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Thread: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

  1. #1
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    Default Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    I'm finishing off preparations to my Oughtred Fulmar for this year's Small Reach Regatta by checking off the safety items on the skipper's info sheet. One of the items is a requirement that "you must be able to block water from coming in your centerboard trunk". This got me thinking since I have taken to adding about 100 pounds of ballast next to the case anytime I am singlehanding to calm the boat down a bit, so I put in at a local lake and bailed water into the boat. Even with watertight decks fore and aft the water level in the case was only a few inches lower than the level inside the boat when the excess started to drain out the case.

    My biggest concern is that with another crew member I will have to leave them in the water after a capsize until I can get the boat bailed enough to pull them over the side. In other words, the weight of another crew seems like it would be too much to keep from flooding in through the open case. Here's are pics of the configuration:

    P2070453.jpgCenterboard case.jpg

    As I see it I have four options: lash in some flotation under the side benches, ditch the ballast, leave the case open but raise the sides up a few inches, or enclose the case completely. I think enclosing the case completely would eliminate the chance of flooding through the case but would involve reshaping the centerboard for clearance under a cap and adding at least a 2-1 uphaul and either a downhaul or some weight in the board. I'm reluctant to go that route so close to the regatta without time shake out any problems that may arise but in the long haul this plan may be the best.

    So, what am I missing? I know there's a whole fleet of Caledonia yawls participating that use the same open slot arrangement so I suspect there's a gap in my understanding.

    Thanks in advance,

    Mike
    "You may be orange, you may like hamburgers, and you may be a clown, but you sir are no Ronald McDonald" - John Stewart

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Is the centerboard case built to Oughtred's design? If so, then my choice would be just to lash some flotation under the side benches, like a couple large fenders. The fenders would also add stability to a swamped boat.
    Another easy option would be to bring along a couple big towels that you could jam into the open slot.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    I'm guessing the cap requirement is in case something comes up and safety boats have to tow a string of participant's boats to safe harbor. At a bit of speed an uncapped cb box can flood a boat pretty quickly. Leaving a board down so it can be 'capped' while being towed just takes some attention to the steering.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Yes, the case is built to Oughtred's design. I was surprised at how how high the water level was inside the case during my test, since the boat is designed for a crew of four and me and the ballast together only weigh about 280 pounds.

    I do like the towel idea Rob, thanks. I'll play around with that and perhaps some closed-cell foam to see if I can make pieces to wedge in there.

    Thanks for the heads up rbgarr about flooding when being towed, I'll pass that on to my crew so hopefully one of us will remember if the situation comes up.

    Mike
    "You may be orange, you may like hamburgers, and you may be a clown, but you sir are no Ronald McDonald" - John Stewart

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    The first post refers to water being a few inches down in the case with water bailed in to test things.Given the area of the waterplane it would take a lot of extra weight to immerse the oat much further.Does the boat have a slot gasket?That would be an easy fix and I have never seen water gushing into the boat when so equipped.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    T shirts will do nicely. What we used to do with the log canoes.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  7. #7
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    Default

    Make a table with a board that fits on or inside the centerboard trunk, has a soft rubber or silicone seal and quick-release catches like what you see on a portlights, I think they're called cam bolts. Make cap that uses the same cam bolts, for when We you don't need or use as the table, (it wouldn't take rocket science to make a tabletop that could be stowed away on board also.)

    Usually an open boat will have an open slot. with ballast you're going to need quite a bit of a flotation but (maybe not that much)

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    The problem you have is that the board sticks up a goodly bit when it is up and just a little when it is down. The simplest will be to cloth stuff it which would work whether the board was up or down. Some additional floatation is always useful. If you use fenders, they will be handy if you need to use them as rollers or as fenders.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    It sounds like just stuffing something into the slot is the simple solution that I was missing. This being my first centerboard boat I am repeatedly reminded of how much there is to learn.

    Thanks everybody for the help.

