Centerboard problems

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Centerboard problems

Postby John in CC on Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:19 pm

I just got back from the Texas 200. Officially it ends tomorrow. I got back yesterday. Had a great time and the boat did great except for the centerboard.

The centerboard would go down about a third of the way and stop. I would pull on the pendant and it makes a squishy air sound that comes out of the thimble in the cockpit. It would smoothly go up and down to that third way point repeatedly. All this was done going directly downwind to keep the side loads on the board to a minimum. Usually after a few hours I would look down and see the pendent knot all the way against the thimble indicating the board had gone all the way down. It does not make any sense that with the action of the board as smooth at it feels stops. The first day I did have crew and had them climb into the cabin and take off the inspection port and attempt to push the board down but the was far enough down the trunk that you could not get a finger on it.

With the air sound that were being made when pulling the board up and down with the pendant I thought that maybe air was locking the board but by taking off the inspection cover it seemed to me it would cause the board to drop... this did not help the problem.

It seems to me someone doing a modification by drilling a hole through the cockpit into the centerboard trunk where they could insert a pin to push the board down if it picked up any debris or named for whatever reason. The hole could have some sort of removable plug.

Any Ideas?

The centerboard problems made me hesitant to continue to the end of the 200. I had fought 25 knot winds, 3 foot waves, and pretty of sun and heat. I hated to drop out with only a couple of days left. Turns out the conditions today and tomorrow have been perfect. The Pocketship Candy-o was one of 22 of 50+ boats to make it to camp 3. I bailed out day four.
John in CC
 
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Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Re: Centerboard problems

Postby craig on Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:49 pm

Many moons ago on this forum, John or Tattoo or somebody suggested doing exactly that - drilling a hole in the cockpit deck into the CB trunk where you could push a metal rod to push the CB down. There could be a removable plug to prevent debris from filling the trunk. Have you had any "sticking" issues before? The sound of air when you pull up or release the CB is normal and doesn't affect its movement, in my experience. I guess you'll have to crawl under the boat to see if the problem is swelling of the CB or of the plywood surrounding the trunk itself.

That's great you made it back safely and at the very least got farther in the event than a lot of other boats. I hope you will post about the trip and put some videos together. I will be taking Pocketship to Emerald Isle, NC over the July 4th weekend. That will be my first time on the "real" ocean (Chesapeake Bay doesn't count).
Titania, launched January 2015
craig
 
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Re: Centerboard problems

Postby JonLee on Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:41 pm

A pusher rod is probably a good way to treat the symptoms. If you want to get to the root-cause, I'd try to visually inspect the centerboard and the bottom of the trunk. You can either try to jack the boat off the trailer, or careen the boat at the dock. I found that the latter method can give you pretty good access. Just run a line to the top of the mast (I used my unused spinnaker halyard block to get 3-1 purchase), launch the boat, make sure the internal ballast is all out, and haul her down on her side in shallow water. You can then wade into the water and get unobstructed access to the centerboard.

I'd start by running the board all the way out and checking to see if there are any foreign objects (seaweed, bee hives, trout) jammed in there that might be causing the problem. That's most likely the problem. If not, try moving the board in an out and see if you can tell where it is binding. I was finally able to diagnose my issue by measuring the width of the centerboard slot in several places...that's how I finally detected that it was the trunk that had swollen due to water intrusion. Because I had originally suspected that maybe the centerboard itself had swollen, I had also cut a long 3/4 slot in a 2' long piece of scrap plywood so I could measure the thickness of the board, but never used it.
JonLee
 
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Re: Centerboard problems

Postby John in CC on Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:48 am

I have a friend or two that probably have some boat stand/jacks (what ever they are called) and will try to get the boat off the trailer for inspection. I figure that a push rod could really be a really be nice with seaweed/grass jamming possibility.

The centerboard is very smooth up and down for the first third of the way. To me that is a good sign. When it does decide to drop it seems to go all at once but It did not go down when I was looking.

I'll update when I get something done. Also I am working on the videos. Thanks for the suggestions.
John in CC
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:40 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Re: Centerboard problems

Postby Wayne G on Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:41 pm

I had a similar issue where the centerboard dropped into place during assembly but would gently stop after about two thirds of travel when stationary in water. I figured that I probably introduced a slight inward bow to the centerboard box during the box glue up ( should not have put weights on the center of the box when curing). I have resolved the issue by drilling a hole and installing a drain port in the cockpit above the centerboard void and using a 1/4" aluminum push rod with rubber tape on the contact end (I call it a podger). This works really well and the center board fully drops with nothing more than a nudge from the podger. Even after raising and lowering the centerboard quite a few times it does not fully drop without this aid, but it is no big deal as the operation is quick and simple.
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Wayne Gray
Orlando Florida
Wayne G
 
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Re: Centerboard problems

Postby riverron on Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:08 am

Nice idea Wayne!
Question when you installed the access ports on the sides of the centerboard, how did you connect them? It looks like screws would go through completely and potentially hit the centerboard and cause an similar issue. I was thinking about using 3M Silicone Sealant.

thanks
riverron
 
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Location: Richmond Virginia

Re: Centerboard problems

Postby Wayne G on Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:56 pm

I used 1/2" #6 pan head screws and the tips just barely pushed through, so no issue there. The issue I had was with the depth of the inspection hatch barrels (the cylinder on the fixed body that protrudes into the void) where I needed to shorten them using a dremmel. The 6" inspection hatchs did not come with the kit so maybe the ones I purchased had longer barrels than the ones CLC sell.
As for securing with sealant, it may not be strong enough to withstand the torque when the cover is screwed in or out. Adhesive may be a better option but that is more permanent and doesn't easily allow for error or later removal. I suppose another option would be to grind down the screw tips to ensure they are short enough not to protrude through the box wall.
Wayne Gray
Orlando Florida
Wayne G
 
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Re: Centerboard problems

Postby riverron on Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:07 am

Thanks Mark. I will use the screws and sealant.
riverron
 
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Location: Richmond Virginia

Re: Centerboard problems

Postby John in CC on Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:41 pm

Nice to have something like that for seaweed problems or other obstructions that may be picked up along the way.
John in CC
 
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Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Re: Centerboard problems

Postby Shudoman on Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:01 pm

Wayne G wrote:I had a similar issue where the centerboard dropped into place during assembly but would gently stop after about two thirds of travel when stationary in water.


I had this exact same problem, when it first happened I would just open inspection port and jiggled the centerboard and little and it would slide free but it always annoyed me. When I asked John about it he said that often there is water moving over the centerboard even when you think you're standing still. He suggested that I just sail with it partway down and after a couple of tacks it would drop into the full down in position.

Well, he was right. I get almost the same behavior every time I sail. It goes down about 2/3 and then stops. I sail and do a could of tacks and it falls the rest of the way down. Usually in the middle of a tack. So far it's worked this way for about 3 years.

Problem solved (at least for me)

Wayne... nice to know theres another PocketShip in Orlando... we should meet up sometime.

Bill
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