Centerboard thickness

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Centerboard thickness

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 25, 2000 11:05 am

Maybe someone out there can help me with this question. Upon removing my centerboard from my overturned DSI, I noticed how much slop there was between the board and the centerboard well sides. My board measures almost one inch thick, yet the opening is 1 and 9/16" wide. I realize that it tapers in towards the top, but when the board is in it's down position there appears to be entirely too much gap/play in the board which I assume will result in less performance. Is a new centerboard this thin at the head? Is my well too wide? What is the best remedy? My handle (square part) goes through the board with about 3/32" projecting past the other side of board before turning into the rounded peg protion that rests in the opposite side of the well.

I appreciate all the help

Rex Sheler

Rex Sheler (

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 25, 2000 10:48 pm

Most older Day Sailers who have not raced, have a sloppy centerboard. This does not help your pointing ability.

You need to have the centerboard shimmed so it is in the CENTER of the boat. Most of us racers use sheets Formica (you know, that stuff they use on counter tops) that is screwed and glued to the centerboard head. At just the right thickness so that centerboard still rotates easily, but doesn't wiggle.

How to get your day sailer off the trailer without a crane, of some sort, and get it ready to work on!

Tie one end of a strong line thru both gudgeons, a big bow line knot works the best, because it distributes the the force equally between the gudgeons. Tie the other end around a tree, a bumper hitch or what ever won't move.

Two guys grab on to the tung of the trailer and pull the trailer out from under the Day Sailer. The transom should come to rest on the ground on something soft e.i. grass, carpet scraps or an old throwable cushion.

Place a saw horse near the bow area so that when you roll the boat over it will rest on the saw horse on the bow. Make sure the saw horse is tall enough that the cutty will not touch the ground. Do not let the boat rest on the cutty as it is not strong enough and will break.

Same two guys lift at the chain plate area and roll the boat on to its side. One balances the boat while the other runs around to the other side and the balances the boat until the other can get over to help let the boat down so the bow rest on the saw horse and the transom is on the ground.

You now have you boat in a hull up position so it is very easy to fill holes, sand and paint or pull the and fix your centerboard.

Gus Heismann (

Postby Bob Hunkins » Tue Sep 26, 2000 12:40 pm

Here's a different method I used to pull the centerboard out by myself without rolling the boat over:
Make two saw horses. The first should be short enough so that when the tongue of the trailer is lowered it will slip fit under the stern of the boat. Place two wedges on the top of saw horse so that as the tongue is lifted, the stern will lower onto the sawhorse. The wedges should be shaped such that they will cradle the stern. As the tongue is lifted, the stern will begin to rise off the trailer, with the bow being supported by the trailer.
The second saw horse is placed under the bow of the boat. The tongue is then lowered and the boat will come to rest on the forward saw horse.

The forward saw horse should be wide and high enough so that the trailer can be pulled forward underneath the saw horse. (This may not be possible with all trailers, but it worked on mine.)
I ensured that the boat was stable on the saw horses, that is, it wouldn't shift easily and the horse were strong enough to support the boat safely.

I was then able to gain access to the centerboard and could remove it from the boat.

Of course, caution must be exercised here. Make very sure the saw horses are strong enough, used on hard, level, stable ground and that boat won't easily shift while on the saw horses. The horses need to support the boat with enough stability so that when you go under the boat to get to centerboard, the boat doesn't slip off the horses! This method has an advantage of not needing two people to heave the trailer out from under the boat, but it is more risky.
Bob Hunkins
Site Admin
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:37 pm
Location: Fleet 25, Houston, Texas

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 26, 2000 5:46 pm

I've done similar to Bob's approach, but only used one saw horse at the stern w/ rugs wrapped around it. In front, I used the trailer to support the boat. Basically, I put a saw horse under the stern, tie off the back of the boat w/ a water ski rope and stacks driven into the ground. I then pull forward slowly until the centerboard trunk is exposed. It works great w/ my trailer which is very sturdy, but your mileage may vary.

Kevin Clark
Dallas, TX

Kevin Clark (

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 26, 2000 9:44 pm

Hey Guys, thanks for the advice on getting at the centerboard, but that was not my real concern as I have access to a crane truck and can lift boat up and off with ease. My question was really about how most people thicken the CB. Any other suggestions other than formica? Fiberglas over other materials?
thanks everyone for the help

Rex Sheler (

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 26, 2000 11:08 pm

I haven't done it yet, but the word in my neck of the woods is Formica as well...

Kevin Clark
Dallas, TX

Kevin Clark (

Postby Guest » Mon Oct 23, 2000 2:00 pm

The way I get my boat in a position to work on the board is to raise the trailer tongue and while holding the tongue up with one hand (low tongue wt.)to where the bow is higher than the stern, push on the bow to start it sliding then when the transom reaches the padded surface (lawn, carpet,etc.) just walk the trailer out from underneath. The tongue has to be raised fairly high to make a soft landing for the bow. I can do this by myself also reload the boat on the trailer by hooking the trailer winch to the bow and cranking it back on.

Once the trailer is on the ground I use an 8'length of pipe (an old fence post) inserted thru the deck into the mast step (with a 6' length of aluminum strap as a temporary shroud to pull the boat onto its side for access to the c/b.

Bob Torson (

Postby Peter McMinn » Tue Mar 18, 2003 5:40 pm

Was looking around for a good fix and found this old thread. Thought I'd add a couple of cents worth.
I have the old lever-board, and towards the end of last summer the head was swelling due to a broken patch over the internal bronze fitting. As the repair involved milling down the width of the head, I needed to make up some of the difference. After refinishing the board, I cut 8" squares from 1/16" teflon sheeting and glued them into position, with the pivot at center. The fit of the board to the well turned out to be perfectly snug, and the teflon helps the board swing with far less effort. You can pick up teflon in various widths at most plastics shops.
Peter McMinn
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 3:41 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Postby Guest » Sun Mar 23, 2003 6:28 pm

To remove the "slop" from my centerboard I used 1/8" thick PVC (poly vinyl cloride...same stuff the plastic pipe is made from). The local hardware store was able to order a sheet of it...2'x4' is plenty, if you can order one that small (don't remember now). It won't absorb water and is kinda "slick" so centerboard will still move easily. Cut out two "shims", each one should be about the depth of the inside of the centerboard trunk and maybe a foot long (front to back length as installed). You'll need to round off the front top corner where it fits up into the centerboard trunk to make it fit nicely so it won't move around much. This way you won't need to glue and/or screw the shim to the centerboard. They worked fine all last season and just reinstalled them after doing some unrelated centerboard work.

steve parsons (

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