That's a good way to remind yourself!Normally the board has a wire that wraps onto a winch designed for this purpose.
We love our board and use it almost all the time to help with weather or lee helm. Even at anchor, it can dampen the motion in a rolly anchorage.
I think the biggest problem with a board, especially on a new boat and for those not used to them, is leaving it down when coming into shallow water. I made a little plaque that says "board down' in red on one side and 'board up' in white on the other, which has velcro and is right alongside the chart plotter at the helm. Can't-miss seeing it.
With the board lowered, is there anything that "locks" it in place so it stays vertical? I had thought that the board was a "swing keel" with it's own ballast that would be heavy enough to keep the board full deployed even with water rushing past it, but I read something today that said it is literally a board (no ballast of its own). Are there perhaps two control lines - one keeping the board up and the other for keeping it extended? Sorry for all the questions... I don't know much about centerboards and have generally avoided them, but the Bristol 41.1 is such a fine looking boat that I keep coming back to it!Running downwind with the board up in a big sea, I heard the board knocking around in the trunk, when the boat rolled a bit.
In an rolly anchorage you might hear it, in that case lowering the board should help. I'm not racing, So, here in the Northeast, I find the pluses outweigh the minuses for me. I draw 3'11" with the board up, which allows easier access to more spots, at more times.
Wow, I have to disagree with just about all your impressions of a centerboard, but of course, we don't sail similar boats.Center boards require very little extra maintenance. The well and board need to be cleaned and painted when you do the bottom but that's minimal time and labor. The cable should be inspected at each haul out and replaced if necessary. The galvanized cable that the PO installed on my boat still looked good after 6 years mostly in Hawaii. Changed it out for a Dyneema line which is going on 7 years and possibly will last forever. The plumbing to run the control line needs to be monitored but my boat is 50 years old with everything but the cable is original.
I've got a Pearson 35 but most center board installations are essentially identical. How the lifting cable is actuated and located is the big difference. Different boats's interior and deck designs so builders have routed the lifting cables differently with different means to multiply force to raise the board. Some use a wire reel or sheet winch mounted either on deck or below. Others have a simple dual sheave arrangement to multiply force. I'm not familiar with any center board mechanics that lock the board down on a keel/centerboard boat. There may be some out there but I'd be leery of such a set up unless it is built hell for stout to be as strong as fixed keel. Personally want the board to lift up and save itself when it hits the bottom. So most boats just rely on the weight of the board to keep it lowered all the way at sea. Some may have minor weight ballast to be sure it stays down but in no way is it enough ballast that would affect stability. There are boats with ballasted lifting keels, either swing or vertical, but they are a whole different barrel of fish.
The board in the up position should have little to no bumping, banging. Sailed to Hawaii DDW with the board up with the rolling that that point of sail includes and the board was dead silent. The only time I was aware that the board was even there was when the lifting line slipped a little in the cam cleat and the board dropped down a bit. Hauled a bit on the lifting line and was back to silent running. Lowered, the board can bang. Beating, it seldom makes any noise. On a reach or run it does make itself known because of the additional rolling of the boat. But then I almost never lower the board except when hard on the wind because it's not necessary and just makes for additional drag. Some people say partially lowering the board on some points of sail can affect helm balance but haven't found that to be the case with my boat. Lowering the board at anchor with ANY wave action will result in the board bumping noticeably. Don't know why you'd want to lower the board at anchor in any case.
Try different depths on the board. Ours will bang all the way down but not at all at 14 of 20 turns on the winch. That's still most of the way down. Mess about a bit and I think you'll be surprised. A centerboard need not be an all or nothing proposition.Sorry if I wasn't clear but didn't mean to intimate the board down caused rolling but that that point of sail did. Just that sailing off the wind=
especially DDW all boats roll more, some a lot more than others. Beause of the rolling, the board has constant reversal of the dynamic forces on the sides of the boards which cause it to bang. The board could reduce roll. Never occurred to lower the board DDW to reduce roll for two reasons, my boat doesn't roll badly so didn't feel the need and the banging board would drive me crazy. Other than beating haven't felt a need to lower the board. Even though I suffer from CHS, extraneous noise like an auto pilot when sailing bug the hell out of me.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35 #108
Ms American Pie, Sabre 28 Mk II
When the board is all the way down, it is the tightest fit, less movement. The boards are thickest at the pivot and 8" down from there, also they are flat at that point so when the board is all the way down the thick flat part will keep the board from rolling and is the tightest in the exiting slot of the trunk. With the board part down the board has more room to move in the slot. You can clearly see that in my plans documentation of the board.Try different depths on the board. Ours will bang all the way down but not at all at 14 of 20 turns on the winch. That's still most of the way down. Mess about a bit and I think you'll be surprised. A centerboard need not be an all or nothing proposition.
I guess all boards are not created equal. But that makes little sense as a board is designed to operate at different depths for trim and partially down in shallower waters. As I said, I've known folks who have quieted their boards w/a split hose in the trunk or on the board.When the board is all the way down, it is the tightest fit, less movement. The boards are thickest at the pivot and 8" down from there, also they are flat at that point so when the board is all the way down the thick flat part will keep the board from rolling and is the tightest in the exiting slot of the trunk. With the board part down the board has more room to move in the slot. You can clearly see that in my plans documentation of the board.