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Old 25-10-2020, 21:39   #1
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Centerboard doesnít fit

I recently purchased an old Sabot (Varalyay 1973), which we took out for the first time last week. It’s sailable, but I’m thinking about doing some restoration. The first problem is that the centerboard is too thick, it only goes in about half way. I’m not sure the cause: the fiberglass of the slot looks fine, and the centerboard itself doesn’t look swelled. I’m not sure about its construction, so I don’t know if I can sand it thinner without exposing inner layers.

Any ideas how to cure this?
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Old 27-10-2020, 12:51   #2
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Following up to myself, since I got some views and no responses. Is CF not a good place for this question? Itís a small boat, but it seems like CF has the best technical know how. If one of the other sailboat sites would be a better place for this, can someone suggest where?

Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 27-10-2020, 13:02   #3
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

You'll need to haul out and look at everything before you'll know what the problem is.

The slot might be clogged or obstructed, the pivot point may not allow the CB to swing properly, it might be swollen or just poorly constructed, or any number of other reasons it doesn't fit properly. Without knowing why it won't go all the way in, there's no way to tell you how to fix it.

As for the fact that you've gotten views but no responses, CF doesn't seem as active right now as it's been. Maybe everyone is out on their last sail before the season ends. I dunno.


Me: still waiting for ASA class start date.
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Old 27-10-2020, 13:06   #4
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Can you tell if someone broke the original and this is possibly a replacement?
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Old 27-10-2020, 15:26   #5
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

If this is the sailing dinghy Sabot I believe many older ones were made using plywood under resin. It is quite possible either the trunk or dagger board has slightly swollen. I would look carefully for cracks that could have let in moisture.

Making a new epoxy coated plywood dagger board is quite simple. I would go for this after confirming the trunk is sealed and not rotted Making a new daggerboard case is more involved but also doable. Fun project.
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Old 27-10-2020, 21:18   #6
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Iíve had a few couple sabots and issue seemed common with older sabots, the center board trunks donít maintain original dimensions in middle. Positive side donít need anything to keep center board from floating up. One sabot had to make thinner center board.
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Old 29-10-2020, 23:05   #7
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

This is a commercially built fiberglass boat; I donít have any info on its history. There is a nameplate indicating it was made by Varalyay, who according to the internet, were noted makers of Snipes, but apparently made Sabots as well. I assume the centerboard and tiller are original, but I donít know. From the VIN, it was made in the 70s.

As far as I can tell, the fiberglass looks to be in good shape. Itís hard to see inside the centerboard slot, but I donít see any sign of cracks. The centerboard itself also looks to be fine, no cracking or crazing of the paint. Itís quite light, so Iím not sure about the construction, but it feels lighter than plywood. I could try sanding it down, but Iím worried about taking off whatever is covering the core. On the other hand, if the only alternative is building a new centerboard, I donít see what I have to lose.

Any idea what I might be in for if I just sand it down? Is there a better option? Thanks.
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Old 30-10-2020, 03:21   #8
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
You'll need to haul out and look at everything before you'll know what the problem is.

The slot might be clogged or obstructed, the pivot point may not allow the CB to swing properly, it might be swollen or just poorly constructed, or any number of other reasons it doesn't fit properly.

Without knowing why it won't go all the way in, there's no way to tell you how to fix it.
+1

This is good advice. You can't get a sense of what is going on with a centreboard by a top-down only view.

Also your instincts are right about your sanding idea - nix to that.

A bit more research into what's going on with the actual hardware is in order methinks.

Good luck!
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Old 30-10-2020, 03:36   #9
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Are you calling a daggerboard a centerboard?

If the daggerboard is in good shape with no signs of bulging, the problem may be that the trunk has changed shape. Normally very little change is required to make the board tight (itís tight anyway to prevent banging). Iíve sailed some crappy old dinghys that a coat of paint made the dagger too tight to slide into the trunk.
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Old 05-11-2020, 23:25   #10
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

I don’t think the trunk is the problem: I inspected carefully, and I don’t see any damage or bulging. Furthermore, I measured the top and bottom, and there is about 0.25” taper. Then I tried to insert the daggerboard into the bottom of the slot, and it barely went in. Since the slot can’t have changed size at the hull end, the slot can’t be the problem.

