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Cetreboard up or down when riggimg on the water?


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Hello all, new retumer to sailing, and i have a q that seems to stump people, when i thought the answer was easy! 

Last week at a club that seems to be draggimg heels at lettimg  me have full access,  i was merrily derigging the boat in light wimds, all fime when an imstructor cam over shputimg 'centre board up cemtre board up'. Now, ive always been given the impression that its vemtre board down when rigging to stabilise. 

He said that cemtre board down is whats making the boat 'tip and roll like that' (it wasnt in my view, but if it was it was weight not wimd).. 

It was a v light wind so no heeling or diggimg in. 

A few weeks earlier at a differemt club i was told the opppsite.. Always put it down to gaim stability

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Sorry didn't finish this post! I womdered what the most common view is?  I can only fimd one training video onpine that even mentions centreboard state when rigging, and that says down too. 

The two clubs are both RYA approved. Wjen i called the RYA they pointed out additionally that having the centreboard dowm does meam you can right it if it capsizes! 

 

So what do people think? 

 

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I can't think of a good reason to have the centerboard up when alongside a dock, rigging or unrigging.

A small boat with an unweighted centerboard does not either gain or lose stability, with it up or down.

What the centerboard -will- do is to "dampen" the rolling of the boat, and make it feel more stable because it will not suddenly lurch to one side or the other. Any rolling means that the centerboard is pushing water aside to allow the boat to roll.

In many boats, the centerboard comes up above the trunk and you will gain room by putting it down.

FB- Doug

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Thanks, that was my reasoning too, though without the additional room in thr boat advamtage but that adds to the capsize one, if there are no operational disadvantages! 

 

 

 

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Depends on the type of dinghy.

A high performance boat with an unstable hull shape and big rig will fall over if not head to wind. So it doesn't come along side, it's held head to wind. Having the board up allows it to swing head to wind when a shifty offshore gust comes from a different direction. The vang should be off as well. If you stick the board down, put the vang on, and hold it alongside it will fall over.

Something rather more sedate doesn't matter. You can probably even sit in it and pull the sails up.

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Yep, it depends on the boat, wind conditions, etc, its hard to be dogmatic. In gusty eddying changing winds a boat with the board up is less likely to trip over the board. It will roll faster, but hopefully not as far. But I've sailed daggerboard boats for most of my life, where you chuck the thing down to get it out of the way ASAP. On the other hand launching off a beach you don't have the choice, although by preference in those circumstances I put the rags up on the land.

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Ok, well just for clarity this was a big sedate boat, already head to wind with the mainsail already pretty much down and i was untying the halyard from the head of the sail perfectly comfortably.  It was in a light wind,varying  to zero knots! 

 

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always down on my boat. UNLESS big wind at the dock and cannot get true head to wind. Then it will sail and make raising the main impossible. 

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2 hours ago, Locus said:

always down on my boat. UNLESS big wind at the dock and cannot get true head to wind. Then it will sail and make raising the main impossible. 

Keep the boat on a short painter, don't give it room to charge back and forth. Or even thirdth.

My experience is that a boat which is bow-to-wind is a PITA, unless you're at the moment of lowering the main. When hoisting, it's better if the boat is 45 to the wind so the main doesn't try to knock you out of the boat. A lot of times, there is a way to put the bow line to a dock cleat and then the chainplate, or even just loop a line from a dock cleat around a chainplate, tight so the boat does not have room to bang around, and right back onto the cleat. Saves you from having to try and climb in/out over the bow, too, although that can be done if you're young and nimble.

24 minutes ago, Zonker said:

down. Tell him your friendly neighborhood N.A. said so.

There! See?

FB- Doug

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I sail on a river.

That makes it even more interesting for obvious reasons. (current can be an issue...)

Why would an instructor be so certain there is only ONE way? I mean, it is adjustable for a reason! We adjust sails, rudders, centerboards....all part of the craft of sail. Sheesh.

Hopefully the "instructor" will learn something too. We are all always learning.

