Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-11-2012, 20:21   #1
Registered User
 
Usagi's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Boat: looking to buy
Posts: 32
Centerboards, good? bad?

I have been looking for a boat and have found that quite a few have a lot of respect and good "numbers" but unfortunately, they also have centerboards. I've always been suspicious of centerboards in a cruising boat. I'm concerned that they can get stuck in the up or down position and essentially totally ruin your day. I've also heard that in a storm they can get stuck down and the boat can trip over the centerboard and get dis-masted, etc. I've also heard that owners of these boats are forced to dig a deep hole in the yard where they are hauled so the board can be serviced. For these reasons I had more or less eliminated any centerboard boats from my search for a good cruising / liveaboard boat. However that dumps a bunch of other wise great boats such as a Bristol 34, Morgan 34 and several of the Allied boats.

Some have told me that they never put the board down. Is that reasonable to do when doing a crossing? Island hopping? Would it be reasonable to fix it so the board can't be lowered? Somehow I feel they are just one more thing that can go wrong, They are not at all easy to service and are usually inaccessible without diving.

What's your opinion of centerboard boats?
__________________

__________________
Usagi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 21:36   #2
Commercial Member

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Beneteau 381
Posts: 1,335
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

Usagi,

You have taken some technically true, but very minor concerns and raising them to serious issues.

1) as with anything if you don't maintain centerboards they can get stuck. But they are o more prone to getting stuck than a rudder is to get stuck. Functionally they are pretty much the same thing turned 90 degrees from each other.

2) a centerboard is no more likely to trip in a wave than a keel of the same size. Possibly less since you could pull it up.

3) sure any boat that is deep enough may need a pit. Regardless of why. A centerboard may or may not be able to be lifted on the hard though.... The only boat I worked on that needed a pit was an Andrews 70 with a 17' deep keel, unless your board is in this range I wouldn't worry about it.

4) it's your boat you can do whatever you want. Proper racing trim would suggest pulling up the board when tring to dig deep, but few cruisers worry about it.

5) a number of cruisers have glassed in their centerboards. I don't understand why, we used ours for more than a decade with no problems.

6) again you need to know the specific boat. Ours was serviceable from inside the boat. Other designs may need diving. But what needs servicing?
__________________

__________________
Greg Rubin
Attorney
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 21:40   #3
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,236
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Usagi View Post
What's your opinion of centerboard boats?
Back before I could grow facial hair, everything I sailed had a centerboard. Or a daggerboard.

Since then, it's been all keelboats.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 21:46   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Toronto area when not cruising
Boat: Bristol 45.5
Posts: 239
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

We have a centerboard, 12 feet board down, and quite like it. Besides helping to windward it is excellent for balancing the boat so that the Monitor vane can work more easily. Think power reach where the weather helm builds up, the cb takes it away. You do need to be careful with maintaining the cable and you can get growth in the slot and it does make some noise at times. We probably have it down less than 10% of the time but it is worthwhile
__________________
AiniA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 21:55   #5
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tasmania
Boat: VandeStadt IOR 40' - Insatiable
Posts: 2,120
Images: 83
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

My parents in law have lived aboard and sailed their Adams 40 centrboarder for the last 17 or 18 years. Tehy seem very happy with it and have never complained about the design as such. Sure, potentially it can get stuck, up or down, but on the other hand it allows access to shallower waters / anchorages than a conventional keel might afford... I certainly wouldn't let a centreboard be the sole reason for writing of a potential purchase.
__________________
Weyalan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 23:48   #6
Registered User
 
ozskipper's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,601
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

A couple of positives on CBs

They allow you into shallower anchorages.
They allow you to move your CLR aft when reaching, running. (less chance of "tripping"- and who made up that term?)
They can be beached in many cases. (depending on rudder and prop design)
They can be parked in a yard with the CB down or up- no hole in the ground needed.

Now to other thoughts.
The CB is there to be used!!! Anyone who doesnt, is going to have a lovely trip sideways when going to windward.

