Centre Board

GP14 Sailing Forums Forum Centre Board

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Arthur 1 year, 11 months ago.

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  • #15035


    Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere on the forum but I cannot find any reference to same.

    A couple of days ago I took my GP14 out for a spin under oar power (minus sails, boom and rudder) to get a feel for everything and to check watertight integrity etc.

    I tried the centre board but as soon as I put it down it just floated straight up again. I am aware that the board should have a rubber brake fitted but I noticed that there is none and that the two brake fixing plate screw holes have been filled in for some reason.

    I am assuming that a previous owner may have done away with the rubber brake in favour of another control method and so I am wondering (a) if I should I fit a new brake and if so how difficult is it to do or (b) would I be best to utilise another method of centre board control (c) if so what methods might easily be available to me in the meantime – temporary or otherwise.

    Any advice and guidance will be much appreciated.


  • #15039

    Oliver Shaw

    The key question is whether the inside of your centreboard casing is true enough,  and sufficiently undamaged,  for a friction brake to work properly.   Elderly wooden boats may have a problem with warped case sides,  or badly degraded (and therefore very rough) inside faces,  but younger wooden boats and virtually all plastic boats should be free of this problem.

    So if you are confident that a friction brake will work in your case you should undoubtedly fit one.   Most modern boats use a short length of hosepipe which is deformed by squashing one diameter by means of two screws and a pressure strip;   this causes the hose to swell along the perpendicular diameter and so provides the friction against the case side,  and adjusting the two screws allows you to control the amount of friction.   However some of the early GRP boats (I think those by Thames Marine and later those by Bourne Plastics) used static friction pads in the sides of the case with an external screw adjuster.

    If for whatever reason a friction brake won’t work in your case,  and the fact that a previous owner removed it may just possibly indicate that there was a problem,   you will have to use an alternative solution.   The simplest solution then is a lanyard attached to the handle,  leading aft,  to hold the board down,  and this can be secured to any jamcleat of your choosing.   However it is vitally important that the board should be free to rise if you strike an underwater obstruction,  or the bottom,  so the cleat which I recommend is the CL257 which is specifically designed for the equivalent application with rudder blades;   it will hold securely until the board hits an obstruction,  and it will then release.   The latest generation of this cleats even allows you to adjust the load at which it trips.https://www.clamcleat.com/auto-release-racing-mini.html

    That code is the Clamcleat designator;   RWO make an apparently identical product,  indeed it may be identical and there may be a licensing agreement between the two companies,  and I think the RWO code is just 257.

    Hope this helps,



  • #15042

    Chris Hearn

    Exactly as Oliver says!

    If you want to know what a friction brake looks like, I think you should be able to view this “old brake” from my boat…



  • #15043


    Thank you both very much indeed for the prompt feedback and advice.

    I have noticed that there are two jam cleats, one port and one starboard, towards the rear of the centre board casing near to the thwart so I reckon that this is what they are there for.

    I will however replace them with the cleats you recommended Oliver but in the meantime I will use a retaining lanyard with an incorporated a bungee cord.

  • #15093


    my elderly series 1 has the friction brake Oliver talks about. On my boat is a piece of white rubber that is screwed to the top of the board (when down) and rubs against the side of the case. I am replacing it with a newer one that uses the hose pipe that Oliver speaks of. This will give me more control over the amount of friction needed to hold it down

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