Originally Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org
I sailed my Tartan to Bermuda and back and forgot to put the centerboard down. I am thinking about
drilling a hole through the keel and centerboard and installing a bolt to hold it up. Does anybody have
advice on this move?
I sure wouldn't do it. I've had people tell me they can't see the difference between board up and board down on sister ships of mine.
That's because you can't 'see' the difference looking at the water. Leeway doesn't 'feel' different in small degrees. You might see a difference in the wake of a boat that has more leeway and is 'crabbing' through the water.
But you can track the difference simply, on a GPS chart plotter. Next time you're sailing close hauled, check your COG. Then lower your board, and after a bit, check the COG again.
You'll see various changes, sometimes not at all due to current, wind, un-known factors. But more often than not, you'll be able to see an improvement in your windward course that may run around 5 degrees to as much as 10 degrees.
The change in course to windward is due to the lift provided by the centerboard. Off the wind, it doesn't provide lift(which is why it may clunk going downwind).
If those course improvements don't mean anything, then pin the board up. I find that course improvement often means the difference between making a headland on the same tack, and tacking.
And then if we're sailing a distance overnight, that course could make a difference in time, location, etc. If you avoid windward sailing all together, then definitely pin it up (in that case, I'd remove it).