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Depends on circumstances. On shifty restricted water it can be advantageous to have it up on case of the classic '90 degree shift wedged behind the boom with the sail half up scenario'. That being said on some boats there is also the 'kicker wrapped round the centreboard handle breaking it off' which can be an issue with the board up. And finally there's the beloved 'dropping the mainsail something falls and ships the trailing edge I wish I'd left the board down' scenario.

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We typically hand launch at a dock that has limited angles to rig the boat. A 505 with the main up will be uncontrollably in wind over 12k unless the main can swing really free and even then its dicey

So our strategy is to Drop the boat in with the jib and check all the lines, rudder in and everything we can connect ready to go. Helm jumps in pulls the the main up clips it off grabs the sheet does a quick check of lines and we are off. If we stay to long the wind will shift and bad things will happen. Board up will not make this any better and one more thing to do before we push off. 

In lighter air the board really helps stabilize the boat when raising the sail. It slows the rocking down as you shift to get better purchase on the halyard.

On beach launches we typically climb in drop the boar halfway pull up the main (unless we did it on land) drop in the rudder and go. If the boat capsizes we are in standing water and can resolve the issue easy. Certainly has happened before when climbing in only to get a gust from the wrong direction and the whole thing comes over on you. The the board part down makes it easy to walk around and pull it back up. 

So i would say no wrong answer on this, it depends on the boat, conditions and personal desires.

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2 hours ago, lukepiewalker said:

Depends on circumstances. On shifty restricted water it can be advantageous to have it up on case of the classic '90 degree shift wedged behind the boom with the sail half up scenario'. That being said on some boats there is also the 'kicker wrapped round the centreboard handle breaking it off' which can be an issue with the board up. And finally there's the beloved 'dropping the mainsail something falls and ships the trailing edge I wish I'd left the board down' scenario.

Lived *every* one of those--at least twice! DMMIT!

oH AND Everything Locus says. Although I have gotten away with main up boards up, boat free on painter swinging. But that will get me in trouble someday. 

The hardest part of 505 is trying to deal with a dock on a gusty day. The sailing is the easy part. True of pretty much any dinght realy.

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Thanks for the views, very useful! 

Im pondering whether my instructor keeps people in pupil mode by always making them feel they've just done something wrong :) i will keep watching i was told the same (board up) by someone else at the club, and its made realise how a firm voice could cause a whole  chain of ingrained bad habits!..

 

Im going to keep an eye out for the generally communicated practices whilst staying firm in doing what i think feels more stable at the time, thanks guys. :)

I might trigger an independent thought alarm :)

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24 minutes ago, Hero said:

Im pondering whether my instructor keeps people in pupil mode by always making them feel they've just done something wrong :) i will keep watching i was told the same (board up) by someone else at the club, and its made realise how a firm voice could cause a whole  chain of ingrained bad habits!..:)

Well, its a chain. Someone is taught that a given practice is critically important, so they teach that its critical. If they never try the alternative then they aren't going to know there is one. 

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Learn by doing vs learn by example. Someonr doing eventually becomes the example.

I learned from my Optimist studentsm They were sailing them. I was in a motorboat. One kid who wasnt particularly raceworthy figured out a better way of capsize recovery. I was thrilled with that.

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Board down, definitely  more stability, esp if it's a heavy board (lightning, snipe, thistle flying Scott etc), however... If you are tied to a dock with only a painter the boat tends to start sailing into the dock if the boom isn't up all the way to pivot. With the board up it'll skid sideways more than sail forward.

 The other instructor thinking can be if you are rigging next to other boats you want them all to move the same, board up or down, so they don't bump into each other (as much).   

Typically I go board half down until I get the main up.  On a day with 90 degree shifts at the dock, I could be talked into board up... 

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There is no absolute answer. 
 Examples:

+ bow tied to mooring ball in shifty breeze?? Board , rudder up. The boat must be able to slide sideways 

No

* boat sitting to leeward along the side of a dock where the steady breeze comes at an angle where the sails luff rather than tip the boat … put the board down 

 

best answer …. Rig your boat every day for a few years and you will know the right answer for any situation. 

 

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