Leeboards with Unbreakable, Larger Blades
Our standard leeboards are tough, but these are tougher. The blades on these leeboards are made from polycarbonate, a super-break-resistant plastic known by the brand name "Lexan." This same material is used in bullet-proof windows, crash helmets, fighter-jet canopies, and police riot shields. It will not crack or shatter, not even if you bash it on a rock.
These blades are also larger, with a large "reserve area" that is normally above the water line but when your boat heels over in a strong wind, the leeboard on the downwind side is forced deeper, putting more of its blade area into the water. This makes up for the fact that the leeboard on the upwind side is being lifted out of the water by the tilting of the boat. The total area of leeboard blade in the water, counting the wetted area on both leeboards, remains more nearly constant under varying conditions.
Handles aquatic weeds better: Underwater weeds tend to catch on the top edge of a leeboard and can really slow you down and reduce the performance of the leeboard. The top edge of the unbreakable leeboard is higher and will usually not be underwater, so it can't catch weeds. And, since the long sides are straight rather than flaring out, this shape also helps to shed weed entanglement. The drag of the weeds on the leeboard may sweep them back somewhat, but that's okay -- they still do their job!
Sailing through the weeds with the unbreakable leeboards.
The top edge of the blade is not in the water, so it can't catch weeds!
What Leeboards Do For You
Leeboards perform the function of a center board or dagger board -- a fin in the water that reduces side slippage when sailing across the wind or upwind, so the boat goes forward more and sideways less.
The white polycarbonate-blade leeboard can be substituted into your purchase of a sail kit, sailboat or leeboard set by adding the "Leeboard Upgrade" item to your cart along with your purchase of a product that includes leeboards. Item 5092 (click). $49 additional.
Can also be purchased on their own (ie, not as an upgrade), $99/pair. Item 5093 (click)
Polycarbonate ("Lexan") blade leeboard is the white one on the left. Standard blade is on the right.
Advantages of the polycarbonate blade:
1) Unbreakable plastic.
2) Blade continues farther up the shaft, so, in a strong wind when the boat heels over, lifting the blade on the upwind side partially out of the water, the leeboard on the downwind side puts more blade area into the water. More area immersed means more holding power against side slippage.
3) The polycarbonate blade is actually lighter weight, even though it has more area, because it is thinner.
4) When used with the inflatable boat sail kit, the unbreakable blades allow you to use a smaller sail kit bag (item 3012).
Here you see the standard blade superimposed on the polycarbonate blade, to better illustrate the comparison of blade area.
In many photos on our website you also see a leeboard that looks like a short paddle. We are phasing out that style in favor of these two designs.
Substitute an unbreakable pair into your sail kit order now click here ... or
Buy a pair of unbreakable blades (not as an order substitution) click here