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Centreboard/dagerboard positions

Postby Chriso on Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:31 am

Is sailing the Sabre the same as any other dinghy class in that the board position is full down going uphill and less and less as you come off the breeze? ie to almost no board for a run?

Does anyone deviate from this?
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Postby Mike Simpson on Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:32 am

I'm relatively new to the class but I do like to have a bit of board (maybe 150 - 300 mm) down when running proud.

I do this because, when I look at boats behind me (it's easier to see their attitude from dead ahead), those with their boards well up do seem to be making a lot of leeway and I think the forces being exerted to push these boats sideways would be better used to drive them forward.

I would be interested to hear what the "experts" do as I don't get in front of them too often.
Mike Simpson
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Location: Melbourne

Postby GuestMember on Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:41 am

Hi Mike
I'm no expert but i agree with your thoughts about having too much board up. It also means that any hiking results in the boat skidding side ways rather than foward. I would have thought skidding side ways would mean lots of drag compared with the drag of having the board down a bit. Maybe those who have been in the class for ages can shed some light.

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Centreboard position

Postby Alan Riley on Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:39 am


Your general premise is right. My experience is you need the board fully down when going upwind no matter how strong the wind is.

On a reach, it should be about half way down - the amount is best measured by feel. As Matt points out, you need to have just enough down so that if you hike out hard to flatten the boat it shoots forwards, rather than just skidding sideways.

A run or very broad reach is a little more tricky. Most of the time I only pull the board up far enough so that it will not snag the vang when gybing. I find I often gybe on impulse on a run, so I don't want to trap myself by having the board up too far! Contrary to Matt and Mike, I don't mind the boat skidding sideways when on a quarter run/broad reach when there are waves around, so I will often pull the board up a bit more in such situations (ie. when I'm not expecting to gybe). I'd only do this in moderate conditions though - too little board down in heavy winds and waves makes the boat easily skid out from under you and capsize to windward.

The reason I don't mind skidding sideways a bit in wave catching conditions is that it allows you to catch a wave and let it carry you low, while at the same time, you can get a better angle for your sail relative to the wind. In fact, if you let the sail twist a lot you can often re-establish windflow over the top part of the sail, so you end up with more power, and more speed, while still going low. Again - only do this in moderate conditions, since this is sailing "on the edge". Letting the sail twist a lot also decreases stability, so you need to be quick to take corrective action (sheet in, steer lower, and move more to leeward) to catch the boat before it slides out from under you and dumps you in the drink to windward (again).

Alan Riley
Alan Riley
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