Check That Centreboard!

Reproduced from the Summer 1998 issue of “Wayfarer News”…

When did you last take the centreboard out of your Wayfarer, to give it a thorough check and perhaps even a coat of paint? Last winter? A few years ago? Can’t quite remember when? Never? Don’t forget how important that piece of wood is, and it will be sure to break at the most inconvenient moment.

Many are put off by the seemingly difficult task of extracting the thing, but it’s really not that difficult, as I eventually discovered. I used to turn the boat on its side, with the aid of a small army, so that I could lower the board and then remove it. Quentin Strauss tells me that you can pull a centre board out by going afloat – but you have to be quick! Then someone mentioned John Cadd’s trestle. John is one of our Parkstone Wayfarer stalwarts, sadly between boats as I write.

John’s trestle could be found in the dinghy park uplifting the bow of W8678, Dragon. However John (perhaps unknowingly) was always willing to loan the trestle for an hour or so. It fitted snugly under the transom of a Wayfarer sitting on its launching trolley.

The trolley could then be moved a few feet forward, allowing the centreboard tip to drop sufficiently to permit its removal upwards through the boat.

Refitting was the reverse of this procedure, although the problem then is to align the holes in board and case to allow the bolt to be replaced. Drawing lines on the board can help, if you can shine a light into the hole in the centreboard case. You can also realign the centreboard pivot hole with a piece of twine through all three holes before you drop the board down.

However I’ve found that returning the boat to its correct home on its trolley with the board back in the case helps to locate the board and makes finding the hole easier.

Richard Readings, W1630 Obsession