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Old 05-12-2008, 09:53   #1
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center boards

I was looking on line at a 1985 45' "Morgan" with a C/B. My question was is whether a 45' boat with a normal draft of 5'4" is really going to sail any better with the board down at 7'5" draft. Is that little board really going to do anything? (not counting any of the aguements of the boards in general)
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:07   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I was looking on line at a 1985 45' "Morgan" with a C/B. My question was is whether a 45' boat with a normal draft of 5'4" is really going to sail any better with the board down at 7'5" draft. Is that little board really going to do anything? (not counting any of the aguements of the boards in general)
I met a cruiser about a year ago in Elizabeth City, NC who had glassed in his Morgan (I'm not sure of the size, I think it was a 45) a few years back and didn't notice much of a difference. What I didn't ask was how much time he spent going to windward in the first place.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:22   #3
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Regular keels do two things. First they reduce leeway. Second they increase righting moment from their weight. A centerboard is only going to decrease leeway so much since they don't weigh much compared to a regular keel. Additionally, centerboards on larger yachts also seem like an unnecessary complexity therefore increasing the chance of problems. Given that, I am puzzled why they bothered putting a centerboard on a relatively large yacht.

I would get a boat with a fixed keel over a centerboard given those factors.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:24   #4
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Aloha Don,
It does make a difference. If you drive hard to windward quite a lot it will make a significant difference. If that's not how you sail then it really will not be a significant difference. It is just a matter of how racey you want to be and how much mechanical and inherent problems with the centerboard you want to put up with. If you sail mainly in shallow water areas you will probably never use it.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:05   #5
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Just to try to get more actual experience/knowledge input from people who have been on a mid 40's boat with a centerboard. Guess I could calulate the extra moment that the board area is etc, but that is just another "number". Hope to heard something about whether it reduced lee, reduced heel by "X", allowed "X" more sail etc when going windward.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:34   #6
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here's an earlier thread on the subject:

Thoughts on Big Centerboarders?
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:41   #7
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Yeah read that thread, not really any discussiuon about the sailing pros/cons. Lots of talk about draft and problems etc., so the sailing part of a centerboard is missing from the puzzle.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Just to try to get more actual experience/knowledge input from people who have been on a mid 40's boat with a centerboard. Guess I could calulate the extra moment that the board area is etc, but that is just another "number". Hope to heard something about whether it reduced lee, reduced heel by "X", allowed "X" more sail etc when going windward.
Something to keep in mind is that there are not too many that have keels with an additional centerboard, so the total number of (pertinent) responses will be less. The number is further diminished a certain amount in that there will be people who, frankly can't or rarely do, sail to the ability of their boat. -- this is even more true for a cruising boat. Why pound to windward, centerboard down or not, when you could wait a day for more favorable conditions?

To add this, at least so far as I've noticed, most sailers who aren't racers don't keep that good of records. They have a feel for boat, as I am certain that fellow I met who had his glassed in. I am also certain he was right in that there was little effect. But again, without knowing what conditions he was sailing in, my question was sort of like asking him how useful he found his radar reflector.

As for how to get a more specific answer, I would try to ask an owner's group for the answer. It's likely to vary there, too. But there is a chance you'll get a truly detailed answer for that specific boat.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-12-2008, 08:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Just to try to get more actual experience/knowledge input from people who have been on a mid 40's boat with a centerboard. Guess I could calulate the extra moment that the board area is etc, but that is just another "number". Hope to heard something about whether it reduced lee, reduced heel by "X", allowed "X" more sail etc when going windward.
Don,

Can not give my thoughts on a 40' but will give you some on a 30'. I have a 30' Morgan with a center board. Just spent this last spring with the boat out of the water and one of the things( out of many) was working on getting the centerboard to work. Ended up putting a electric 12v accuater to raise and lower the board.......anyway, the wife and I just 2 weeks ago sailed from the Lower Keys across Florida Bay to the Middle Cape, it is a 25 mile trip and we did a broad reach all the way, 10 to 12 knt. wind out of the NNE. This has been our 5th trip and the first with the center board working. I have always taken into account drift of 5 degrees( boat moving sideways) on my dead reconning. I did also this time and saw a noticeable differents where we ended up on the the other side. Drift was minimal if not nil. I was suprised. It is hard to base it all on one trip and look forward to our next trip in May to give it another try but so far I am glad to have the centerboard working.

Where we weekend sail the water is 6' to 8' most of the time so we enjoy the just less than 4' draft the boat has and now look forward to some deeper water sailing.
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