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Old 05-06-2014, 21:20   #31
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

That's a good point.. Perhaps taping dyneema to a length of wire to pilot it thru the tubes and such... Dunno
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Old 05-06-2014, 23:17   #32
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

When I switched to Dyneema for the C/B cable ran, a short length of steel cable through and fastened the Dyneema line to that. Was super easy.

One thing to consider when switching to Dyneema is the length of the splice. The splices in these synthetics are long and hang up in the turning block in the bilge so the board won't go all the way up. The board only hangs down a few inches so it's no big thing and I live with it. Might use a knot instead of a splice if there is not enough room for the splice.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:48   #33
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Beard View Post
I'm about to own a Tartan 27 with a broken centerboard cable.. I plan on hauling it out anyway, but is this something I could replace while it's in the water? And is dyneema what I should use?
Hi Blu Beard,
I had a T27 and now have a T34 centerboarder as well...Way different CB systems...Actually prefer the simplicity of the T27 system

I don't believe this will be possible as you will not have enough clearance inside the half inch tube area where the wire is routed from while in the water...plus, if the cable broke, I assume the board is just hanging in the down position...unless when it broke, it broke on the drum/pulley area and the owner somehow was able to pull the board through the cable still attached to the board...If this is the cause, you can choose to fix this while in the water pretty easily...but I still advise to pull the board and get it all done while you have her on the hard...

I pulled my board on both boats soon after buying them...On both, I had so much "junk in the trunk" that I think I lost about 20 pounds of ballast! I drastically reduced the odds of having issues with the CB systems by just clearing out all crustaceans and repainting in there...

On the T27, I changed out the CB pivot pin from an old stainless screw with it's head chopped off to an actual stainless pin that fit neatly around the hole...The screw that was just before was undersized and was actually bent so the board constantly was swinging side to side and banging inside the trunk...Going with a pin that fit more snug fixed this...but as a member of the T27 group pointed out, this might not be a good idea to place all its weight and pressure on this pin...He mentioned the board should have the trunk as it support in case of side pressure thus, banging on the trunk walls...If possible, I recommend going a bit undersized on the pin instead and actually using some kind of custom bushings around each end of the pin...That way, if the board were to get pressure on its sides from waves, etc, all the pressure would not just be on the pin itself, but actually on the bushings and centerboard walls...

My cable was just stainless steel wiring you can get at hardware stores...but I was considering changing to that synthetic stuff you mentioned before I sold her...probably better off as I think that stuff won't fray like the stainless cabling can...

You will have to get the board out to get to the area the cable is attached to on the board...You will be able to better access your board's condition, the trunks condition, and all other parts of it...There, you will then be able to clear your trunk and board of all barnacles, etc and repaint, reinforce with new cable, and also inspect the board pin and replace if needed...You will be much better off this way in the years to come...

You don't want to lose the board and then have to find a replacement...Tartan will sell you a new board for a couple thousand...much cheaper to just pay haul out fees...you will find it is actually easy and you will be happy to understand how the board works...and happy to have a solid important aspect of your boat...

For more info, you can join the yahoo T27 group...There, you will see pictures of the board mechanisms and get to learn how it is dealt with...you will also get to search on the archived messages on how things are done...
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:14   #34
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

Never mentioned when extolling the virtues of a centerboard and its ability to get about in skinny waters which is certainly attractive is the nagging worry that with very little water under my keel that a casual bump from a passing wake at low tide will jam the centerboard up as discussed, but with that worry ,I have been loath to cut things so close and have ended up giving any centerboard boat that extra margin of safety by anchoring in the deeper water that would also accommodate a deeper draft boat……so where's the gain if I end up anchoring in deeper water?
If (when) my fixed keel touches ,or worse ,I am more at ease in powering off ,kedging or cutting corners with the knowledge that my miscalculations will not likely put me on a travel lift.
It often happens that a seemingly good anchorage with adequate depth under the keel has high spots or other debris on the bottom (old moorings etc) that reduce the depth as the boat swings or as cable is is veered when the wind picks up .

I really do like centerboard however,esp. in smaller craft , think trailerable and easily fixable.

..So despite the concerns listed above i really do like centerboards and of course, luv you all………………………………………….mike…………………………………………………………..
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:28   #35
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

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Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post
Who here has owned, or had experience with a centerboard on a 36+ footer?
I had Keel/Centerboard Bristol 40.

On the wind, you could trim the boat (point of lateral resistance) to the point of sail -- which was a nice plus. Off the wind, you could pull the board up and lessen wetted surface resistance.

I rarely heard the board flop around within the enclosed trunk.

It never leaked.

Having a centerboard enabled me to get into shallower anchorages than the full keel version of the same boat..

MAINTENANCE / REPAIR can be an issue -- either minor or major depending on the design and how diligent you are about preventive maintenance.

On the Bristol 40 the centerboard was raised and lowered via a simple wire rope winch. Unfortunately, the entire boat was built around the enclosed wire rope's circuitous runs and its enclosed turning blocks. If the cable parted within the enclosed run, the fun was just starting.