    Mike
    "You may be orange, you may like hamburgers, and you may be a clown, but you sir are no Ronald McDonald" - John Stewart

  10. #10
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    Default

    Stuff it, the trouble with cloth it gets wet and takes up less space drop down or keep popping out, if you forget it and leave it in, the winter it will freeze and split the trunk. Cap is a good idea.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    My boat has an open slot and even with a slot gasket there was a tendency for water to slosh into the cockpit. I made a plug by gluing a strip of plywood backing to a block of insulation foam that press fits into the slot when the centerboard is down. It does not seal the slot completely but the cockpit floor now remains dry. The plug gets tucked away when the board is up.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    +1 on closed cell foam.
    Everything changes . Everything is connected . Pay attention

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    The water level in the CB trunk will of course be plane with the water surrounding the boat.

    The board looks tight enough to slow water entry enough to bail.

    You mention watertight decks. Do you have watertight hatches in the bulkheads under? If so, then you have a huge amount of floatation and I doubt you'd need more.

    There is nothing wrong with your crew staying out of the boat while you bail. She or he could contribute by hanging hands on the transom to steady the boat for you.

    Your warm weather capsize drills will show the way but I think you'll find reentry over the stern best. You'll want a way to ship the rudder and not have it float off. I find that a line from the transom corners and long enough that feet in the bight puts your knees about at the normal waterline or a bit higher. Makes it easy to lug aboard.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    There is nothing wrong with your crew staying out of the boat while you bail. She or he could contribute by hanging hands on the transom to steady the boat for you.
    Except that the crew member submerged up to their chest in the water will be losing heat much faster than if they were sitting in the boat.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Yeah, but they've got a whole 10 minutes, and they can keep warm by slapping a spare paddle on the water to try to deter sharks.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plyboy View Post
    Yeah, but they've got a whole 10 minutes, and they can keep warm by slapping a spare paddle on the water to try to deter sharks.
    Y'all are hardcore!

    Yes, the thought process for the test sinking began with not wanting my wife to stay in the cold water off the coast of Maine if we were to capsize. She's as tough as they come but hypothermia doesn't play favorites. In warmer waters Ian I agree with your suggestion to bail first before recovering any crew.

    I wound up fitting a hunk of closed-cell foam into the slot that I can stuff in once we are underway. An added benefit is it's flexible enough to still allow the centerboard to kick up if I hit something. In consideration of the extra 120 pounds in the boat while bailing I've relocated the four 6" fenders I normally store atop the decks by installing cleats to secure them below the side benches. That should more than offset the weight with the added benefit of looking much more tidy. I'll post a pic once the paint is dry.

    Mike
    "You may be orange, you may like hamburgers, and you may be a clown, but you sir are no Ronald McDonald" - John Stewart

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    That will be good. Should we do a deliberate test at the Small Reach? One of the benefits of the closed cell is that it helps fill in the slot when sailing at speed. Used to have one on my old International Canoe.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone View Post
    My boat has an open slot and even with a slot gasket there was a tendency for water to slosh into the cockpit. I made a plug by gluing a strip of plywood backing to a block of insulation foam that press fits into the slot when the centerboard is down. It does not seal the slot completely but the cockpit floor now remains dry. The plug gets tucked away when the board is up.

    You had a sub-optimal gasket.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    You had a sub-optimal gasket.
    Probably because I didn't know how to make an optimal one. A gasket was not a feature in the original plans. I added strips of fabric backed gasket material to each side of the bottom of the slot with the middle edges overlapping slightly. I'm sure it doesn't seal around the leading edge of the centerboard. The ingress of water was more of a nuisance and seldom occurred at boat speeds below 10 kt. As a bonus, the plug I'm now using discourages objects from disappearing into the centerboard slot which is flush with the cockpit floor.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Some CB boats vomit water from their trunks-tops. Some don't.

    Sail the boat. See what comes up. Then sort out what you need.

    Drake never spits a drop upwind, but sometimes does a bit downwind if there's a lot of yawing. Not enough to bother with a closed cap.

