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· Broad Reachin'
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The cable on my centerboard winch is starting to show some meathooks so I think it's time to replace it while the boat is still on the hard. Has anyone done this repair yet? Any tips?

How long is the cable? I'm assuming about 10' will suffice since the centerboard swings down to around 6' below the waterline and then there needs to be some reserve as well as a foot or two to reach up to the winch. I'll measure when I get good enough weather to make a trip to the marina.

How is the cable attached to the winch? Will I need any special tools or parts?
 

· Broad Reachin'
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the information Wayne. Based on my limited research so far, it looks like the cable will need to be replaced with a stainless steel equivolent. Is that what you're thinking of using?

Where can the Suncor terminal be purchased?

My initial thinking was that this was going to be a fairly straight forward and easy project, but I'm starting to doubt that now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After a little more research, it looks like I could purchase a 1/8" swage eye ($9.99), 15' of 1/8" 1x19 SS wire ($26.85) and have the fitting swaged on for $8.99 through Defender. Given that I don't deal with saltwater or tropical conditions, I'm thinking the 1x19 wire (302/304 grade) should be sufficient. Also, the 1/8" is rated at a breaking strength of 2,100lbs, which should be plenty for the centerboard.

Am I missing anything?
 

· Broad Reachin'
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just got a quote from a local rigging shop for 12' of 1/4" 7x19 SS wire with a swage fitting for $28.99. That seems like a very good price. Now all I need to do is head over to the boat and confirm sizes/lengths and make sure my centerboard connections is like the pictures Wayne posted. I also need to determine how the wire is attached to the winch.
 

· Broad Reachin'
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What I like most about having a centerboard is the ability to reduce my boat's draft to about only 18-20". I could theoretically beach the boat or access some really shallow gunkholes. However, given that I sail in Lake Michigan and that there are not a lot of shoals or shallow areas, I don't really need a shallow draft boat. This feature might be more beneficial in a tidal area or coastal backwaters.

Another advantage is that I can keep the board fully retracted when sailing on a broad reach or downwind and thus reduce wetted surface area and pick up a bit of speed.

There are some downsides. For one, the upkeep mentioned here in this thread. There's also a pivot bolt that can leak if not properly maintained/inspected. However, many fixed keel boats still also have issues such as corroded keel bolts. It's a tradeoff.

I also tend to think that my particular boat would be less tender if it had a deeper fixed keel in place of the centerboard/swingkeel. I have no way of knowing this for certain, but the physics in my head seem to suggest it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Has anyone verified how the wire is attached to the actual winch? I've been told many manufacturers fed the wire through a hole in the winch drum and then used a press fitting to hold it in place. Did Helms do it this way?

I'd look for myself, but my boat isn't currently elevated high to drop the board down far enough so I can check. Hopefully I'll get it hoisted in a couple of weeks.
 

· Broad Reachin'
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I finally made it back out to the marina and worked on the boat today. My centerboard wire appears to be 3/16" and is attached to the winch spool by passing through a hole in the spool and then using a press fitting on the other side to hold it in place.

For some reason I'm nervous about attempting this repair on my own. I have a feeling it will be more difficult than it sounds. Can someone confirm that the little metal plate on the side of where the cable passes through the hull is the inspection plate for the sheave? I'm assuming that's what it's for, but I haven't taken it off yet because it's sealed with what looks like 3M 5200.

Here's how I'm planning to tackle the repair:
1) Have marina lift the boat just high enough to allow the pennant attachment on the board to be accessible while still having the board rest on the ground to take the pressue off of the winch.
2) Unhook the pennant from centerboard.
3) Remove winch from step/mounting to give access to backside where the press fitting is for attaching the wire and spool.
4) Cut the wire using bolt cutters.
5) Remove the wires from both the bottom of the boat and from the winch spool.
6) Thread new wire up from bottom of boat over the sheave and up to the winch.
7) Attach new wire to winch spool with press fitting.
8) Remount winch.
9) Attach pennant to centerboard.
10) Raise the board back up into the trunk.
11) Launch the boat!!!

Am I missing any steps?

FYI - Today was very productive. I painted the bottom with anti-fouling paint, waxed the hullsides, deck and cockpit, oiled the exterior teak, and painted the trailer. The last thing to do before splashing her for season number 2 is replacing the centerboard wire!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Wayne - On closer inspection, I also have two plates which are not necessarily inspection plates but rather provide access to the turning sheave.

I'm planning to do the repair on Friday, so I'll let you all (how many of us are there?) know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I installed the new winch wire this past Friday just before I launched the boat. I basically used the method I outlined in one of my above posts. The procedure was easier than I anticipated and only cost $21. No worries about not being able to raise the board this summer! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread and helped me think through the process!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Wayne - From what I could see, the sheave appeared ok. However, I did not take off the access plates to get a full view. I simply looked down the copper tube with a flahslight. It seemed to spin just fine with the new wire in place. I did not use any lube.
 
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