On the other hand, I don’t see any damage or bulging on the daggerboard itself. However, if I shake the bottom of it, I hear a rattling, like the core is loose and moving back and forth.

FWIW, the daggerboard feels a lot lighter than plywood. So now I’m not sure what to do. Is there any way to repair the daggerboard?

P.S. To clarify some issues raised: the hull is fiberglass, I don’t know if the daggerboard is original, and yes it is a daggerboard not a centerboard (my bad).
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Old 06-11-2020, 04:34   #11
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Itís possible that the dagger youíve got is not the original to the boat.

Many old dinghys used a plywood dagger. If this has been swapped to a glass/foam dagger it may never fit without modifications to the trunk.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:23   #12
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Are the sides of the daggerboard flexible at any point? I.e. can you compress or squeeze them together?

Is so, it may have internal delamination. It may be possible to drill some 1/8 - 3/16" holes in appropriate strategic places and inject some epoxy resin. then clamp or weight to reattach the skin and core.

That the board seems light is a plus; if water comes out when you drill the holes, you need to use vacuuum or pressure combined with (not too much) heat to dry the inside before trying a repair like this.

That is, if you want it to last.

Note that this will only work if you have a solid-cored board.

If the board is built with ribs and stringers, sanding will only weaken it; my guess for an efficient repair if that is the case is to split it longitudinally along the thin edge and reglue the internal reinforcing structure.

It may be simpler to just make a new dagger...
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:59   #13
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Hello Daniel


I have an old sailing dinghy (an Islands 12) that has a centerboard (not a daggarboard in this case) that sticks. Careful inspection shows that there is some bulging in the walls of the centerboard case, and perhaps some cracks.


You may be dealing with a centerboard/daggarboard case that was previously repaired so that the cracks are no longer visible. Swelling can continue in some cases. Depending on the layout of the boat it is possible that water is getting into the laminate from the outside of the case.


You will have to think hard about your plans for the boat and how long you intend to keep it.


Regardless of the root cause, the easiest fix is to sand down the centerboard barely enough so that it will still slide once you get a couple of coats of paint on it. If it becomes clear that doing so will lead to structural compromise, just make a new centerboard.
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Old 06-11-2020, 14:00   #14
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

Thanks for all the great help.

Again, the case looks absolutely fine.

I pushed on the board, and in being de-laminated seems like a pretty good guess. So, my Sunday project is to drill some pilot holes at see what I can discover. There is one spot that looks like it could be where a previous hole was patched.

Any suggestions where to drill? If it is de-laminated, what kind of epoxy do I use? Is there a good way to figure out what the skin is made of, because there are a few spots that might be cracked enough to admit water.

As far as the core, I’m pretty sure the boat hasn’t been in the water, except for my one excursion, for quite a while, so at the moment it’s probably pretty dry.
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Old 06-11-2020, 17:06   #15
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Re: Centerboard doesnít fit

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If it is de-laminated, what kind of epoxy do I use?

Your favorite kind.


If you do not have a favorite kind of marine epoxy, you have an opportunity to cultivate your tastes along these lines:
* WEST system epoxy, a traditional 5:1 system with a range of additives and excellent literature and support;
* MAS epoxy, with a simpler 1:1 mix, and reportedly fewer problems with amine blush
* Total Boat epoxy and other generic alternatives, which can be slightly cheaper, particularly for the fillers and other additives.


In reality any of these will work just fine and the costs are very close. I use WEST system but that has as much to do with familiarity and local availability as anything else.


Quote:
Is there a good way to figure out what the skin is made of, because there are a few spots that might be cracked enough to admit water.

No, but it doesn't really matter because whether it's polyester or epoxy you will want to use epoxy to repair it.
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