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brak 09-28-2010 08:31 PM

Stuck centerboard
Just when I was planning my weekend sail on (new to me) boat - big problem, stuck centerboard. Evidently, there was not much clearance between centerboard and trunk. Yard that did bottom painting (here is what happens when you ask someone to do the job for you) didn't sand much (at all?), and so whatever clearance was there - is pretty much taken by paint.

Worse yet, they did realize that centerboard would get stuck as they were planning to load the boat on a trailer. One would hope that a reasonable person would stop, think, come up with a solution first (or call the owner and say "we can't do it"). These guys don't stop for little stuff like that. Instead they lowered the boat right on a trailer with centerboard as is. 2000+lbs of a boat bearing down on it will get any centerboard in the trunk - even sideways, dammit, but only once.

Now, complaining won't help (and neither will the boatyard) - so it's my problem to deal with. I am looking for ideas. Here is what I tried (3 days of work down the drain so far):
1. mask/snorkel/5 hours in the water pulling - no go
2. tear off centerboard trunk cover (100 screws and gobs of 5200 held it - that was a bear of a job), then push on centerboard as much as I can (even bang with a hammer, through a piece of wood - but not too much, don't need a new problem) - no va
3. Try to get a knife blade between centerboard and trunk from below/above - nothing (it's tight)

So now here are my next ideas:
- Get steel guitar string, run it between centerboard and trunk, try to "saw off" some paint that way? (Prolly will end up with string stuck in there?)

- Build some sort of a thingamajig with wood board on the cb, and another into the cabin ceiling, insert car jack in between, push (I wonder if I'll just make a hole in the ceiling?)

What else can I do other than using this thing as a powerboat (that goes sideways)? All ideas are welcome?

sailor50 09-28-2010 09:34 PM

Did you buy this boat without a survey, sounds like it.

Were you active in the bottom appraisal and condition, scraping, painting?

I think you went to the yard, said "hey dudes I'm here". I don't believe you were educated enough to pay a professional for what you did not know but believed you did.

Got sticker shock from the people making an honest living and then freaked out. Not all yards are rip-offs.

Did you pay to replace the centerboard pennant?

brak 09-28-2010 09:44 PM

I had a survey (didn't need one, but had one anyway). In any case centerboard was working fine when I bought the boat, during survey and opened and closed quite welll during trial sail. Survey predated the bottom paint work by precisely 3 days).

CB pennants are pretty much brand new, were recently replaced by PO (hence the ton of 5200 on cb trunk lid, PO liked things very firmly attached). I don't think they have to do anything with this issue, though.

I am not sure what the rest of your answer means, to be honest. I am looking for other ideas to solve the problem - if you have any, they would be appreciated. If you do not - thanks for your time :)

sailor50 09-28-2010 09:56 PM

Sounds like the problem is now in a bent trunk.

brak 09-28-2010 10:02 PM


Originally Posted by sailor50 (Post 649138)
Sounds like the problem is now in a bent trunk.

As far as I can see, the trunk is not bent, everything is straight and level (i.e. both trunk walls and cb itself).

The trunk is not "square", rather, it has a narrower area near the "root" of cb (built up lay-up on each side, as a kind of a "wedge", leaving very small clearance, perhaps 1/32" each side normally) designed to hold cb relatively tight when extended. Cb itself is also widest at the top. Since the clearance is now non-existant, cb is stuck (in closed position) at its widest point, where it came in full contact with trunk walls.

mitiempo 09-28-2010 10:23 PM

How large is the hole the pennant travels in? Is there any way that it something, a metal rod perhaps, could be pushed against the centerboard with increasing force to try and get it to move? The jack idea makes sense to me, with something against the cabin overhead that is large enough to spread the load over a wide area.

CalebD 09-28-2010 11:24 PM

Do we even know what type and make of boat this is with the stuck center board?
I like the idea of using the low E string of a guitar to help clear the slot in the center board trunk though. Barring that a flat piece of metal might dislodge the offending high spots; something like an old metal yard stick.
If that fails then motoring around on the bay when there is some chop might just induce the board to become un-stuck. Make sure to loosen the pennant a little bit before motoring into the waves. You will know when it falls and if it doesn't then you have not lost anything, or you were not motoring in rough enough conditions to get it loose.
What kind of boat weighs 2000#'s that has a center board? Is this a MacGregor 26 or a Hunter 260 (extra zero added for emphasis)?
The board will go down again with the right encouragement.

bacinmass 09-29-2010 12:18 AM

how about getting out the mask/snorkel again, but also bring a hacksaw blade and gloves... run the hacksaw blade around the c/b slot, like loosening a cake from a pan. if the paint is what got it stuck in there, hopefully this would break the seal of the paint?

brak 09-29-2010 07:05 AM

The boat is Corsair F-24.

1. hacksaw blade won't fit (I tried that too, that goes into the "blade of the knife" category). There is just no distance between cb and trunk wall in the area that is stuck to fit any metal object. I.e. I can run a knife/blade etc around the cb until it gets to the raised "wedge" at which point there is nowhere to go. I was hoping guitar string would be thin enough to slice through where blades won't go.

2. I have full access to the top of cb - the trunk lid is removed inside the boat. Pennants are disconnected at this point, so they are neither in the way nor really do anything.

Motoring around and hoping for it to fall - may be, but since I would have to fully reinstall the trunk cover, I'd like to wait on that one, it's going to be a desperation measure :)

What about using a jack screw to push it from the top? I am torn between that being a great or a totally harebrained idea.

Bloke 09-29-2010 08:31 AM

you say "the boat is new to you..."
perhaps there is a catch or other locking device that you haven't found yet...?
... previous owners modification maybe?
... perhaps something the boat yard put in to hold it up?
just thinking outside the box there ...

Beyond that, well your only option has to be a bigger hammer/lever - if the boat only weighs a ton then there can't be any real weight in the CB so bobing around in a seaway won't do ****.

reversing the jam effect of a ton weight is not so hard if you can get the leverage onto it.

... if you can access the housing that it slides into - clamping pressure for and aft will naturally open up the sides - not much but all you need is clearance

good luck

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