Ok.... The Sabre guy is here. Been at the boat all day..
We have a CB and ironically did a significant repair on it this year. Opinions:
1. I would buy it again.
2. Boards increases pointing and reduces leeway as others have said.
3. No stability enhancements since the board is only 110lbs.
4. Worried about rolling? In those situations, that's the LEAST of my worries. The board is encased in solid lead, it can thump all that it wants. I had a 700lb board let lose in a Catalina 22 and nothing bad happened to the boat. The Sabre CB is trivial by comparison.
1. Cable can wear. But realistically, if it wears there is a reason for the wear other than simply usage. The reason has to be found and resolved.
2. In Sabres, there is a wheel over which the cable passes and makes a 90 degree bend before exiting the boat into the CB case. We've had problems for the last 4 years with the board being very sticky going up and down. It turned out that the wheel disintegrated. It was made of bronze and we had a new one machined and SS welded into the housing for $81 + $151 of hoist time. We had a slight leak in a weld that required removal, re-welding, and reinstallation. Should be good for another 25 years. Took an afternoon.
3. Stuff like mud can jam the case. BUT Sabre has a pusher-downer rod that is inserted from inside the cabin through a fitting to push the board down.
Victoria Centerboard Repair
ANSWERS TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS:
1. Does the cable and board need attention every year during the haul out? - NO, JUST LOWER THE BOARD AT HAULOUT AND CHECK THE THIMBLE EYE.
2. Will grounding (board up or down) be easily damage the board and cable assembly? IN A SABRE, NO. THE BOARD IS TOTALLY ENCASED IN THE KEEL, SURROUNDED BY LEAD AND DOES NOT STICK DOWN WHEN HOISTED ALL THE WAY. IF MUD GETS JAMED UP THE CASE, THE BOARD CAN GET STUCK, BUT THE PUSHER-DOWNER CAN EASILY BE USED TO FREE IT. IF YOU GROUND WITH IT DOWN, THAT MENAS THAT YOU WENT FROM GREATER THAN 8' (BOARD DOWN) TO LESS THAN 4'4" IN A HURRY. IN THAT CASE, THE BOARD WAS SIMPLY PUSHED UP INTO THE CASE. THE WORST DAMAGE COULD BE A CRIMPED CABLE. I CAN'T IMAGINE A SITUATION WHERE THIS WOULD HAPPEN WHEN THE BOAT IS IN REVERSE. IF YOU'RE SAILING IN LESS THAN 10' RAISE THE BOARD. SIMPLE.
3. Does the cable replacement be performed by the owner with skills? YES. I DID IT (TWICE - WHEN THE WELD LEAKED). IT'S EASY. NOTE THAT THE BOAT NEEDS TO BE LIFTED HIGH USING A TRAVELIFT, SO YOU'LL NEED TO SCHEDULE LIFT TIME. SEE MY COST ABOVE.