailrig from sailors and non alike, of course - thanks CLC!