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Old 10-01-2017, 18:37   #1
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Shoal draft keel

Some of the Pearson and Tartan have shoal draft keels with a swing keel up inside that can dropped down to help point. The Pearson are more affordable over the Tartan, but that's not apples to apples. The reason I'm asking is I like the Tartan but wonder what problems do these swing keels have with growth and able to operator freely up and down inside each other?
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Old 10-01-2017, 19:05   #2
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Re: Shoal draft keel

I've owned a Tartan 37 CB, for 23 years haven't had any problems. Drop the board out of the boat about every 8 years. Sometimes the first of the year it's seems slow to drop, but a couple of ups and downs it works fine. The boat does point well with the board down. It is a centerboard, not really a swing keel. It has very little weight, maybe 50lbs.
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Old 10-01-2017, 20:55   #3
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Re: Shoal draft keel

I've not heard of problems of note with CB's, pretty much regardless of the make of the boat. Though as puffcard says, from time to time they can be a little stiff if they sit for extended periods unused. And we've had several in the family over the years without incident.
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Old 10-01-2017, 22:03   #4
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Re: Shoal draft keel

The interior of the centerboard trunk, as well as the centerboard, needs to have anti-fouling paint applied, same as your hull. I have found that the board tends to foul slower than the hull, perhaps due to the stagnant water inside the trunk or maybe the reduced sunshine that it receives.

The mechanism used to raise and lower the board requires regular inspection and occasional replacement of the cable and sheaves or pulleys. The actual pivot pin should be closely checked for wear. All this is typically done when hauled.

Whilst in the water, typically the boards have only enough weight to overcome their tendency to float, so they are deployed by gravity and retrieved easily.

This is not true of actual "swing keel" boats. These devices are heavily ballasted, and are much more of an engineered solution.

Centerboards are handy devices, useful for trimming the sailing performance of the boat. Different points of sail, or wind conditions, can benefit from adjustments to the depth of the board. And of course you can always crank the board fully up and go where deep keels fear to go.
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Old 15-01-2017, 14:58   #5
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Re: Shoal draft keel

With the board up or down, in heavy weather does water splash up through where the cable runs from the hull to inside the boat like the old swing keel boats did, or does any water just end up in the bilge? I can't believe that no water gets inside the boat.
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Old 15-01-2017, 15:02   #6
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Re: Shoal draft keel

Zero water enters my boat, and I am confidant that is true for any properly designed centerboard. Just not possible, short some catastrophic failure.
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Old 15-01-2017, 15:25   #7
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Re: Shoal draft keel

I have not seen the boat yet but understand that a cable runs up to the deck top side by the mast. Is that what you have seen?
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Old 15-01-2017, 16:54   #8
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Re: Shoal draft keel

Dockhand, Having owned a Morgan 25 CB some years ago, I can only echo the poster who suggested regular maintenance if you want troublefree operation. Antifouling the trunk as well as the centerboard / regular maintenance on the operating mechanism, with attention paid to the pivot pin. We lost a centerboard due to a pin failure and the resultant trouble in replacement was far more than the required maintenance.
I had to fly to FL (Morgan factory) from PR and Eastern Air Lines wanted to charge me for a "surfboard"! George
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Old 15-01-2017, 17:42   #9
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Re: Shoal draft keel

Looked at one 24' CB boat sunk by a broken cable. Lift cable was horizontal in bottom of bilge and exitted the hull via a stuffing box arrangement. Cable/rod had snapped and was pulled out past the packing. Only advice here is to eyeball the setup if you can or get a drawing of it and ask yourself "what if....?". Bad design in this case, no failsafe consideration.
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Old 15-01-2017, 18:25   #10
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Re: Shoal draft keel

Having a hard time getting info from the broker, not an old Pearson dealer and owner died.
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