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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-22-2014 04:48 PM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

I went ahead and cut the winch cable, and took it to the local rigging shop to have replaced. Hopefully it will help with the sticking. I also bought some very liquidy graphite solution, and a silicone spray.

Regarding it being stuck, before cutting the line I disconnected it from the keel and did two things:
1) winched the cable up without the board
2) Lifted the board with a jack (without the cable)

This quickly told me that the cable was jamming, not the board, when its completely raised. Some poor photographs of it raised below show that it is related to reaching the end of the wire, and getting to the thicker swaged connection, or the tangs below. You can see the swaged connection hitting the wheel below...

So my only hope is that a new cable and trying to lubricate the wheel help, otherwise I guess I'll just keep a tube available to hammer it down. At least until next year...
07-21-2014 12:56 AM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

Basically finished. I could have faired it a bit more, but i got impatient. The thing was in horrible shape, and as it was, I already did two coats of epoxy. I also was limited to good weather since I don't have a garage to tote the thing too. Either way I'm happy with how infinitely better it seems to look, and how much longer it should last. Thought I'd throw one or two finished photos on...

And then after raising and lowering (where it grabbed a little rust from the inside on top of the paint)

What can I say about lining up the pin other than to say it was a hassle. I drew on the paint with a pen to give myself arrows to line it up, but its heavy either way, and hard to line up where you can't see.

My question to anybody is this: Has anyone else had trouble with the winch side getting stuck up in the body of the boat? If I jack the keel all the way in, it is very hard to lower again. I have a bunch of ideas to try tomorrow, but its definitely on the keel stuck in the body, not the wire stuck on the winch. You can pull the wire out sideways, but the keel will not go down. After about 3-4 inches it behaves beautifully. Its driving me crazy, and was doing this right before I dropped it too.
05-12-2014 02:17 PM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

Has anyone ever considered adding lead sheets and epoxying and fiberglassing over them? This seems like it would be fairly strong and you could probably add ~15-20 lbs without sacrificing much thickness. I dont plan on doing that, but I'm curious about the possibility. I imagine you'd have to be careful with the lead.
05-12-2014 01:40 PM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

Making a lot of progress, going to epoxy and fiberglass a bit tomorrow most likely (weather dependent). The only thing I'm slightly concerned about is how much the pin hole has warn away from rubbing. Inside the boat its great, but its over an inch big in the keel. My guess is that with properly treated iron this will wear much more slowly, and I'm not sure what I could really do about it anyway without welding and drilling (not in my budget)

I'm thinking about trying to weigh it when I"m done. With a fulcram, a bathroom scale and some math I think I could get fairly accurate. Unfortunately, I don't think this one was ever repainted or really taken care of properly. I'm excited to have a job done I know can last a few decades.
04-29-2014 09:46 AM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

Hi! I made a frame of roughly the shape that it used to have without all the indentations and poured epoxy to fill the gaps left by cleaning out the rust. Then I just put a single layer of fiberglass tape wetted with epoxy wrapping the board from top to bottom and overlapping on the front and back edges. I would have liked to build it up more but there wasn't a lot of lateral clearance in the hole that it needs to swing in (I'm sure there is a proper nautical term for the hole that the swing keels moves in, but it eludes me.)

Hope that helps,
04-29-2014 08:54 AM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration


Can you describe how much fiberglass you put down? I've used epoxy and obviously paint and rust treatment, but I'm less confident in the fiberglass. Did you put it in the layers of epoxy? Thanks. Mine's being hauled on the 6th for this exact job.
10-18-2012 09:46 PM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

Hey Wayne!

I didn't weight it. I estimate that the metal was probably about 250lbs or so from the original 300. The epoxy and eglass weighed next to nothing so while it gave it structure, it couldn't have affected the weight much.

The pin is stainless and it is directly in the trunk as far as I remember. It was a bit of a mess around it as there was a ton of sealant of some sort under the two panels that cover the pin. I cut away enough to push the pin through. I am not sure what the diameter was. Maybe 3/4 inch? It wasn't too hard to get out. I just took a small metal dowel and hammered it through from port to starboard.

So one thing I learned in this process is that I should have squared the rear edge of the centerboard instead of trying to taper it. It vibrates at about 4.3 knots and the boat now sings a different song depending upon the speed and the angle of the board.
10-14-2012 11:37 PM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

Very nice job! How did it sail? Did you happen to weight it before you installed it? Wondering how close to the original 300# it ended up.
Was the pin stainless in those early years or bronze or something else?
Did the pin ride in the fiberglass of the trunk or were there some type of bushings for the pin? What was the diameter of the pin? Was it hard to get it out?
Sorry for all the questions, but I never had to remove mine yet.
10-13-2012 11:45 PM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

Well, I finally finished my centerboard restoration. Got the boat back in the water, and took my first sail on it in the last two months.

This is what I started with.

This is the board after being ground, Oshpho'd, and sealed with a Por15. I am just starting to epoxy it here.

Here it is after epoxy before being wrapped with eglass and more epoxy.

Here is the finished product with ablative paint on it.

09-10-2012 11:05 AM
Re: Helms 25 Centerboard restoration

Does anyone know what coating Jack Helms used on the centerboard from the factory? Just curious.
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