Centerboard help

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Centerboard help

Postby Bskelly70 » Tue May 14, 2024 7:09 pm

I am new to sailing and just bought a 1992 Daysailer I. It has a lever/handle that pivots 90 degrees up and down to rotate the centerboard up and down. I got the boat in the water and the handle was stuck in the vertical position, it would wiggle an inch or two and that is it. I put the boat back on the trailer and brought it to the shop. I loosened the bolts on the triangular plate on the handle base and it still wouldn’t move. I looked under the boat and the centerboard was stuck in the trunk so I thought this was the problem. I was able to dislodge the centerboard and get it to swing down. I noticed it was swinging freely with no resistance, and the handle was not moving while it was swinging. If I understand this system, there should be a square end on the handle that fits into a square notch in the centerboard, and that is how it pivots up and down. So I think I have 3 problems. 1: the centerboard is swollen and needs to be sanded down? 2: the handle/lever is stuck in the vertical position and I don’t know why. 3: the notch in the centerboard where the square end of the handle is stripped, and the centerboard is roaring freely around it, or the square end isn’t even fitting into the notch and the centerboard is pivoting on a pin or something else I’m not aware of. Does any of this make sense? I’m going to have to get the boat jacked up somehow so I can investigate further but any help would be greatly appreciated!
Bskelly70
 
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Re: Centerboard help

Postby GreenLake » Wed May 15, 2024 5:45 am

In my experience CBs don't simply "swell". More often, there's some foreign object stuck in the CB trunk like sand or gravel. Especially if you can swing it freely. However, your case may be different, so you should investigate.

The best way to work at CB problems, if you have the space, is to careen your boat (lay it on its side). This gives you equal access to the inside and underside of your boat.

You'll want to remove the CB completely. By extracting the pin and handle, you'll also see whether the square part of the pin is rounded, and by extracting the board, you'll be able to see whether the hole is rounded.

While you are at it, throw in a new gasket in (available from DR marine - phone works best).

It is possible for the CB pin to be too tight against the gasket to move, but it's also possible for it to be too lose and thus not engaging the square hole (in addition to leaking).

The sweet spot on these boats is to have the CB have enough friction to keep it down, but not enough to prevent operating it.

If you see some (partial) rounding, you can shim any gaps between hole and pin. I used a flattened bronze washer to stick to like metals. Has worked pretty well for me.

However, there's one element you have not reported on, and it may be the real issue.: There's a gravity activated catch that locks the CB handle in the upright position. If it engages and you don't release it, there's no way to move the handle.

It's a little triangular piece. If you've taking apart things, make sure you put everything together the same way.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Centerboard help

Postby Bskelly70 » Wed May 15, 2024 1:50 pm

Thanks for your help! I don’t think the pawl was in the way but I will make sure. I was looking at old service receipts from the guy I bought the boat from and in 2022 he had service for “removing centerboard, installing shims on centerboard handle and interior board pivot”. So I’m assuming the square pin On the handle and square hole in the board were rounded. Maybe the shims came loose or the rounding got worse? I’ll have to get in there to see.
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Re: Centerboard help

Postby GreenLake » Wed May 15, 2024 5:09 pm

Both hole and pin are subject to some rounding with use. Shims are not a permanent fix, but restore function for some period of time. We don't know what those shims were made of. If not bronze, then they might have suffered galvanic corrosion. Or they might have simply flattened out with use.

A look-see would be indicated.

PS: you write that you are new to sailing. That covers a wide range. From anyone just brave enough to take a boat out on the water and see whether they can figure this out on their own, to someone who's concluded a set of training courses. Depending on where you fall on that curve, you might enjoy the thread on "Basic Concepts and Techniques", if only as a summary.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Centerboard help

Postby Bskelly70 » Wed May 15, 2024 10:16 pm

Thanks you. This has all been very helpful. I’m going to get some bronze washers assuming I’ll need them. Will also get a new gasket. One more question. If I do need to put some shims in, I’m trying to wrap my brain around how to get them in there and keeping them in position as you slide the square handle into the centerboard hole.

I am new to sailing as in I’ve been on a sailboat once as a passenger. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn express last night
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Re: Centerboard help

Postby GreenLake » Thu May 16, 2024 12:59 pm

Funny, but I don't remember how I did it. I know the piece(s) were L shaped, so perhaps just wedged in?

Otherwise, a dab of glue. Doesn't matter what kind, as, once assembled, there's no longer a need for it.

PS: I'm not sure I got the "Holiday Inn" reference.
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