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Old 29-05-2017, 13:07   #1
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Weight of centerboard?

Hi all, I am looking at a few boats of the keel/centerboard variety, such as the Tartan 37 or 40, or the Bristol 38.8 or 41.1. I've seen much on the overall build of the boats, pros and cons of the centerboard arrangement, but I cannot find any information on the actual centerboard in these boats. How much do they weigh? How and of what are they constructed? How is the weight distributed?

Does anyone know of a resource for this information or know the answers?
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Old 29-05-2017, 14:23   #2
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Re: Weight of centerboard?

We have a Bristol 45.5 with a centreboard. It is my understanding that it is made of fibreglass and weighs a couple hundred pounds. In an earlier generation such boards would have been bronze. The board is to give lift and change balance, not to provide ballast.
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Old 30-05-2017, 07:33   #3
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Re: Weight of centerboard?

Thanks for the reply. That is my understanding, as well. I saw on the Bristol Owners website that the boards are fiberglass and cast lead, but it didn't say how heavy. One guy claimed as much as 800 lbs, but later in the same thread someone said 300 lbs, neither sounded very confident.

I am curious about your experience with the 45.5. I am on Lake Michigan where we can have light winds, but also breezier conditions. My plan is to have the boat here on LM for a few years and then do some cruising with it, including some offshore passages. Speed is not my prime motivator, but is always a consideration. Do you find the light air performance of the 45.5 to be that inadequate? Do you use an asymmetric chute for light air conditions? Over all, how did you like the boat? What do you think are its best features? Worst?
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Old 30-05-2017, 07:51   #4
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Re: Weight of centerboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydroghyl View Post
Thanks for the reply. That is my understanding, as well. I saw on the Bristol Owners website that the boards are fiberglass and cast lead, but it didn't say how heavy. One guy claimed as much as 800 lbs, but later in the same thread someone said 300 lbs, neither sounded very confident.

I am curious about your experience with the 45.5. I am on Lake Michigan where we can have light winds, but also breezier conditions. My plan is to have the boat here on LM for a few years and then do some cruising with it, including some offshore passages. Speed is not my prime motivator, but is always a consideration. Do you find the light air performance of the 45.5 to be that inadequate? Do you use an asymmetric chute for light air conditions? Over all, how did you like the boat? What do you think are its best features? Worst?
We have been very pleased with our boat. It is a terrific boat for extended cruising but not that good on Great Lakes. We did a five year circumnavigation with no major crises to deal with. It does typical trade wind (reaching) sailing extremely. With some current we had one day that 211 nm with days in the 160 to 180 quite common. it is a very powerful boat in such conditions. You certainly would want an asymmetric for light wind use. Pluses for the boat are the build quality, it is remarkably strong and gives great confidence and the fact it sails so well. It also draws many admiring glances. Minuses are that it does not handle easily in tight harbours because of the long centreboard case. We can turn right really well using prop walk, turning left is a rumour. Because of the way the boat is built (individual 'sticks') it can be hard to get at some places for maintenance. It was built with thousands of slotted screws which makes life difficult. Our boat is a bit underpowered with only 58 hp, but other boats may have bigger engines. This is less of a problem because the boat sails so well. We used the engine for only 400 to 500 hours in 36,000 miles and this was mainly for entering and leaving harbours and anchorages. We have a genset and wind and solar so did not have to use the engine for battery charging.
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Old 30-05-2017, 17:37   #5
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Re: Weight of centerboard?

Our friends have a Bristol 45.5. They enjoy sailing it when the wind reaches around 18 knots. Until then they seem to use the motor a lot. We enjoy sailing past them when they're motoring and when they're sailing, though they do seem to have a comfortable ride all the time.
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Old 30-05-2017, 18:11   #6
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Re: Weight of centerboard?

I sail a 45.5 on the Chesapeake, which is well known for light air. I use a 150 Kevlar in light air and the boat sails well. On the other hand, when we see 30 knots no one thinks it is too heavy. The centerboard is great for the shoal water of the bay.
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Old 30-05-2017, 20:45   #7
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Re: Weight of centerboard?

Ainia, thanks for the input. 5 years! That sounds great. I am really looking at the 38.8 which has a an SA/D of 17ish to the 45.5's 14.5. I imagine this would provide some improvement in lighter airs, although even the 38.8 is not likely to be a flyer in light air.

I crawled around on a 38.8 and was really impressed with the build quality as you alluded. I started my search with a bias against K/CB boats, admittedly out of ignorance. I am not completely sold but I am looking. I take it you have no reservations about the CB?

Did you experience any real rough weather? Did you round either Cape or traverse the canals? How did the boat handle in heavy weather? On a hard beat? Did you use the board much? I have seen other posters claim they never use it.

Pardon my persistence and thanks for your time.
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