My centerboard wire rope did snap right at the attachment point to the board. Fortunately that allowed me the option to dive overboard, reach up into the trunk and secure the wire rope before it was lost up the pipe.

Reeving a new cable required "LONG SPLICING" the old wire rope to the new wire rope and pulling it through the trunk, then swaging the new wire rope to the board -- while in the water.

The worst part for me was learning to "LONG SPLICE" wire rope. I did it, but when I was finished, my hands looked like I was wrestling a porcupine.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:32   #36
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Beard View Post
I'm about to own a Tartan 27 with a broken centerboard cable.. I plan on hauling it out anyway, but is this something I could replace while it's in the water? And is dyneema what I should use?
My boat has a centerboard, and the previous owner had replaced the stainless steel wire with dyneema. The line held for at least 5 years. The boat is hauled out right now though, and I'm taking care of the under-the-waterline work, which includes replacing the centerboard swing bolt and the dyneema line (I'm going back to SS wire).

Why, you ask? Because when you tie a knot in a line, you reduce its strength by around 50-70% (at least for bowlines). And that's how the dyneema line was previously attached.

Here's something to think about, if you've never thought about it before - you should know the strength of the rigging system that you use for your centerboard, as well as the weight of that boat. The previous owner had rigged a tackle system to the board that had a block which had failed; the bearings were crushed because they didn't have the required strength. When I updated it, I made sure to over-engineer it by at least 150% (design factor 1.5), which required me to check the strength on each of the blocks (safe working load) and line (breaking strength), not forgetting to take consideration for knots in the line.

(I don't have a good picture, but my centerboard control line is actually inside of my boat, forward of the mast, and is rigged to a self-tailing winch which is attached to the side of the mast. Most other boats I've seen have an internal tube and the line was rigged to the deck of the boat. In my case, a breaking line would be dangerous to the occupants!)

It is much, much, much easier to fix outside of the water, and you'll get an excellent view of the tackle system which is in the keelbox (if there is one). Besides, if the line is broken, there might be more which needs to be repaired, which you'll only see outside of the water.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:37   #37
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

Thanks so much for your input, y'all. Here's another silly question... And no doubt controversial: I haven't bought the Tartan yet - and am quite aware that it is a superior craft by design - yet I have the choice between it and a Watkins 27 from the same year... Here are my concerns:Tartan has been sitting pretty much neglected for around ten years in pretty murky waters, however more fresh than salt most likely (a bayou on the north shore of Pontchartrain), centerboard cable needs replaced and who knows what other issues with the bottom.. Haven't seen the engine run, though it apparently does run fine and only needs new freeze plugs - which owner has agreed to replace and get running before sale - and the keel is full of swampy diesel water (rainwater most likely) which makes it so pungent I can barely stay in it for long without getting nauseous.. No big deal, really.. I'm used to maintenance work and the job never really being done.. And it's worth it for a tried-and-true pedigree like this Tartan, right? The only other issue (which some people might think is a bonus) is that both jib and main are on rolling furlers.. This is in fact the first boat I've ever seen (or noticed) to have a furler running parallel to the mast.. Both work well, but I would plan on replacing these with slugged and hanked sails before entering the Gulf with it... there are other minor repairs, but nothing major....
The Watkins, on the other hand, has been maintained and sailed.. Loved dearly and is very comfortable inside.. The motor starts right up, the screw has been recently replaced, engine belts tightened, oil changed, bottom painted and has an encapsulated concrete keel with a shoal draft and 46% ballast/displacement ratio.. Now, I'm aware that the Tartan is a superior boat, but the Watkins is very attractive.. Nice bimini, everything works.. And a nice bow pulpit plank w anchor roller and haws pipe.. Just beautiful! Both have nice headroom and enclosed heads. The Tartan has self-tailing winches, which I have become attached to on my Cascade... but you can't have everything, right? Both are around the same price, but the Watkins I would have to transport about 200 miles and probably spend a couple hundred provisioning for that... But no immediate haul-out necessary! Pretty much turn-key, with no centerboard to worry about, and it comes with lots of sails and other extras... It's "only" real issue is a pretty large (about 3'x3') soft spot on the bow deck just aft of the pulpit.. but no cracking.
My question is of course... Which boat? I'm sure the standard answer is "depends on what you intend to use the boat for" and possibly "how big your budget is to start".. Well, I intend on doing mostly coastal cruising, but would also eventually like too island-hop around the Caribbean and maybe even do a crossing who knows when... My budget is pretty slim, and this may be the boat I have for several years to come.... So, what do y'all think? Is the Watkins competent enough to suit my needs, or should I try and invest in the Tartan knowing that I'll eventually have more of a thoroughbred.. I'm having a hard time with this, as I know I can only spend this money once.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:02   #38
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

IMHO, the best boat is the one that you will enjoy owning and getting out on the water with. Without fail, when my friends are involved, I tell them to stay away from maintenance nightmares and stick with the boats that have obviously been well-taken care of.

