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Old 21-01-2018, 19:30   #1
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Centerboard pendant - advice wanted

I have a Morgan 25, and they are notorious for having an overcomplicated and maintenance-intensive centerboard mechanism.

The centerboard pendant is stainless steel, about 18" long, and attaches the centerboard to a 3/4" nylon rod, that goes through a bronze packing box exactly like that traditionally used for prop shafts. In the bilge there is then another stainless steel cable that runs from the nylon rod, around a couple of turning blocks, and up to a winch inside the starboard lazarette, where it can be operated using a handle that projects into the cockpit.

The main problem with all this is that the centerboard pendant is prone to corrosion, and can't be accessed without removing the centerboard from the boat. At 70 pounds the centerboard is too heavy for me to remove while diving, and there isn't clearance to lower it while the boat is on the trailer, so I would have to pay a shop to make repairs.

There are other comparatively minor problems with this arrangement, such as the fact that the nylon rods have been known to break and pull out of the packing box, causing a sudden, voluminous leak. The turning blocks in the bilge have been known to seize up. The winch assembly has been known to fail over time.

Some of the complexity is explained by Morgan fans as being intended to keep the pendant rigging out of the way of an optional (but rarely fitted) inboard Atomic 4.

Reading up on other centerboard cruisers, though, it seems that every manufacturer that makes a trailerable cruiser with a centerboard has problems to some degree with centerboards sticking or the pendant wearing through.

So, please, help me understand.
* Are centerboard problems simply part of the nature of the beast with trailer sailors, or have I chosen my boat poorly?
* Should I just open up my wallet and pay the yard for this, or am I missing some easy way to fix it?
* Part of what drove me to choose this boat over others was the combination of shallow (2'9") draft combined with reasonable upwind performance (with the centerboard down). The previous owner said he hardly ever lowered the centerboard, though. Is it worth it, or should I just glass over the opening and forget about it?
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