Sliding Leeboard Mount for PDRacerBy Al Beck #382 "I Swan" (1ar)
When I was making my PDR I wanted to reduce weight so I could carry it to the water and I wanted to be able to experiment with different sail configurations so I had no clue where the lee board should be located. I planned to use an old lateen sail which I had for my 18 foot Folbot kayak, but thought I might want to make a different sail and perhaps fly a jib. I built a small bowsprit for the stays I would need for the old Folbot mast. Since I sail a small lake with several very shallow areas, I wanted a swing up lee board. When I used to sail up on the Chesapeake Bay shallows I had a Pearson 30 with a swing keel which I used to call "my shallow water depth sounder." Having a lee board swing up sure beats sitting aground waiting for high tide.
I decided that I needed a leeboard mount which could slide fore and aft along the gunnel so I could adjust the balance to minimize weather helm effect. I did not want to have a series of holes in the side for bolting on the leeboard so I made a "sandwich" mount to just fit over the gunnel and provide for a bolt on outboard leeboard. I have considered but not made some holes in the leeboard mount and gunnel to pin it in place since it has considerable friction and has not tended to float or vibrate loose. Perhaps if I go to a large lake like Allatoona (South-east Regional), Kerr (Carolinas mess about), or Eufaula (Sail Oklahoma/2011 worlds) I would fasten it in to simplify capsize issues. I do not plan to capsize since my decision for a sliding leeboard mount also influenced me to build my PDR in the front and rear airbox tradition rather than the side air box design which is better for capsize (less water shipped).
I drilled a center hole to mount the leeboard with a ½ inch galvanized bolt and washers. This bolt is tightened to create enough friction that the board will stay in position until it hits something or I lift on the handle. When I first tried out the leeboard I was pleased that my guess worked out close for location so I made a small tape mark on the inside of the hull which I use every time I reinstall the board to go sailing.