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Old 11-05-2016, 08:39   #1
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Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Hello guys

I just bought a Alden 44 and I have a problem with the centerboard mechanism.
Has anybody an idea how it works and or drawings details and the access from the keel?
The hydraulic system is working fine but the centerboard doesn't move

Best wishes

Ronaldo
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:50   #2
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Hi Ronaldo,

I've no knowledge of your particular system but do have questions.

Presumably a centreboard would suffer much greater damage in a grounding if held down by a hydraulic ram rather than just by its own ballasted weight.

To avoid that it might be built so that the ram lifts the cb positively but only allows the cb to descend under its own weight.
In other words the ram might move normally in cb down direction but not force the cb down.

Benefit is that the cb can kick up on grounding and is more likely to survive, downside is cb can easily stick in up position without that positive lowering force.
Just like a winched system really.

Just theory, sorry

Haven't much experience with centreboards except on dinghies but did once help an owner make some tools to clear growth etc. from inside the cb trunk.
He spoke of gravel having once jammed the board when he'd beached for hull cleaning.

Even heavy iron swing keels can be jammed by barnacles.

Look forward to reading how yours turns out
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Old 11-05-2016, 13:22   #3
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Thak you Unclemack!

The cb is a little bit down. It's not heavy, I can move it up by my hands but not by the mechanism. I can't see it and I don't know how to access.
Maybe it has hole in the keel, that's why I need drawings.
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Old 11-08-2022, 11:38   #4
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Hello all! I’m currently looking at an Alden 44 as a live aboard for our family for the next couple of years. I really love these boats, but the one we’re looking at has had the center board removed, presumably “permanently”, including (obviously) filling the hole in the hull/keel for the lifting mechanism, etc. My question is:
How well do they sail without the center board? Is not having it prohibitive, or does it simply make pointing less efficient?
we’re ok with a slightly decrease in performance, but don’t want to end up with a boat that doesn’t point at all and can’t hold a line.
Thanks so much for any thoughts!!!
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Old 11-08-2022, 13:26   #5
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

I had a Morgan 24, which, while smaller, had a similar hull design and a combination short keel plus centerboard similar to the Alden 44. The previous owner had sailed the boat without the centerboard (which had jammed). I fixed the centerboard and found that there was not a huge difference in upwind performance. There was some difference in leeway, not much else.


Centerboard systems, regardless of design, are maintenance intensive and prone to fouling. These problems are particularly acute for larger vessels as much of the maintenance must be performed while the boat is in the slings as there is not enough clearance to remove the centerboard while on the hard, and the board is ordinarily too heavy to be safely removed by a diver. We are shopping for a new vessel now and have ruled out any that have centerboard systems for this reason.
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Old 12-08-2022, 06:12   #6
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Alden Designs - Hart Nautical Collection, MIT Museum - Designers of Fine Yachts

They allow in-person access to the plan archive. Contact them. They have the Alden 44 and the Alden 44 MK II plans in their archives. The builder is out of business.
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Old 12-08-2022, 13:34   #7
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

The designer of the Alden 44 was Mr. Niels Helleberg. He is a naval architect and was chief designer of Alden Yachts.

Contact info seems to be:
Niels Helleberg Yacht Design
23 Glendale St
Salem, MA
617-227-7997

I seem to recall that he retired and closed up shop a few years ago, but perhaps he still can be contacted. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2022, 23:47   #8
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDZ123 View Post
Hello all! I’m currently looking at an Alden 44 as a live aboard for our family for the next couple of years. I really love these boats, but the one we’re looking at has had the center board removed, presumably “permanently”, including (obviously) filling the hole in the hull/keel for the lifting mechanism, etc. My question is:
How well do they sail without the center board? Is not having it prohibitive, or does it simply make pointing less efficient?
we’re ok with a slightly decrease in performance, but don’t want to end up with a boat that doesn’t point at all and can’t hold a line.
Thanks so much for any thoughts!!!

Maybe it would be better to start a new thread (which is specific to your problems) rather than add to threads that are 3 years and 6 years old (which are not really relevant anyway).

I'd be alarmed if someone removed a center board. Presumably the naval architect put it there for a reason!
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Old 13-08-2022, 05:35   #9
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
Presumably the naval architect put it there for a reason!

Presumably the reason was that the design brief given to the NA called for a centerboard because, at the time, that was a popular configuration that sold well.
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Old 13-08-2022, 17:02   #10
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Presumably the reason was that the design brief given to the NA called for a centerboard because, at the time, that was a popular configuration that sold well.

"According to Philip, the centerboard model can sail just about anywhere. “Obviously a full keel would be better, but then you can’t get into shallow water, so the ability to go anywhere is a tradeoff,” he said."

Why not go the whole hog and do away with the keel completely?

https://sailingmagazine.net/article-1504-alden-44.html
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Old 17-08-2022, 07:29   #11
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

Quote:
Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
Maybe it would be better to start a new thread (which is specific to your problems) rather than add to threads that are 3 years and 6 years old (which are not really relevant anyway).

I'd be alarmed if someone removed a center board. Presumably the naval architect put it there for a reason!
You can sail without a centerboard, but you will loose some performance against the wind. It is a shame.
Alden 44 is a great sailboat. I keep mine with the centerboard runing.
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Old 17-08-2022, 16:40   #12
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Re: Centerboard mechanism Alden 44

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Originally Posted by rapignataro View Post
You can sail without a centerboard, but you will loose some performance against the wind. It is a shame.
Alden 44 is a great sailboat. I keep mine with the centerboard runing.
How much of a loss against the wind are we talking? Is it losing a couple of degrees of pointing ability or significant leeway? I would prefer the boat have the centerboard, but it may not be a deal breaker if the difference is more "fine tuning" of performance, rather than an essential piece of equipment.
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