Near the end of 2014 sailing season Ysella was experiencing a few centreboard problems when lowering her centreboard. Unless released from nearly fully raised, the centreboard would not fully rotated into the down position. Winter came
and Ysella got her winter cover on and all thoughts of sorting the issue
2015 arrived and it was time to take the covers off and get things in order for a
great year of sailing and racing in Falmouth Harbour. Ysella is based at
Mylor harbour and sails off a mooring just in front of Restronguet Sailing
Club. She races with the Mylor Yacht Club on Friday evening when ever her
family owners are at home and is also used to provide RYA keel boat courses and
sessions for Shrimper owners who want to improve their Shrimper sailing
/seamanship or Shrimper racing skills.
Start of the season and back on the mooring , Ysella look picture perfect ,
but of course the centreboard problem had not gone away and if anything it
was worse. A quick inspection of the winch wire and wheel, having removed
the cabin step, confirmed that was not the problem. A bit of Shrimper
webpage investigation throw up a number of possible issues the worst being
contraction of the centreboard box due to the original ballast corroding and
Nothing for it but to recover her on the road trailer and take a look.
Windsport’s mighty micro tractor makes recovering Shrimpers onto a trailer
or trolley an simple slipway process but to remove the centreboard called
for bringing in the big guns, and using a tele-handler she was lifted and
chocked so her centreboard removal could take place .
On inspection the problem was simple, over the years the galvanising had
corroded or been worn away creating large rust areas that were expanding and
pressing against the side of the box.
Solution ? service the centreboard and make it good for the next 30 years,
clean the centreboard casing and while at it replace the centreboard pivot
bolt and hoist wire / rope.
With the centreboard transported down to the workshop we set about removing
the rust, preparing the cleaned surface and applying a rust inhibitor . To
do a comprehensive job we also removed the packing pads screwed either side
of the centreboard plate designed to reduce centreboard rocking and also the
stop pad on the leading edge which absorbs the plate when hitting the front
of the centreboard box. The screws had been in there a long time so it took
some doing and a couple of them needed to be drilled out and re-threaded.
To seal the surface we applied two layers of epoxy with a roller rubbing
down between each layers to level off some of the hollows and bumps.
Final application was two coats of white antifouling which should keep us
going for a number of years.
Working both sides of the plate means two application sessions for every
action, but it also allowed us to apply two layers on the edges as a bonus!
With the protection bit done it was question of replacing the side packing
pieces and shock absorber pad on the leading edge.
The pivot bolt had a plastic insert that looked a bit worn so we replaced
that as well before lining everything up to go back into the box
The centreboard box itself was inspected and the obligatory barnacles
removed while the internal surfaces were given two coatings of anti-fouling
as far up as we could reach.
Replacing the centreboard was not quite as easy as removal ! the use of a
vehicle jack and careful manipulation soon had the pivot bolt hole lined up
and the new bolt and rubber seals inserted and tightened up.
By choice we have gone for a dyneema hoisting line rather than the original
1 x 19 stainless steel wire which showed signs of breaking up where it
wound around the hoisting spindle.
All good and the keel support chocks are removed the trailer is placed back
under the hull ready for lowering and relaunch.
With the cabin step replaced we were ready for relaunch and trial sail.
Ysella’s centreboard problems have now been sorted and she is as good as
ever. The sailing season has been great and the racing has been fun.
Soon Ysella will be recovered permanently onto her trailer, washed down
ready for her winter cover and storage at the Windsport boat storage
facility alongside a number of her sister Shrimpers who sail in the area.
Lesson learnt, when a job needs doing get on with it rather than hoping it
will go away!!
Brian and Cookie Phipps
Shrimper 298 Ysella ( Cornish girls name meaning Modest)