Most of the center board boats were/are CCA designs. These were usually way over built which is a comfort when out of sight of land.
The boards are typically just heavy enough to sink and be strong enough to take the side loads. Both my Pearson
and the Morgan Board are fiber glass over foam with ballasted tips so they'll sink. Some boats like the early Allied
Seabreaze had bronze boards which were relatively heavy. Since Allied
went to an Aluminum
board in later boats, the weight wasn't all that much of a deal. All the weight is in the keel which is typically formed around the center board well. That makes the center board attachment super stout. There are some swing keel and dagger board boats that do have weighted movable keels but they are a horse of an entirely different color.
There really isn't much to go wrong with a center board. The board pivots on a pin that is typically an 1" or more in diameter. The lifting mechanism is usually a tube with whatever pulleys are necessary to turn the cable built in. On my pearson, the cable tube is made out of bronze tubing and pulley housings which are pretty impervious. The lifting winch
is simply two different sized pulleys for mechanical advantage. The larger rope
side has the line wrapped around it. When you pull the line, the rotation of the pulley winds the board cable around the smaller pulley. It's a simple fitment made out of phenolic that any competent wood butcher should be able to cobble up if anything ever went wrong. My boat is over 40 years old and everything works without a problem. You do have to change the lifting cable occasionally. Thats a simple process when the boat is hauled. Just attach the new cable to the board and use the old cable as a messenger to pull the new cable through. The board does thump around when it's down but really not a big deal as it's so seldom down. It's dead quiet when it's up.
The T-34c is a great boat. I would have bought one if I could have found one with a tiller on the Left Coast. Get one with a tiller, btw. Wheels really really suck and don't work all that well with self steering
vanes. The T-34c is a near identical hull
to the deep keel S&S 34. Jessica Watson
used an S&S 34 on her round the world
sail. Believe it was the 2nd time around for that boat.
I've sailed my Pearson up and down the California
Coast and to Hawaii
. It's a great offshore boat. The big negative is the wheel
and the large cockpit
. Other than that, the boat has an easy motion and is a reasonably quick sailor especially off the wind with the board up. The T-34c should be a faster boat in light air with the fin keel. Sailed my Morgan from St Pete to the Chesapeake.