If it were ever to lock into place, I would prefer it locked down rather than up- but its rare.

If i was being blown onto a lee shore, one could raise the board and the boat would nestle nicely on "the beach" (hopefully its nice and sandy ) Keels rarely stand upright on the beach
__________________
Cheers
Oz
...............
ozskipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 06:03   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,372
Images: 6
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

Agree with Stumble. You are looking at a few very minor issues and blowing them all out of proportion. A centerboard needs a certain amount of maintenance. In exchange you get the ability to point high when going to windward, and to reduce wetted surface when going downwind. You get a shallow draft when you want it, which allows you into anchorages and marinas that other boats can't use.

Personally, I very much like centerboard designs. But then, I live on the west coast of Florida. Most of my sailing is here, in the Keys, and in the Bahamas. Shallow draft is a major benefit in these areas. A centerboard gives me shallow draft when I want it, and better sailing qualities when the water is deep than most boats with a short, but fixed, keel can provide.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 06:09   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 3,168
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

I'd love to have a centerboard in my boat........useful when trying to go to weather. But I'm also fond of the relatively shallow draft, that makes going to weather difficult.........why didn't Gilmer design a centerboard into this boat???
__________________
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 06:29   #9
Registered User
 
cfarrar's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklin, Maine U.S.A
Boat: Allures 44, Beetle Cat
Posts: 720
Images: 1
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

Tradeoffs: the keel version of the same boat will usually sail a little higher and faster upwind. The centerboard version will draw a little less. Plus the other differences already mentioned.
__________________
cfarrar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 06:58   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

Center boards are like most things a trade off. I'd suggest that you ask in a forum that has center board vessels, Bristol 34, Morgan 34 and several of the Allied boats, for the opinions of the owners..
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 07:49   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 391
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

I currently own a Pearson 35 with a centerboard. The centerboard went in the plus category when I was shopping for this boat, for the reasons stated above, especially shallow draft and ability to balance the helm when sailing.

The Pearson actually sails upwind better than my old boat, a Dufour Arpege, which had a fin keel with a heavy bulb on the bottom of it. Go figure.
__________________
Tia Bu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 08:39   #12
Registered User
 
westsail374's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Durham, NC
Boat: Looking...
Posts: 282
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

I had a Bristol 35.5 with a centerboard. Just a wonderful boat. Folks have sailed them offshore. They raced to Bermuda and did well.

I had a Nimble 30 with a centerboard. Difficult to heave to with the c/b. I have heard that the fixed keel version is more sea kindly.

I sailed both boats in the Chesapeake, where the centerboards opened up many great gunkholes.

As with any boats, it depends on the designer. And, of course, on the sailor.

__________________
westsail374 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 18:34   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 147
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

All the pluses above are true, but many other points have not been mentioned. We use our centerboard almost every day (we do not use marinas; we're at anchor every day, when not underway). At anchor it helps a great deal with rolly anchorages. A centerboard is an adjustable item, it does not need to be all the way up or down; there are many times when we play with it to get better balance on almost any point of sail. Even down wind, it will slow rolling and in very heavy weather running it can be dropped just a bit to move the deepest point slightly aft for greater control.
We always pull it up when entering a new anchorage, especially in the coral areas, but it goes back down at anchor if we've the depth.
As for hauling, so far we've been able to drop it all the way in the slings or have the boat blocked high enough to access the board. No problem.
If you find a boat you like, do not let a board prevent you from buying it, but make sure your surveyor checks it out carefully. Try one, you'll like it.
__________________
capta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 21:33   #14
Registered User
 
Usagi's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Boat: looking to buy
Posts: 32
Re: Centerboards, good? bad?

Great, You've all brought up many interesting points that I had not considered, many had not even entered my mind. I certainly won't cross centerboards off my list now.

Thanks.
__________________

__________________
Usagi is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
centerboard

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Sailing News Delivered to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with the latest cruising news.

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]


ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.