    Adapt and correct to suit your own boat.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    A problem can arise if you are trying to dewater a boat with an open centerboard case below the water level.
    The less problems you have at that time the better.
    My own experience is not a capsize in calm water, where you can swim around and gather your stuff, dive down and recover your wallet, phone and etc., but rather the opposite, occasionally accompanied by a medical issue.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    To quote Iain on this subject: (FB group Iain Oughtred Boats Worldwide)
    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Oughtred
    I once had the same problem with the water over the top of the centre case. A towel stuffed in fixed that, and allowed us to bail her out. Later carried a piece of the soft squishy pipe insulation, which was ideal ( but never needed.)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike J View Post
    I'm finishing off preparations to my Oughtred Fulmar for this year's Small Reach Regatta by checking off the safety items on the skipper's info sheet. One of the items is a requirement that "you must be able to block water from coming in your centerboard trunk". This got me thinking since I have taken to adding about 100 pounds of ballast next to the case anytime I am singlehanding to calm the boat down a bit, so I put in at a local lake and bailed water into the boat. Even with watertight decks fore and aft the water level in the case was only a few inches lower than the level inside the boat when the excess started to drain out the case.

    My biggest concern is that with another crew member I will have to leave them in the water after a capsize until I can get the boat bailed enough to pull them over the side. In other words, the weight of another crew seems like it would be too much to keep from flooding in through the open case. Here's are pics of the configuration:

    P2070453.jpgCenterboard case.jpg

    As I see it I have four options: lash in some flotation under the side benches, ditch the ballast, leave the case open but raise the sides up a few inches, or enclose the case completely. I think enclosing the case completely would eliminate the chance of flooding through the case but would involve reshaping the centerboard for clearance under a cap and adding at least a 2-1 uphaul and either a downhaul or some weight in the board. I'm reluctant to go that route so close to the regatta without time shake out any problems that may arise but in the long haul this plan may be the best.

    So, what am I missing? I know there's a whole fleet of Caledonia yawls participating that use the same open slot arrangement so I suspect there's a gap in my understanding.

    Thanks in advance,

    Mike
    No matter what choice you choose I'd start by adding more than adequate flotation. Nice boat!
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    Should we do a deliberate test at the Small Reach?
    Thanks Ben, if I don't get a chance to test out my changes next week I may want to do that. I can guarantee though that you'll never see anyone get out of 60 degree water faster than me though!


    AdB, thanks for the quote from Iain, and that's exactly what I did: bought a piece of pipe insulation.



    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    No matter what choice you choose I'd start by adding more than adequate flotation. Nice boat!
    Thanks! I unabashedly used your build thread and JM's threads on Rowan for build ideas. As for flotation, I added in some blocks to hold fenders under each of the four side benches instead of up on the deck.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike J; 07-11-2019 at 09:23 PM.
    "You may be orange, you may like hamburgers, and you may be a clown, but you sir are no Ronald McDonald" - John Stewart

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Closed cell swimming noodle. Cut a strip to fit the slot. Stuff it in. It will return to it's original shape when removed.
    "If a man speaks at sea where no woman can hear, is he still wrong?"

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    At last year's SRR, 3 participants did intentional capsizes. Doug Welch flipped his Annapolis wherry, John Hartmann did his Ilur, and I did my Scamp. It's a useful exercise.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Fyfe View Post
    Closed cell swimming noodle. Cut a strip to fit the slot. Stuff it in. It will return to it's original shape when removed.
    I thought noodles several times, but didn't want to have the "OMGWTFBBQ you can't let pool noodles anywhere near a boat, they eventually waterlog!!!".."Like wood you mean?" argument.

    There has been around, plank noodles, which are something about 1"x6" by 4ft....which a slice of might stuff in nicely, but recently, I've been seeing them in an almost maltese cross section, meant for slotting together, and those I think you could hack at with a breadnknife to slice into a T shape with a rounded top, that might work nicely, maybe make straps over the top to really keep them there.
    I
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Another idea:
    Sew a pouch-bag with a bridle, made of neoprene (about 4 mm thick neoprrene from old wetsuit). Put this bag over centerboard-top and pull-thight bridle below certerboard-rails. In addition (if watertightness is still an issue) push down wedge-shaped wooden strip into centerboard-slot covered with neoprene and hold down strip with some strap.
    Hay mas tiempo que vida!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Since minor damage trashes a PFD, cutting one up for the foam in it should be basically free if you can get one. Depending on design, you might be able to cut one outside of two seams and have the foam in a neat bag still.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    Try not to overthink. Take a nice day and capsize her in shallow water. Figure out what happens.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Should I cap my centerboard slot?

    If you ever row the boat you will be glad of a blanking plug to stop the water splashing up your backside.

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