Centerboard Keels - should I even consider? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-20-2011
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Centerboard Keels - should I even consider?

Centerboard Keels in Blue Water boats:

1. Should I bother to consider these boats?
2. Just one more thing to worry or maintain.
3. or its fear has been greatly exaggerated.

Your thoughts: ?
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Old 06-20-2011
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The Bermuda 40 has a worm gear mechanism. I would watch out for wire mechanisms. When I was b40 shopping I saw one when it was out of the trunk. The bottom 4-5 threads of the 1" dia worm gear were corroded and gone. This was a '61 b40.
The board mechanism on Ibis works very well. When I got the boat the previous owner said he never used it. So it was stuck up in the trunk. I had to get a hack saw blade up in there to free it.
The board itself is a slightly foil shaped cast bronze. I think it weighs like 800lbs. It takes me from 4' to 9' of draft. The b40 is a heavy boat and I think the cb helps performance, tracking.
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Old 06-20-2011
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I would not. Seems to be more stuff to maintain and what if you get rolled. What happens to the center board?

Although I did read about a sailboat the cruises Antarctica and as I remember it was around 60 feet long and made of aluminum with a centerboard. They cruised many years without a problem. Raising the centerboard allowed them to anchor in shallows (to wait out a storm) around Antarctica they would not have been able to do with a deep draft. So in a sense the centerboard provide a safety factor.
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Old 06-20-2011
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Bermuda 40 or a Swan 47, sure!
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Old 06-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Centerboard Keels in Blue Water boats:

1. Should I bother to consider these boats? YES
2. Just one more thing to worry or maintain. YES
3. or its fear has been greatly exaggerated. YES

Your thoughts: ?
You have to consider where you plan to spend most of your time? In the bay they are a great advantage IMO.

I think a lot depends on the design of the centerboard. On our boat the centerboard is designed to increase pointing ability and reduce leeway, it does not provide more stability. Because it weighs less than 200#, I wouldn't worry about it in a roll.
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Last edited by T37Chef; 06-20-2011 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 06-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
You have to consider where you plan to spend most of your time? In the bay they are a great advantage IMO.
.
If I can have my way, she will spend most of her time outside the Bay.

If I am going to buy a keel boat, the max draft will be 6 ft. 5 is preferred. But point of sail is more important than anchorage.
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Old 06-20-2011
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"IF" that was a design I wanted, correctly setup to sail with a CB etc, no issues. They can be IIRC locked/pinned in place if heavy, to stay down if you will in a roll. This would be important if the CB has righting moment ability. If it were like Chefs, that is a different animal!

I would personally prefer a fixed keel in the 6-7' range depending upon the length etc. Then again, I am usually sailing in 200-600+' of water in Puget Sound.......so draft is not an issue! For where you have talked about, not sure 7' for a 40'ish foot boat would be a bit deal, then again...........

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Old 06-20-2011
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Dawg, I've owned two boats with a centerboard with a cable. Check the cable and keep the board clean and painted and it will serve you well. Both boats have sailed in blue water with no issues. All the ballast is in the keel. The board reduces weather helm and allows me to point higher when sailing to windward.
My current draft is 3'11" with the board up..and it allows me to get into places many deep draft vessels can't. Tempest has been to Bermuda!

The only downside I can mention is that the board was a little noisy on one voyage..on a broad reach in 10 foot following seas..I had the board up and there's a little movement in it that allows it to bang around in the pocket occasionally...but that is rare..and it doesn't hurt anything..except the quiet below.
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Old 06-20-2011
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hahah.... the reason that I bought up this question is because I have been eying on a number of potential Sabres on YW from CT to NC. I did not say it out loud to keep it as objective as possible. I am glad to hear from the Sabre Owner.

1. Does the cable and board need attention every year during the haul out?
2. Will grounding (board up or down) be easily damage the board and cable assembly?
3. Does the cable replacement be performed by the owner with skills?

TIA.
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Old 06-20-2011
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Hi Dawg,

1.) I paint or touch up the board every year just before re-launch. The boat has to be in the sling to lower the board. I check the cable at that time.
I used a multi year paint...I probably didn't have to paint it this year...but there was enough paint left after doing the hull so I painted it..

2.) I actually use the board sometimes as an early warning system in shallow water...if the board bumps...it might give me time to stop before an actual grounding...the board would simply get pushed up.... If the cable breaks...the board drops..as long as you have enough water under you...no problem..it will hang on the pivot...until you can get hauled. I just wouldn't go in reverse with it hanging free...unless I knew there was plenty of water under me.

3.) You could replace the cable yourself, but you'd have to pay for hang-time in a sling....
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