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post #1 of 3 Old 11-25-2010 Thread Starter
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Centerboards on transoceanic boats

I've become interested in aquiring a used Sabre; 36 or 38 ft. I've only looked at one in the material world, the others being represented on-line. This would be, presumably , the last boat I purchase. A five to seven year plan would include the Carribean, east coast of So. America, and across the pond to the Mediterranean. As I've looked at more 38's ads I see that there are a lot out there with centerboards. I have shied away from considering the centerboard affair but after reviewing some sailnet forums I have not found any negative comments about their blue water use; i.e. what I thought might be less desireable stability characteristics due to a presumed higher CG compared to a presumed heavier and lower CG on the fin keel. I know that there are issues with sailing close to the wind and of coarse maintenance. Does anyone out there have an opinion about this? To centerboard or not on offshore passages? I realize that like other issues there are lots of variables and probably no one "answer". Shallow waters in the Carib. and So. American rivers would be more accessable with that centerboard up... hum..
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-26-2010
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Provided the boat has a centerboard, where the board is not a significant portion of the ballast rather than a swing keel, I don't see much issue with using one for bluewater passages, provided the boat is properly designed. As an example, the Ovnis use a centerboard and are well regarded as bluewater cruisers.

Shoal draft, which is a major reason many boats have a centerboard, is very advantageous, as it allows you to go more places, and gives you more options in terms of refuge from storms.


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post #3 of 3 Old 11-29-2010 Thread Starter
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Sailingdog, thank you for your reply I thought a center board and swing keel were synonymous and that a dagerboard was different because it lowers directly downward. I assumed that a centerboard/swing keel would and could not be a heavy ballasted item for practical reasons on a small vessel. And why would you want to raise ballast anyway? The CG of a centerboard hull, I would think, must be somewhat higher then that of its sister deep keeled hull. Shape is important as well, and the technical descriptions of possible differences are way beyond my technical familiarity. I saw that John Neal at Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction mentions that there can be issues with centerboards with regard to blue water voyaging. He uses the word stability. Can there be a sacrifice of performance because of centerboard design in conditions tnat you would see more of offshore? If you want to purchase a catamoran, then this is not an issue! Any comments out there? Please set me straight!
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