Latest News: Forums Technical Centerboard casing

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  • #3898

    Woodie 482 again! Woodie 482 had the hull professionally faired and painted last year just before I bought it. However the inside of the centerboard casing does not appear to have been coated with anything but a thin primer coat over the woodgrain. When I sailed it last year, the casing seemed to swell a little because the centerboard became too stiff for easy handling. It has now dried out and is loose again. Is it proper to retain this thin primer and allow the passage of water in when sailing and therefore out when out of the water or should I attempt to seal out the sea completely with a marine paint system? The center board timbers appear to be rock hard and problem free and are dry at the moment because I have not been on the water this year.


    Searching through the forum for the answer to the same question, I came across this. Just wondering if you managed to find any information?

    My question is similar in that there is currently anti fouling to the inside of the CB case and wondering how people work on it. Is it stipped down (suspect a big job) or do they use a lot of time and patience and work on it in place?

    Dave Barker

    I had a similar problem on a previous boat (not a Wayfarer), and was advised to have a professional repair made. Nigel Potter at Paintcraft did the work and described the preparation as using sandpaper fixed to a stick. A long and tedious process I’m sure, but having got back to bare ply (and dried it thoroughly – you only get one chance to get it right) the first thing to go on must be a runny application of epoxy. This will soak in to the timber before setting. Then more sanding (on a stick) and more epoxy, repeating until no more soaks in and all nibs are removed, leaving a perfectly smooth finish covering the ply in all areas.

    Epoxy usually requires a UV protection coat – varnish or paint – but inside the c/b case that may not be necessary, however anti-fouling may be needed if the boat is kept on a mooring. Given the work involved you may feel it is easier to take the case apart!


    I have used the process described by Dave using some 2×1 batten cut to the right thickness to allow some 80 grit paper to be stuck to each face plus a little clearance. Hard work and blisters on the hand produced the desired result, followed by several coats of epoxy applied with a foam mini roller on the end of a long handle. I now sand lightly and reapply each year, but this is a bit more difficult with a slot gasket fitted.


    Thanks for replies. I sanded, epoxied and painted as advised, all was well and no problems with sticky centerboard this year. A fine radiator roller was particluarly useful for those out of the way angles.

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