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Centerboard behaviour during a broach on H23.5

Discussion in 'Smaller Boats' started by Arnold Lamont, Sep 6, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Arnold Lamont

    Arnold Lamont

    Joined Aug 24, 2016
    8 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    ZA Knysna, South Africa Knysna
    Hi All,
    1. Does anyone have experience of the centre board of an H23.5 dropping back 'into the boat' during a broach? By this I mean, that it nestles in its 'wound up' or 'raised' position close to the hull.
    2. Can one recover from such a broach?
    3. If this is a real danger, are there any tactics to bear in mind?

    Context: I live in Knysna, South Africa. We have a beautiful lagoon and estuary here and are well protected from the open ocean by two large land masses or 'heads' which leave a narrow opening to the sea. This channel is of course quite onerous to navigate due to very strong tidal currents and funneled winds. We tend to plan our trips out to sea so that we leave the lagoon on a flooding/rising tide and also return on a rising tide. (At least the tide will bring us back to the lagoon when things go wrong). However, a smaller boat than my H23.5 was pooped recently when coming back from a few hours on the sea and she broached. (A wave broke over her stern) Her centre board can (and was) however be tied down and except for discomfort, there was no problem. Everyone was safe and no harm was done.

    However, we have to go through the Heads whenever we want to go to sea. Conditions change quickly and it is not impossible to be caught on the wrong foot or tide.

    This started me wondering about my own boat.
    I attach a picture of the Knysna Heads.
    Knysna Heads 02.jpg
     


  2. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    1,937 posts, 350 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    We had a scenario in our MacGregor 26c where the keel became seriously unloaded over a crest of a wave, and bound up the cable such that it broke. I have no idea how that happened, as there was a bungee installed to pull on the cable and keep it under tension.
    If the keel rises for whatever reason, all you need to do is to get it unloaded to have it settle back down.
     


  3. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,744 posts, 332 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    The line attaches at the head of the centerboard comeing down thru a tube. I seriously doubt the line will bunch up if that is what you are asking.
    Hello Mr. Meriachee. Had a close call Saturday falling a tree. Thankfully no one killed but one sustained a fracture to shin and clean break to ankle. It scared the heck out of me but getting tree trunk off was the first thing and we did so quickly.
     


    Meriachee likes this.
  4. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    1,937 posts, 350 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Edmonton, Ab Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Yikes. Now, Dave, you know that you are to use an approved tree raising system when doing work like that, you know. ha.
    Hope all is well.
     


  5. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,744 posts, 332 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    @Meriachee
    I got laugh out of that one. Working in a ministry, I work with young people like the one who got hurt but thankfully to the lower right leg only. One fellow was cutting the lower portion of the tree away from the rest while I braced myself pushing the soon to be cut piece away from that young man trying to relieve the pressure on his leg. At the same time talking with 911 and then the young man handed me his phone with father screaming worried about a truck and dogs only saying his son was on his own not caring about his injuries. The first thing was to cut the idiot father off and then attend to the rest. How could a father be so cruel. Well, the young man will make a full recovery and will go back to work on light duty as he is employed by a family oriented company who cares about their employees. I will be working with the young man helping him out
     


  6. GGordonWoody

    GGordonWoody

    Joined Jun 28, 2016
    292 posts, 61 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    US Lake Wallenpaupack, PA Paupack, PA
    I cannot imagine what that must be like. Damn fool. You're a good man CD.

    [To the point] Of course, waves will be the difference here. The H23.5 is quick to heel. One false move might expose her deck to a breaking wave through that inlet. Maybe you need to motor her out?
     


    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  7. Arnold Lamont

    Arnold Lamont

    Joined Aug 24, 2016
    8 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    ZA Knysna, South Africa Knysna
    Hi GGordonWoody,
    Thanks for replying. We always motor both in and out of the Heads.
    We do keep a main sail up though. I am worried that, if the centerboard becomes raised due to strange behaviour during a broach, that this will exacerbate the problem (of the broach) and possibly lead to the boat turning turtle. (The centerboard only 'dangles' below the boat because of it's own weight. So I'm wondering if a serious broach, might not let the weight of the centerboard, make it slip back into the hull, thus removing 'torque' that is supposed to 'right' the boat. ) If this happens would it be at all possible to 'right' a fully capsized Hunter 23.5?

    Using typed text to explain definitely adds complexity and leaves the question open for alternative interpretation. Nothing to be done about it, will just try to explain better.
    Thanks,
    Arnold
     


  8. twalker H260

    twalker H260

    Joined Dec 2, 2003
    318 posts, 13 likes
    Hunter 260
    CA winnipeg, Manitoba
    Assuming that the 23.5 is the same as all the other water ballast hunters - the centerboard likely weighs less than 100lbs - it provides steering pivot and resistance to sliding to leeward little else. - all the righting moment comes from the water ballast - not the Center board. Righting if the boat has become completely inverted would likely be quite difficult - likely requiring assistance of other vessels as monohulls can become very stable when inverted.
     


  9. Arnold Lamont

    Arnold Lamont

    Joined Aug 24, 2016
    8 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 23.5
    ZA Knysna, South Africa Knysna
    HI twalker H260, I think you hit the sweet spot with your answer. I had the boat out on the hard recently and I could lift the centerboard with one hand, so it is very light. This makes me fee safer, that the righting moment is not dependent on moveable centerboard.
    Will always keep a sharp watch for stern breakers and poopers. I suspect it might even be safer to raise the centerboard half way in order to 'surf' stern waves rather than pivot around the centerboard. I am primarily thinking about coming back from the sea to the lagoon in less than perfect conditions. (Like an ebbing/dropping tide with wind against the tide).
     


  10. Brian M H23

    Brian M H23

    Joined Oct 3, 2006
    953 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 23
    US Philadelphia
    The more dangerous thing about a broach is ending up with the the sails steering the boat up, you're trying to steer down, and nothing good is happening.

    It seems counter-intuitive until you get the hang of it, but in wavy, rolling conditions, you can actually steer the boat back under the tip of the mast if you react soon enough! Heel can be fun upwind or on a reach, but going downwind you need to keep the sail over-top of the boat.
     


  11. Crazy Dave Condon

    Crazy Dave Condon

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    5,744 posts, 332 likes
    -na -NA
    US Anywhere USA
    The centerboard for the 23.5 is around 100 lbs. In any rolling seas unless coming fast and furious in storms I never experienced that. Coming thru the "heads" as you say Arnold, on a stormy day or rough sea day and you are concerned, drop your sails and motor thru wth the board in the up position until you hear it klunk and tied securely.

    Folks, if you think something is unsafe to you, just take the preventative measure way as I call it for peace of mind so any incident will not frighten you nor your occupants in the boat. This past weekend with a 56 year old female who likes to camp alone and eat off the land, went missing. As no one to include family would file a missing person report, I did. Two states were looking for her as we did not know where she was camping remote in the mountains. To make a long story short, she fell loosing gear becoming disoriented without wearing the proper clothing for three nights way up in the mountains or WVA in 40 plus weather at nights. We found her camping spot and feared for the worst. By the Grace of God who I give glory to in this case, she walked out dehydrated and disoriented. She was not prepared for that hike either.

    Arnold, the only thing is judgement on your part and if calm with rolling waves not rough, I personally would leave the center board down but leave the line loose in that case; otherwise, too rough, take precautions as I have explained for peace of mind.
     



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