The centerboard on my Tartan is really designed only for pointing ability, I adds little or no stability. If it were bad weather I would just retract it so not to cause any damage from a knockdown and the board crashing into the slot unexpectedly.
Maintenance is an issue, but for where we sail, it is worth the extra time needed to maintain it IMO. Just recently, I replace the pennant and the tube connecting the mast tube to the thu hull fitting, it was a SOB but I got it on.
I have heard it make some noise, but only when I was at anchor or sailing downwind with a following sea and had forgot to bring it up