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Old 07-06-2018, 15:43   #16
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

Centreboards are GREAT--for shallow draft vessels required to cross sand bars and so forth.

On the down side, they need to be of the kick-up type, they need to be secured firmly or the klunking noises in a rough anchorage will drive you nuts, and if your vessel should ever be rolled over, there have been cases where the centreboard, of the drop-down type, dropped UP instead as the vessel rolled over and went through the cabin roof capsizing the vessel. In deep water they need to be SECURELY locked in place.
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Old 07-06-2018, 15:45   #17
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

Looking at another boat with 5' draft, should not be an issue in the Keys or Bahamas. Our last boat was 4'6". The CB boat is 4'3" or 8'.
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Old 07-06-2018, 15:54   #18
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

We have sailed our Sabre 38, with a centerboard, some 1,400 miles to windward and we like it. It certainly decreases leeway by a few degrees. An improved COG of 3 degrees, say from 49 to 47 degrees off the true wind direction, is one or two tenths of knot to a windward point (ie, VMG). This adds up when you have 100+ miles to cover. Once sailing greater than 55 degrees to the true wind, we pull it up. It stays up at anchor as well or else it knocks.

While the deep draft (6') version of my boat probably has a degree less leeway, my 4' 3" draft is awesome in Florida and the Bahamas. This is where you will see the huge benefit.

Also, we haven't noticed any degradation of our SS cable in the 5 years of ownership.
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Old 07-06-2018, 16:10   #19
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobHorn View Post
Considering a 38' boat with a centerboard. Those of you who have one, does it get much use? Do you wish you didn't have it? Those of you who don't have one, do you wish you have one?


We will be doing mostly coastal cruising, Gulf Coast, Florida, maybe one more trip to the Bahamas or the North East, although at our age that is doubtful.


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The key word on the Florida Gulf Coast is SHOALING. A CB will pivot up nicely and allow you to tempt fate.
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Old 07-06-2018, 16:30   #20
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

centreboard are good but can be noisy at times. our CB makes humming sound when it is down.
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Old 07-06-2018, 16:57   #21
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

I agree with Roverhi, shallow draft makes you way to cocky. Just the other day we took a channel marker on the wrong side just to give room to a big power boat. Our 32 foot yacht has a 2' 6" draft with the board up so that lets us anchor in places where other yachts cannot.
We have been approached a number of times by fishermen in dinghys asking if we need a hand to get out of trouble.
We use spectra for the centreboard cable and have not had any issues in two years. No slapping or noise either.
I imagine the biggest issue will be later when we drop the board for a pivot pin inspection and general maintenance. But thats likely to be only every 10 years and with a travel lift it is really not that hard.
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:55   #22
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

Loved my NZ design cb er. Got in to all the best anchorages, went uphill pretty well, and if things were slow, shallow , and sandy, ( like Sandy Straits , Qld) wed leave the board down a foot as a feeler. Id buy another, but the cat bug has struck.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:15   #23
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

Have had a 2007 Beneteau 323 with that has twin rudders and a c/b that lives in the fixed keel since new. It was a necessity for the area that I sail, but also has been nice to have overall. Like the others who have posted, it only goes down when going to weather. It does improve windward performance noticeably (IMHO there is no substitute for draft). I consider the draft 3' board up, 8' board down, which is slightly more than Beneteau specs (probably an empty boat).

Otherwise its up and the speed performance of the boat is actually slightly improved as I don't have the drag that is produced by having the board extended and/or the open slot where the board resides. It will make some rattling noise if it is down and I am sailing off the wind as the board is not under any leeway load.

This winter during layup I did have a local Beneteau dealer inspect it for the first time since ownership and it found everything just fine. The B323 does not rely on a cable, but instead is a worm drive type (just a big threaded rod and nut). Painting the entire board though is a little different so it does create some additional labor/time because the process is different.
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:41   #24
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

The only center board I've had was buoyant. Probably not mono friendly but was on a tri.. Nice pulling a line. that was not immersed, to lower not retract. A failure and the board retracted.
I used same HiTech method as the former owner for it hitting bottom. The line holding it down secured with a length of fishing line as the weak link..
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Old 08-06-2018, 18:41   #25
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Banks View Post
Centreboards are GREAT--for shallow draft vessels required to cross sand bars and so forth.

On the down side, they need to be of the kick-up type, they need to be secured firmly or the klunking noises in a rough anchorage will drive you nuts, and if your vessel should ever be rolled over, there have been cases where the centreboard, of the drop-down type, dropped UP instead as the vessel rolled over and went through the cabin roof capsizing the vessel. In deep water they need to be SECURELY locked in place.
There are center boards and then there are drop keels. Except in very small boats the center board boats are ballasted and don't rely on the board for righting moment, only to fight leeway. The keek/cb boats center boards are lightly ballasted, if balllasted at all, to sink when the raising mechanism, usually a cable, is released. They aren't lignt but don't weigh much and won't cause problems if the the boat is rolled with the board down. These boards are usually self retracting and will only come to grief in a grounding if there is side loads on a deployed board string enough to break it. Fore and aft loads like a grounding are normally not a problem. Have heard of people who actually use the board as a sounding device sailing in close to shore till the board hits bottom and then dropping the hook. With the cost of a new board, am not that brave as strong side loads could be put on the board quite easily. I have unintentionally had the board contact the bottom on a number of occasions without any problems.

