Latest News: Forums Technical Very Very stiff centreboard to be fixed

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  • #3424

    Howdoo everyone, asking for advice about the following. We have had a very stiff centreboard to move since we got W6610 last June. Trying to solve the problem before launching this year we removed the centreboard yesterday. The board is not warped and there is no distortion in the centreboard casing. However the bolt heads were buried in sealant and on removal only found two washers(brass) in place. One on either side. This bolt appearts to have been tightened that much that the casing has scored the centreboard quite rough. There was no other fitments on the bolt such as nylon sleeves, plastidc tubes,lock nut etc. (we are absolute novices in this maintenance, but the wayfarer book is our source of any reference) When the bolt was first loosened the board would then ‘jiggle’ up and down a few millimetres. Any ideas would be Most Gratefully received. We try to attach some pics of the board. Thanks everyone. Regards. Anthony and Julie. W6610 P.S. have uploaded but not quite sure exactly where to! also one pic wrongly labelledW5510, apologies to W5510!!!!!! A+J.


    Anthony, your pictures have uploaded okay, I have inserted one for you just to check.
    If you edit your post, click on the upload picture button, select the gallery option and you should see your other 3 pictures, choose the one you want then click on the “standard” link – that’s the bit that actually puts the picture in your post.

    The rubber “brake” is the only thing that should give any resisitance to the centreboard moving up and down, and you can adjust that with the centreboard in situ on the water.
    It sounds as though you may have inherited a boat with the bolt overtightened. You can check that by removing the brake (the rubber bit on the top edge) and just seeing if the centreboard slides easliy into the case.

    Also looks like you do not have an epoxy resin plug in the wood that the bolt goes through.
    All the Porters boards that we have had come with one of these. I dont know how tricky it would be to make and fit one. But anyway I think some kind of bearing for the bolt is desirable. If it is just on wood then that will wear and you will get movement.

    The more recent centreboard bolts would have big metal and rubber washers, otherwise it will leak. It wants to be tightened so that the washers are just snug on the outside of the case. So I would guess yours wants these as well.

    Let me know if you still have trouble loading the pictures.


    Thanks Bob, That sounds right that bearing you’ve mentioned, At the present its just a brass bolt going through a slightly oversized hole. I’ve tried to edit a picture of the bolt area onto the post but when I click on standard it doesnt seem to upload it, Should I highlight the image or something? I’ve tried a few things but no joy. I’m using a Mac by the way. Many thanks for your help and advice. Anthony and Julie


    Do you sail in fresh water? When I have before my board is always stiffer. Solve it by a good old bit of seawater (which is slippier) or washing up liquid down the case.
    Your board looks identical to mine. Are the sides of the brake worn? Will be if it is too tight. As above – you should be able to just ease the bolts a bit.


    Thanks for the reply Matt, Yes, we sail on Ullswater, how fresh that is I can’t say but it aint maritime. The centreboard does not have a bush in the hole. The bolt , with a 7.86mm diameter is sitting in a hole of 9.4 mm and rattling around just a little. Whether I can lay my hands on a nylon bush of 1.55mm is unknown yet but thats what I’ll try to do. I was also thinking of placing a nylon washer inbetween the centreboard and the inside wall of the casing, but only a very thin one. On the outside a rubber washer about 10mm across then a brass one against the bolt head and the nut. Any observations on this plan are Gratefully Recieved.Like the washing up liquid idea. Cheers. Anthony and Julie.P.S. the centreboard is being sanded and revarnished at present,willpost a picture of the mess I make of it when done.


    Forgot to say about the brake. It is well perished but we managed to get the screws and bracket plates off in one piece when we expected them to shear. Will have to renovate these and get a fresh piece of rubber hosing. Porters may be able to supply this but I believe they do not produce the screws and brackets any more for this age of wayfarer. It didnt appear to work at all, having the brake on permanently via the centreboard bolt! Cheers. Anthony and Julie



    The brake screws and threaded ‘bar are easy to fabricate/bodge in SS! Get yourself a 6mm tap, long 6mm threaded SS machine screws, and a short length of SS strip – drill and tap holes in strip and job’s done!

    Good Luck


    Thanks David, We may not need to manufacture a fresh one but we know how to do it now! All you Wayfarers are well laid back about any boat problems. Nice One! Anthony and Julie


    If you have the board stripped down there is an easy way to solve the loose bolt issue – dry the board well (airing cupboard is acceptable as long as you don’t get caught), tape one side of the hole and fill it with epoxy. When dry drill the correct size hole in the epoxy. This also prevents water soaking up the exposed endgrain of the ply in the hole.
    I used a bit of thick walled fuel hose from my local discount car parts shop for the brake.
    Aren’t you overwhelmed by all this attention?


    Matt, David, W6610 owes you both a pint. Cheers, Anthony and Julie


    Renovated Centreboard bolt, plus added another copper washer, smaller brass washer, to match the other side. New Rubber washers that it didnt have and a locknut. Just hope it works! Anthony and Julie.


    Is the above photo the usual way to bolt the board in – when I removed my board it was silicone, a leather washer, a plastic thing and the a metal washer – as this doesn’t sound like the picture above I thought that it was best to ask before I did it incorrectly. 😀


    Hi Matthew, Good question, I’m not sure as this is my first go at this and I have no local contact with any experienced Wayfarers. I’ve posted the picture in order to ‘fish’ for any helpful info. This is how I believe the centreboard bolts in. The bolt,68mm long including a 5mm deep hexagonal head has an 18mm brass washer then a 26mm copper washer (I suppose any noncorrodable matierial will do). This in turn sits on a rubber washer 26mm. This set up will compress onto the centreboard casing. The shaft of 7.86mm will pass through the board. I have filled in a 10mm hole with epoxy resin and drilled a neat hole of 8mm, making very sure this is square to the length of the board,ie at 90 degrees across. When the bolt emerges on the other side through the casing, the first washer on is the rubber followed by the 26mm then the 18mm then the whole assembly is tightened up so that the rubber washers compress to stop water ingress through the bolt holes, being below the waterline. Finally a locknut is put on to hold the whole thing at that pressure. There will be no washers or collars in between the inside of the casing and the centreboard allowing free movement controlled only by the friction brake assembly on the forward edge of the board. How does all this sound? Thanks to everyone for the help and advice that has got me so far. Let me know how you go on Matthew. ‘Cordon Bleu’ sounds as though you eat well on board! Cheers. Anthony and Julie


    Looks good to me. Mine is a stainless bolt with two rubber ring washers – soft is good with washers. Don’t overtighten the bolt – all it needs to do is support the board and prevent water ingress.

    Dave Barker

    I’ve got to agree with Matt here – my only reservation about your new bolt, Anthony, would be the flat rubber washers.

    I would be tempted to switch to a type more like a soft ‘O’ ring or doughnut washer (if you find any) which will progressively compress as you tighten the nut/bolt rather than the flat type which may have less give.

    But the bottom line is whether it works, and you may be fine with the flat type. 🙂


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