TASAR DAGGERBOARDS - more than you wanted to know...

If you buy a new Tasar daggerboard or rudder blade today you will get a one-design GRP board made from a class approved mould. As part of the class drive to re-inforce the one-design nature of the class, all Tasar agents now source daggerboards from one builder.

This was not always the case!  If you buy a second hand Tasar your boat may come with any of 4 different generations.

1. Polyurethane:  When the Tasar was first built, Performance Sailcraft supplied the boats with a reinforced polyurethane daggerboard and rudder. They are less stiff than wooden or GRP boards, slightly thinner and a little heavier - none of which is considered a 'good thing'. In their favour is that they are robust and easy to repair, and because of this, despite having been out of production for 30 years, many of these are still in action.

2. Wooden:   When Performance Sailcraft stopped Tasar production, Frank Bethwaite organised the production of wooden blanks which Starboard Products supplied to Tasar sailors as part-built foils. In the UK copies of these were made by a number of builders and by some sailors. The most numerous seem to be those made by Phil Milanes of Milanes and White; and these remain the most sort-after foils for the Tasar.

3. UK GRP:   For a number of years Signal Locker (UK Tasar agent) supplied boards made by Alan Powell of Quicksilver.

4. One-Design:     From about 2005, the class has been taking a more strict attitude to the one-design nature of the class. One measure taken was to bring the production of daggerboard and rudders back to a single manufacturer, and for all board to be produced from certified moulds. These are now the only foils that are supplied for the Tasar.
If you are still with us... there are a number of things you probably want to know:-
  • Which type of daggerboard is best?
  • Are they all still legal for class racing?
  • Are they all the same size and design?
  • Do they all fit into the daggerboard box equally well?
Which type of daggerboard is best?

As you would expect, opinions differ. Most UK sailors would probably tell you that the wooden foils are stiffer and lighter and that this is a good thing. If you were to ask the top Australian sailors they would all say that the new boards are better. We think the fact is that a quality wooden board in good condition is probably the most efficient  -  however the condition of existing wooden boards varies greatly and not all were very good in the first place!

Are they all still legal for class racing?

For normal club racing in the UK, and at the UK Inlands and Nationals, all boards types are currently accepted. At the World Championships, only the one-design foils are acceptable  -  though it seems that this is enforced only for the top ranked boats.

Are they all the same size and design?

More or less...  The profile of all types is the same, except for an insignificant difference at the top of the daggerboard and a difference in shape of the rudder downhaul recess. The section differs however: the leading edges of the old polyurethane boards and rudders is not ideal - the GRP and most wooden foils are much closer to an accepted aerofoil shape.

We have weight and thickness information for all but the UK built GRP foils:-

Table 1:  Daggerboard weights and thickness:-
Type Weight
kg mm
Polyurethane 4.10 23.0
Wood 3.40 25.4
One-Design 3.44 24.5

Table 2:  Rudder weights and thickness:-
Type Weight Thickness
kg mm
Polyurethane 2.05 20.5
Wood 1.36 21.5
One-Design 1.81 22.5

Main conclusion:-
  • the wooden daggerboards are very similar in weight to the GRP boards  -  but they are almost 1mm thicker.
  • The original polyurethane boards are heavier and thinner.
Do they all fit into the daggerboard
box equally well?

Yes, but you will have to pack the sides of the daggerboard box slightly differently. Signal Locker's Daggerboard Packing Kit includes 3mm and 1mm 'bear tape', which is double sided acrylic foam. This is used to pack Teflon strips that are installed at the upper and lower sides of the box.  If you are using an original polyurethane board you will need an extra 1mm of bear tape. if you use a wooden board you will most likely need 1mm less thickness.

If this short explanation of how we got to where we are with Tasar foils has ignited a latent interest in the subject, you are very welcome to give us a call. We are always happy to talk to Tasar sailors about their boats !
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