Iron centerboard and wierd electric winch setup (revisted)

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Iron centerboard and wierd electric winch setup (revisted)

Postby THATBOATGUY » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:23 pm

One of the things that I've always found odd about our Freedom 40 is the centerboard arrangement. It's massive, cast iron, and had some Rube Goldberg electric winch set up with micro switches and relays for raising and lowering it.

None of the usual experts on Freedom boats were able to help with any information and some actually thought I was mistaken or even lying about it. Only the guy down in Tortola (who's name I ashamedly can't remember) who had worked at the factory, acknowledged that they had built "a few" boats with iron centerboards but they had been even before *his* time.

The area where the pulleys for the raising mechanism were located was nearly inaccessible. I did change out the electric winch with a working one and I carefully inspected the board while the boat was hauled.

Today I finally got access to that lower pulley area by removing some bulkheads that seperate the maine cabin from the engine room. And I did *not* like what I saw. The double pulley was crooked. I have lowered and raised the board about 10 times since I've owned the boat and decided to cycle it one more time in an attempt to see if I could see how the pulleys were anchored. Lowering shed little light on the subject other than it was flaky-er than I originally thought. I could see broke fiberglass and a bent metal base. I started taking the board back up (off of the muddy bottom under our boat). I got about halfway up and "BANG". The pulleys came out by the roots and shot up. The board came violently down and the cable two blocked on the upper pulley (which held). So now I know what would happen....

This was something I always knew I'd need to investigate and completely inspect before I could ever trust the boat. I'm glad it happened here in the slip.

Now all I have to do is repair it better than it was and it should be good to go for 40 years this time instead of only 30. :)


One big side benefit of opening up that area is that I can put all 8 golf cart batteries there in one big bank. :) And I can now clean and paint easily, in an area that was going to be a real challenge.

George and Kerri Huffman S/V Marquesa Freedom 40 CC CK Sail MarquesaImage
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