Centreboard - Richard Thorpe

After my rudder snapped I discovered that the foils were both made from a single plank of wood covered in a single layer of very thick glass. The rudder smelled distinctly of pine, so I decided that a new centreboard would be prudent before that too failed.

I started looking about for somebody to build a new blade for me and naturally turned to the internet. I looked at the UK builders, but also came across Phil's foils in Canada. I contacted Phil initially because he could build a board and ship it to the UK for less than a board from a UK manufacturer.

Phil site was useful, providing lots of information about shape and stiffness characteristics of a blade. I contacted Phil and we started discussing the possible construction options, shape details and such. I spent a lot of time lying on my back measuring the blade and centreboard slot, while Phil converted it to a sensible design and sent back questions and renderings.

Eventually we settled on a shape size and composition. That only left surface finish. The choice was clear, white or graphite. I chose the graphite finish as it should make control of the blade in the slot easier. Phil has produced a blade with a black head and translucent blade, this gives the board a fantastic translucent effect.

The photos below show the board being manufactured.


The blade is machined from a laminated blank using a computer controlled milling machine. This ensures the board exactly matches the design.


Immediately post machining.


Just about finished.


All Done!