We’ve found that it is a lesson in physics.
Drag vs. lift.
Here is the short of it:
Say you’re on a beat in a stiff wind. Generally, you’re heeled over fairly well.
Since our CB weighs only 100 to 200 lbs, the added length of the board really does nothing to help keep the boat on its feet, rather it generates lift in the wrong direction heeling you over further.
So why use a center board at all? To help keep the boat from slipping.
By lowering the CB you increase lateral resistance, but you also increase drag and induce lift.
We’re still playing with optimal settings under given wind speeds and boat headings, but our starting points are:
Half down on a reach.
One quarter down on a beat.
Full up on a run.
And we’ll adjust from there based on boat heading vs. course over ground as read on the GPS.
All of this is as it was explained to me by my egg-head, math wiz, jib trimmer.