Freehand Windvane Trim Tab Problem

The glass laminated Freehand trim tab on a friend’s BCC is peeling off the wood core. Based on my experience with polyester resin glass laminate over wood, the bond between wood and polyester laminates is inferior compared to epoxy. I do not know if the glass work was done my the original owner or Freehand. Regardless, has anyone else experienced this problem?


The Freehand I have is just wood, no glass, epoxy or other plastic products…I’d bet it was a owner job at some point.

Ben is right, Mike doesn’t use glass over wood construction.

I had a very experienced shipwright tell me to never use polyester to laminate to wood. Always use epoxy. Good point Rod.

Rod, this is Mike Anderson responding to the glassed over trim tab problem…
I’ve never in the 23 years of building the trim tab for the Freehand System ever glassed over the trim tab. No reason for it. Someone got a bug up there ____, and thought they could improve it…no reason to. If one wants to go the extra step in protection of there trim tab from the elements, then I recommend Creosote directly on the fresh wood, (couple of coats too) then bottom paint.
Mine has been fine for 23 years.



I initially thought the “panels” I pulled off the trim tab were fiberglass, I did a closer inspection today, the “panels” are built up layers of bottom paint. I was fooled.

What material did you use for the bearings in the trim tab gudgeons? The trim tab is very stiff when you turn it. I loosened the screws holding the top bearing to the rudder head but that did not help. I also slid the top stop collar down the shaft and attempted to lift the shaft up but had no success. Any suggestions?

The windvane is on Sumio’s (sp) BCC he sold.