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Old 05-03-2014, 07:57   #1
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Centerboard cable?

I have a 1975 Pearson 39 Yawl with centerboard. I bought it in 2004. I don't know if the centerboard cable has ever been replaced.
It looks good at both ends. Board moves up and down well. IOTW, no problems. Boat is in brackish water (Chesapeake Bay).

How often should a cable like this be replaced? It will be a big deal to do I think. I am not capable of doing it myself.
Leave it alone? Lube it? Replace it?
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:04   #2
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Re: Centerboard cable?

I'm not familiar with your particular boat but the cable is a routine maintenance item. I used to own a 26 foot centerboard sloop and the cable was pulled for an inspection every season during winter layup. I only had one failure during the season by keeping up with annual inspections and replacement if any indication of wear was apparent.
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:36   #3
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Re: Centerboard cable?

I have a centerboard with a wire pendant. I check visually at each haul out, but have gone about five years between replacement. This is a salt water boat. Even so, wire halyards seem to corrode faster than the CB pendant.

Frankly, I have been surprised that the pendant hasn't suffered worse than it has. It must be under really nasty conditions that severe corrosion occurs
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:42   #4
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Re: Centerboard cable?

My Pearson 35 had a galvanized cable installed in '06. Boat spent half its time in SF Bay and the other half in Hawaii. The cable was beginning to rust but still in pretty good shape when I changed it out for Dyneema line in '12.

The Dyneema line should be good indefinitely but there is one caution. The splice on the Dyneema line is quite long and won't pass through the turning block in the bilge. Board hangs down a few inches as a result. Not a big thing but if you are anal about the board being all the way in the well, it could be an issue.

The cable on my Morgan 35 was good for only a season and sometimes not that. For some unexplained reason, that particular boat suffered from severe electrolysis on the center board cable. No problems with other underwater metal, however.
Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
'Ms American Pie', Sabre 28 Mark II
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Old 05-03-2014, 18:27   #5
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Re: Centerboard cable?

If your Pearson's cable runs over a turning block then you should probably inspect the whole length. If it is only a straight line shot, just check the ends. Ours frayed and dropped due to chafe over the bronze wheels. Wheels needed service too.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:38   #6
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Re: Centerboard cable?

We lost our cable this summer on our Little Harbor 38. Luckily it was on our way home and we were only two daytrips away. I talked to a bunch of people in various yards and the consensus was to replace it every 4 years. The folks at Little Harbor also said to splice the end, not swedge it.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:46   #7
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Re: Centerboard cable?

I have owned two centerboard boats of that size .One for 15 years and never lost a cable . What I was told to do but never needed was to drill a hole close to the rear of the board and have a shackle for that hole . If it ever broke I could lift the board up and lash it up with a piece of line !
The other theory of boat maintenance is , if it ain't broke then fix it till it is .
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