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Bristol 32 Centerboard Cable Tube

5768 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  prleary
I recently discovered a small drip coming from the vicinity of the centerboard cable tube where it runs next to the engine. After carefully removing several layers of epoxy putty (about 1/2 a pound) and duct tape I finally reached the original fiberglass tube. For reasons unknown, the tube appears to have been purposely cut by the POs and then patched with with epoxy putty. Over the years the layers of epoxy putty formed a mass attached to the engine mount box.

Here's where I need help. Should the centerboard cable tube be attached to the engine mount box or should it be independent? Could have, would have, should have taken pictures.

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I suspect the tube was cut by PO to feed snake in both directions when the old cable broke. Many Bristol k/cb have had this infamous tube modified or relocated. I cannot tell you if, on the 32, the tube needs to be attached to the engine mount. It does need to be held in place to something (usually glassed in). I can tell you that Bristol owners are quick to replace that cable when it shows wear because it is a pain when it fails on you. Can't snake the tube due to sharp angles.
Thanks for the quick reply.

This is the piece of the puzzle I was looking for. I think a proper glass job and good support, probably on the engine mount box, should fix my leak. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
Thanks for the quick reply.

This is the piece of the puzzle I was looking for. I think a proper glass job and good support, probably on the engine mount box, should fix my leak. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
Looking forward to hearing about your story
I am going to my boat tonight and will try to get some pictures of that for you. Look for a response on Friday...
Don't know if these help, but here are the pictures I promised you.
Not sure what happened to the pictures. Let me know if you know how to post them, otherwise, I can email them to you directly.
Well, here is the centerboard cable tube after I finished removing the old repair and patches. The cut in the tube is from a previous owner. I tried to do the new fiber glass myself but I mucked it up pretty badly.

I'm having my marina do the repairs right. When they finish I'll post more pictures.
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The yacht yard crew did a great job repairing the centerboard cable tube. They removed the damaged tube and glassed in a new fiberglass tube. It's the grey tube in the middle of the picture.
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Can I ask...

Can I ask how much this cost and how I identify this problem, if possible? I'm interested and looking at a Bristol 32 and will be mooring it in a shallow river so the keel/centerboard cable failure would be trouble. Would rather preempt this if possible so I don't end up bending the centerboard.
Check the centerboard cable tube and make sure that it is not cut like the one pictured above. If the boat is on the hard, simply lower the board and have someone below make sure that it is lowering properly. Keep in mind that barnacle growth could also impede the proper lowering of the centerboard. This is a simple cleaning job.
To inspect the centerboard cable, I believe the boat needs to be hauled and blocked, the centerboard lowered and the cable disconnected and removed for inspection. If the boat still has the original cable, I would simply replace it at this time as a preventative measure.

Our cost was around $1700. This was to haul and block the boat, remove the damaged section of the centerboard tube, install a new section of tube (see the above pictures), replace the cable and relaunch. I would expect just inspecting the cable and/or replacing it would be significantly less.

The centerboard tube on my boat is on the port side in the engine compartment. You can see the engine fly wheel cover on the left of the photo and the cabin sole at the bottom. It's pretty easy to inspect.

When we bought the boat, there was a huge glob of epoxy putty on the tube. There was also a wet area at the base of the tube. We didn't think much of it at the time. About a year later I noticed a dripping sound in the bilge and examined the glob on the tube more closely. I found where the water was seeping through the old repair. I knew the seeping would get worse so I started posting and that's when I started this thread.

Take a look at captlar's reply in this thread. That was a huge help for me to understand what was going on.
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A repair tube with a plubing style plugged "clean out" t fitting for future snaking might have been nice. Just a thought.
I have a 1967 Bristol 32 keel/centerboard model, where the centerboard cable runs through a metal tube right through the center of the salon. I would very much like to move it somewhere out of the main thoroughfare, but would like to have some preparation and plans for the project before hauling the boat out to do this. I am not sure of how the cable interfaces with the centerboard inside the trunk, such that I'd know how it could be re-routed. Does anyone have this same setup in there boat? Better yet, did anyone have this set up but already perform this same alteration? This is my last big dark unsolved problem in my extensive restoration project.
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