F-40 Centerboard, Worth it?

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F-40 Centerboard, Worth it?

Postby Capitan Sardina » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:23 am

We have had aft cockpit F-40 #49 for over 8 years now. For the first 5 years we kept her in a deep water lake in Georgia and used for cruising and occasionally racing. I would always lower the board when beating, but found the benefits in upwind performance marginal. There is a markedly improvement in speed, however, the moment the board is raised in all other points of sail. Our board is not heavily ballasted and is raised and lowered by a simple reel winch (I reckon it weights about ~200 lbs after subtracting buoyancy and there are ~100 lbs tension on the pennant line)

We sailed over to Europe in 2013 and now we cruise the shallow waters of the UK East coast. The centreboard has only been down for testing and I don’t miss it. The F40 will not point as high has a racing Marconi rig, board or no board (we beat them on the reaches and downwind :D ).

I consider the board a liability in a 35 yr old boat with a pin I can’t inspect. Even the breakage of the pennant would pose a potentially serious problem (my berth is only 5 ft deep). The possibility of a board stuck down in heavy weather offshore, possibly “ckunking and banging” with every wave, is something I rather avoid.
So, I am considering sealing the board in with a thin fibreglass layer. I think the F-40 board was an experiment that gave inconclusive results at best. I rather have the safety of less moving pieces/complication offshore than the marginal gains to weather. This would be easily reversible in the future , if desired, by simply cutting/sanding the fibreglass layer.
So I am curious about the toughts of other F-40 owners. How ofter do you use the centreboard? Can you gauge the gains in performance (I found the gain in angle was partially offset by the loss in speed in most conditions)? Anybody has had issues/problems with the board (other than the ones listed here by Castaway)? Would you seal your board in?

Cheers,
Capitan Sardina
 
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Re: F-40 Centerboard, Worth it?

Postby cberdie » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:55 pm

We've been sailing Running Free for 20 years now and wouldn't even think of not using the centerboard. It's not the speed or even the pointing ability, (which is better), it's the self steering ability. Beating to weather with the board, I don't have to touch the helm for hours. We never bother with the auto pilot when the wind is forward of the beam. The board gives the control to do this. Measure your leeway both with and without the board, and I think you will be surprised. We never have it down with the wind behind the beam. With the board down, we always have quite a lot of slack in the pennant and have never experienced the board banging or clunking. The mechanics of the board are simplicity itself, a quick dive can replace the pennant, and the three inch pivot, while completely unavailable for survey, doesn't give me much worry. I always think hard before thinking I can improve upon Herreshoff or Hoyt's thinking.

Carl
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Location: 1980 Freedom 40 AC

Re: F-40 Centerboard, Worth it?

Postby Goose13 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:06 am

For everyone with a centerboard be careful of running aground while tacking through the wind. I was sailing north east up San Pablo Bay yesterday hugging the right side of the channel to try and avoid the current and still make head way with the wind out of the NE when I ran aground. The centerboard dug into the mud the same time I tacked through the wind and I twisted and sheared my centerboard right off the pivot pin. If I find myself in a similar situation down the road I will ensure I have the centerboard pulled at least half way up into the trunk. But I would still rather have the center board than a fixed keel even though I'm going down this road of reattaching the CB. Hopefully the photos uploaded.
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Re: F-40 Centerboard, Worth it?

Postby bad » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:35 pm

I think there is a UK version of the F40 without center board. Boat is for sale on the board here. Also look at the pic of the boat hauled out in the listing.

http://m.sailboatlistings.com/photograp ... G_2700.jpg

It gas a much deeper keelsom than my center board version. Based on my experience, the pin is plenty strong and has not suffered any wear in the 38 years of use. It is the head of the board itself, right at the bushing that broke. Not much of the original glass work was structural. We dropped the board (a grounding pushed it up and it free fell back down. It cantilevered in the trunk and that broke the bushing out of the board, i.e., the bushing stayed with the pin in the boat.

Our board is 1100lbs, with the center of gravity about half way along its length. That does add to the righting moment. You could weigh your board during the next haul-out. A scale positioned at the bottom front corner, with the board near horizontal as it is just exiting the trunk, should give you half the weight.

I like having a centerboard. Ads righting moment, helps with leeway, definitely helps maneuvering under engine.

Erik
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Re: F-40 Centerboard, Worth it?

Postby bad » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:55 pm

Goose - I'd gladly look at the parts of your board and share my experience(s) in the repair.

Erik
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Re: F-40 Centerboard, Worth it?

Postby bad » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:04 pm

Doug - I can't reply to your e-mail on this list. Try bad.wabbit@gmail.com

Erik
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