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Old 08-06-2011, 13:01   #1
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Centerboard stuck.

My Pearson 39 yawl (1975) is a keel/centerboarder. The board lowers by SS wire through a system of pulleys that go through a metal tube to the CB trunk. There are two about 135 degree turns. The wire ends on a spindle with a larger diameter wheel attached that goes to a rope pull that exits in the cockpit. The mechanism seems fine and if I slack the cable from the lowest point that I can access the board still does not move.

I can't see any way to access the board from inside the boat as if I remove the tubes, I'll flood the boat.

I suspect there are barnacles in the centerboard trunk and on the board. Any suggestions other than pulling the boat? Even if they pull it, it will have to be in the sling to work on the board and the sling cannot be under the board. Boat draws 4'8" board up and 9' board down.
Am also considering hiring a diver to pull it down from underneath and see if it can be scrapped clean..

Thoughts please.
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Old 08-06-2011, 13:29   #2
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

I had a similar problem. Some , all or none of this may apply to your issue. My centerboard trunk has 3 rubber shims that run in tracks on each side of the trunk. Rubber swells in water over time and this resulted in mine being jammed.

Unless you have a very high aspect ratio center board the top of the trunk is probably above the water line and should have some sort of removable inspection plate. I was able to get a bottle jack btw the top of the trunk and the center board with some wood shims and jack it down. 4 shims had to be removed from above at the inspection plate and two had to be removed from underwater. I cut them down and replaced them but have since bought some stock UHMW and have cut new ones that should not swell.

Other options for getting the board down would be to get a line over the board from underwater, secure to a fast point on the bottom at low tide and wait for the tide to come up or do the same thing in the sling during a haulout. You heed to be sure the rear sling is aft of your trunk when you do your pick.

Good luck
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Old 08-06-2011, 13:55   #3
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

If the problem really is only barnacles, I wonder if you could seal off the CB slot from underwater (not sure how) and fill the slot with a couple of gallons of white vinegar. Let it sit overnight and dissolve the calcium carbonate in the shells. . . .
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Old 08-06-2011, 14:56   #4
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewsc View Post
I had a similar problem. Some , all or none of this may apply to your issue. My centerboard trunk has 3 rubber shims that run in tracks on each side of the trunk. Rubber swells in water over time and this resulted in mine being jammed.

Unless you have a very high aspect ratio center board the top of the trunk is probably above the water line and should have some sort of removable inspection plate. I was able to get a bottle jack btw the top of the trunk and the center board with some wood shims and jack it down. 4 shims had to be removed from above at the inspection plate and two had to be removed from underwater. I cut them down and replaced them but have since bought some stock UHMW and have cut new ones that should not swell.

Other options for getting the board down would be to get a line over the board from underwater, secure to a fast point on the bottom at low tide and wait for the tide to come up or do the same thing in the sling during a haulout. You heed to be sure the rear sling is aft of your trunk when you do your pick.

Good luck
The board is not accessable from inside the boat.

Top picture is from inside boat, bottom from outside with board lowered.
Seems P35's have the same setup and problem. There are a lot more P35s than P39s so it took me a while to get the research done.

I have a diver coming tomorrow morning.
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Old 08-06-2011, 19:55   #5
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

I understand the board is stuck in one position. Is the board stuck in the up position or the down position or mid way?

If it is in the down position and you want to get it up to haul out you could pick a shallow sandy bar and tow your boat across it. Cautiously, of course. I've only done this on small boats but it does work pretty well. Clean your board as best you can before you try it.

If your board is in the up position you'll need a diver to scrape barnacles and get the board to wiggle in its trunk and hope you can lower it. A long hacksaw or sawzall blade worked up into the trunk beside the board to free up the barnacles might do the trick.

kind regards,
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:33   #6
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I understand the board is stuck in one position. Is the board stuck in the up position or the down position or mid way?

If it is in the down position and you want to get it up to haul out you could pick a shallow sandy bar and tow your boat across it. Cautiously, of course. I've only done this on small boats but it does work pretty well. Clean your board as best you can before you try it.

If your board is in the up position you'll need a diver to scrape barnacles and get the board to wiggle in its trunk and hope you can lower it. A long hacksaw or sawzall blade worked up into the trunk beside the board to free up the barnacles might do the trick.

kind regards,
Stuck up.
Either a cable is hung in a sheave (Oh NOoooooooo...)
Or there is a barnicle issue. Will know today as I am meeting the diver there in an hour.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:41   #7
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

Seems a nest of barnicle vipers had built a condiminium in the top of the centerboard trunk. Probably the board had not been fully raised for some time as the nest grew. When the boat was set on the hard at the Marina the board was scrunched into the nest of barnicles. Henceforth, it would not drop once the boat was back in the water.

Diver pried it loose with a crowbar and scrapped out the barnicles. We also lubricated the sheaves and cable winch while it was all open.

All works fine now.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:47   #8
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

Congratulations! I'll bet you feel better about it now.
kind regards,
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Old 09-06-2011, 13:46   #9
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

Looks like pretty much the same system as my P35. My board hangs up occasionally, don't know why. I go out sailing with the control line cleated with plenty of slack. After a while, the motion of the boat seems to shake it loose and the board drops. It will work for awhile and then hang up again till I repeat the 'sail with a loose pennant' trick. The board also does not like to go down with side loads. Will loose the pennant and then put the boat in irons momentarily where the board will drop. Have also had an overriding turn on the wire side of the drum hanging it up. Sailed it off as well.

My other center boarder had the board jammed up after numerous groundings in the ICW. That was caused by a small rock jammed in the well. took a minute with a screw driver to pry the rock out and the board came down.
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Old 09-06-2011, 13:54   #10
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

Used to have the rock problem with my Lightning if it was dragged up on a rocky beach. Rocks can really get jammed in there and have got to do some damage.
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Old 09-06-2011, 16:17   #11
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Re: Centerboard stuck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Looks like pretty much the same system as my P35. My board hangs up occasionally, don't know why. I go out sailing with the control line cleated with plenty of slack. After a while, the motion of the boat seems to shake it loose and the board drops. It will work for awhile and then hang up again till I repeat the 'sail with a loose pennant' trick. The board also does not like to go down with side loads. Will loose the pennant and then put the boat in irons momentarily where the board will drop. Have also had an overriding turn on the wire side of the drum hanging it up. Sailed it off as well.

My other center boarder had the board jammed up after numerous groundings in the ICW. That was caused by a small rock jammed in the well. took a minute with a screw driver to pry the rock out and the board came down.
It is the same system as the P35. Check for a colony of barnicles at the top of the trunk. Also, remove the little box that hides the penant winch, lube the bearings on both sides of the drum and between the two drums, and spray a ton of WD40 down the tube. It will eventually work its way down to the sheaves and smooth things up.

Do you have a V-drive also?
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