Swing keel boats which are usually small trailerable boats are a different story. These keels are heavily ballasted and, should the boat heel too far, could retract with considerable violence if not locked in the down position. The swing keel provides the stability to counteract heeling forces just as a deep keel does. From my understanding all these boats provide for a pin to be inserted that will lock it in place. Unfortunately a lot of people either forget or disregard the need to lock the board in the down position so are an accident waiting to happen. There are some largish boats that have swing keels and the need to lock them in place is even greater. You could have upwards of 10,000# or more keel flailing around and in the wrong conditions could destroy a boat. Because of the weight of these keels would assume that the lifting mechanism locks them in whatever position they are in.

Last but not least there are retractable ballast keels like the Hobie 33. That is a keel that is in a slot and trunk in the boat and deploys straight down and does not swing. These boats are essentially a deep keel boat that can decrease draft but are not designed to be sailed with the keel raised because of poor righting moment. Fine for powering around with the keel up but wouldn't want to sail with it up even if it was a relatively calm, dead steady wind as a gust could prove embarassing. Assume that you could partially retract the keel in some conditions and still sail but you will still have a much reduced righting moment from the ballast when the keel is other than fully deployed.

As far as clunking or noise from the board, it was nonexistant with the board raised in both my boats. Whether at anchor or sailing in force 5 conditions the boards were quiet as a mouse when raised. Since there was no need to have the board down except when hard on the wind, noise was never an issue. Yes, if the board was lowered at anchor or sailing DDW with considerable rolling the board would clunk. Simple solution is don't put the board down in those conditions as it is not needed and even self defeating. Occasionally would hear a clunk, not a regular bang, when sailing hard on the wind. It was very occasional and I never worried about it once I figured what the cause was. To reiterate, on the wind the board almost never made a sound but occasionally in the right wind and wave conditions it would make itself known. Not like a police swat team door buster but an occasional gentle tap that was easy to live with both for the crew and the boat.

A center board but does have advantages in most sailing conditions. You don't have to drag around the wetted surface of that hunk of lead. That deep keel is accomplishing very little once you head off the wind and nothing when on a broad reach to DDW. With less wetted surface, a C/B boat is faster than a comparable deep keel boat. Guess what, as a cruiser you'll probably spend more than 95% of your time with sheets eased on a reach or further off the wind. A center board can also be used to ease helm issues on some boats. Partially lowering the c/b can ease weather helm or make a boat more controllable.

Don't dismiss a center board boat because of additional maintenance, it's almost non existent in todays world. Yes you can break it if you are reckless but my current boats c/b is going on 40 years with little maintenance other than painting it and very very occasionally replacing the cable
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Old 11-06-2018, 16:47   #26
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

34' Morgan yawl, 3'3" board up, 7'9". Have had the boat about ten years. Former owner bolted the board up with broken cable. I had it repaired, and have been very happy with it: agree with most of the above comments. Never had a problem, but I do watch the cable when I lower it: my setup is weird. The board cable goes to a shaft that goes through a stuffing box. A cable on the other end goes to a sheave aft the mast, back under the engine through another sheave to another sheave and up to the winch on the side of the cockpit.
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Old 11-06-2018, 20:54   #27
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

i have a freedom 33 cb, i love the system, never a noise or trouble, is almost 40 years old and bullet proof. i never raise the cb all the way up so if i get in trouble i just raise it a little more and i am out.
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Old 15-06-2018, 09:53   #28
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

In converting an 18-ftr. to a trimiran, I removed the c/b (and sealed the hull), angling the amas 10-degrees toward the bow ... each with underwater outboard area equivalent to the original c/b removed. Works o.k., freeing up internal space, retaining pointing ability.
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Old 15-06-2018, 10:08   #29
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

Spend any time in a boatyard and you will see a surprising number of centerboard boats come in with problems...broken cables, other parts of the lift mechanism, growth issues, etc.

They require maintenance, and that can be an added expense. There are few issues that would be serious problems, but they do spring up now and then depending on the design.

My perspective has always been that you should avoid them unless you have a compelling reason to need that functionality. Boats are expensive enough as it is, the less complexity the better. Every boat is a compromise and when it comes to centerboards, the main one is maintenance.
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Old 15-06-2018, 12:53   #30
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Re: Centerboards - good or bad

Though land bound now [until wife retires], I did live aboard my Irwin Citation 34 for 12 years [6 months in the Annapolis area] and then 11 1/2 years in the Keys centered out of Boot Key Harbor. When under way in waters of questionable depth I always kept my board about 1/2 way down as when I occasionally ran aground [especially coming down the Inter-coastal, all I had to do is raise the board and was always able to get myself out of the situation. Never once needing assistance. Like others posting here my sloop [Winds Of Change] handled perfectly find with the board up. Count me as 'pro centerboard'.http://www.cruisersforum.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif
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