Sometimes, the worst issues with a boat are the least obvious. And if you're already dealing with a lot of obvious problems, just imagine what is lurking beyond your immediate attention.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:21   #39
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

Thanks jslade! I really appreciate the feedback. Of course I meant the bilge - not the keel - is full of diesel water. I am definitely leaning more toward the Watkins at this point, though I would like something that can weather any conditions... Is anyone very familiar with the Watkins 27's performance? I really don't wanna be stuck with a clunky sailer, even if it means a lot more maintenance. I have however read threads from folks who have had their Watkins for decades - taken it through the Caribbean - and are quite happy with it. It certainly has some burly rigging and then some... And I tend to agree that I should maybe go with the more attended to, less hidden-surprises option...
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:40   #40
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

Hi folks
Our Southerly 110 has a swing keel ( 1.7 tons ) pivoting inside an 8' X 4' cast iron grounding plate, this gives the boat nearly 50% ballast ratio and a draught range of 2'4" to 7'2" so we get the best of both worlds, and the ability to dry out on a beach without sitting on the twin rudders. The keel itself is a proper airfoil profile, and gives a great upwind performance for a cruiser oriented boat. The keel is raised and lowered using an electro hydraulic system, with a 20mm diameter Spectra pennant connecting the ram to the keel. The keel box is moulded into the hull with a sealed access hatch at the top to allow adjustment, a few drops of water do get into the bilge via the pennant, but hardly anything. Unfortunately the model has now been discontinued but Southerly make a range from 32' to 57' with a new 36 footer just announced ( drool ).
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Old 06-06-2014, 13:13   #41
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

I have a kadey krogen38' cutter. It has not one but two centerboards. The main board is a couple hundred pound foil shape that hangs on a1 1/4" pin through the keel. It also has a Case that is sealed/built into the hull, open at only the bottom. There aretwo acsess plate on the trunk. It is controlled by ss cable led to a Merryman bronze horizontal winch on deck . The second board is aft just before the rudder. Ss plate, 5/8" thick. It is used while ringing down wind as an aid in steering. Both are on ss cables. I know very little about the new rope penents, dineema etc. But might consider changing over if it turns out to be a good idea. Draft is 3'2" up and 6'5" down. Main board runs through three sheeves. Great Bahamas boat.
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Old 06-06-2014, 18:33   #42
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

Just spotted a 1990 Sabre 42 CB for sale, only $89K. Looks like a nice boat.
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Old 06-06-2014, 20:16   #43
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

My centreboard has [had] a lock on it to prevent it retracting when the boat is upsidedown [happens almost every time i go out.] I forgot to loosen the lock and had a bit too much keel exposed when i put it on the trailer. Pushed the mechanism out of the centreboard case.Was only held by rivits in fibreglass. If the centreboard retracts when upside down, the boat won't right itself. Seems to me any righting of itself from an upsidedown position would be done as it sinks to the fathoms below.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:36   #44
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Just spotted a 1990 Sabre 42 CB for sale, only $89K. Looks like a nice boat.
Gotta have issues. Way under market... Great boat I agree.

Only other thing not mentioned. If CB draft is too shallow, rudder and steering will suffer as the rudder has to be too shallow. But I think the chance to get under 5 feet draft in a bigger boat with great upwind performance makes CBs a great design alternative. Would much rather have CB than wing keel.
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Old 07-06-2014, 19:58   #45
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Re: Centerboards- A maintenance nightmare, or no big deal?

I have a Bristol 38.8 with a centerboard. It's the same hull as the Little Harbor 38 and almost the same as the Hood Wauquiez 38 (which has a slightly different rudder). A few thoughts.

1. A broken cable is no big deal. Repairs get more difficult if you have to replace one or more of the shivs through which the cable runs.

2. Dyneema cables will last almost indefinitely.

3. It's no big deal to drop the board when the boat is being launched via travellift to put antifouling paint on the board. (The board should have been power washed when the boat was hauled.) It's SOP, and no boatyard should charge extra. And if your boatyard uses a railway instead of a travellift, many of them have pits that allow you to drop the board before launching.

4. Most centerboard boats do NOT sail as well with the board up as with the board down. If you don't believe me, try going to windward in a Laser or Flying Scott with the board up.

5. As for my Bristol (which weighs about 9 1/2 tons more than a Laser), on a close reach, you definitely want the board down. You will point closer and the boat will balance better. My Bristol will sail herself to windward if the sails are trimmed properly. No hands on the wheel or autopilot required. On a broad reach or run, you want to put the board down about a foot because the boat will track better. On a beam reach the boat will make less leeway with the board down and won't heel quite as much when a gust hits, but will also be slightly slower, so it's a tradeoff.

5. The Southerly's are NOT centerboard boats. Their swing keels have significant weight; on a centerboarder the board weighs very little and all the ballast is in the hull. A number of the French aluminum boats are true centerboarders (e.g. Alubat, Allures).
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