Tuttle Box Failure  

Run aground hard enough with your Tuttle fin, and the forward bolt will bend or tear through the deck, and the aft end of the fin root will be driven up into the box. Invariably, the aft face of the fin box cavity will be split. Depending on the make, the assembly may or may not leak into the board. Most Northshore Maui boards, for example, have such massive Divinycell cartridges surrounding their fin boxes, that hardly any of them leak, even when substantially mauled.

The aft face forms one half of the structure that counteracts the sideforces generated by the fin. Ergo, when split, you have lost one half the strength of your box. While it may not leak, this is positively a grave structural matter and needs to be addressed post-haste, lest you find yourself stranded without a functioning fin.

How to repair such a split box? Can it be patched in some way?

Below the typical cross section of an upscale production Tuttle box:

If one were to a attempt a repair from within the fin box cavity, such repair would

1. interfere with fin fit; and

2. be stressed in peel strength of the lamination, which is its most vulnerable direction - especially so since surface prep in this situation would be marginal at best.

No, I'm afraid the only reliable fix consists of removal and replacement of the entire box assembly

Russ does everything in a big way - including this collision that ripped the entire Tuttle box assembly out of his Thommen.

First challenge was to cut away the box so as to save the fin, which was amazingly unharmed

Top of the new deep Tuttle box, with a recess routed out for the new break-away lid
New box in place, with the fin bolts now terminating at deck level, rather than the weak recesses that are so unfortunately so fashionable
new box vs old bits

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