Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 10:07 pm:
I read in a review that the pivot bolts for the bilge boards were "accessible from outside the hull". I can see no way of getting at them from inside or outside on mine. Does this refer to later hulls or was it just wishful thinking on the writer's part?
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 12:33 pm:
I've often wondered about the pivot bolts, I've found no way to get at them yet. WBs are supposed to have positive buoyancy as well, has anyone filled one up with water to find out?
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 01:19 pm:
I contacted the owner of the recently for sale #122(the last made?), unfortunately after he had agreed the sale, but he sent me information on the boat, including the facts that
a) the keels are removeable, which I presume refers to the bilge plates,? and
b) the boat meets RCD directives and all the under-berth space is solid foam bouyancy.
Of course, I have no idea how many of the run these two features would apply to.
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 01:52 pm:
Virtually all of the space underneath the Vee berth and the interior moulding and quarter berths and under the cockpit sole on Markie WB15 is filled with polystyrene blocks/closed cell foam blocks/squirty foam as supplied from the factory so there is plenty of buoyancy.
It is impossible to remove the bilge plate pins on Markie without 'going in' to the area underneath the interior moulding and the pins are laminated in to the bilge-plate housings. I have heard that later WBs had accessible pins. When I 'went in' I had to cut the Vee berth in half and cut the interior moulding in to 3 bits so I could get it all out so I could cure the leaking bilge-plate housings (a possible major problem on earlier WBs numbered to somewhere in the late 30s). When Eric did similar repairs he took the whole top off the hulls and so avoided having to cut up the internals but on Markie it is almost impossible to see the joints where I have put it all back together again.
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 07:35 pm:
Winkle Brig 50 is now back on the water in the Norfolk Broads. During the winter I had to rebuild the tabernacle - the back-plate split along its length. Sourcing mahogany was difficult and threatened to be expensive (Robbins price was prohibitive) but I was put on to a local furniture maker who had a bit of scrap. Sadly, the need for this repair kept me away from the TSA Cruise.
I also had to re-do the anti-fouling on the hull (I leave my boat in the water for most of the season). Given all that I have read about the nastiness of anti-fouling paints and the difficulties of getting to the bilge plates and all relevant areas of the hull, I entrusted the job to Prestige Boats at Loddon on the Southern Broads. I was well satisfied with the job and felt that the charge was reasonable.
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 07:39 pm:
Just a bit more on Bilge plates. Mine bang around an awful lot when at anchor, they are very loose. When I had her back on the trailer last weekend, I pushed each plate up at the pivot end and found that each would slide up about 2 inches, so the pivot hole must be a slot. Does anyone know if this is normal, or have I got very worn boards? (Pelican is the oldest girl here!)
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 09:00 pm:
I have just checked mine and there is no movement at the pivot point. If I forget to raise the boards when moored then they do rattle and keep you awake!
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 11:24 am:
Julian, befor you start cutting the interior moulding to get access to the pivot points I would like to pose a question as to how necessary these boards are to the performance of the boat. I have never been convinced that they reduce leeway significantly when going to windward but I am convinced that the drag lowers the speed by 10 per cent. I had intended testing this matter by measuring the leeway on the GPS with boards up and down. You will need steady wind conditions and means of holding a steady course. I have sailed behind Dave Cawstons boat to windward, with my boards up and there was no perceptible difference!
A boat with a 15 ft water line should be provided with a board of 6sq ft., so those on brig are too small anyway. The long keel should be adequate? So wedge them up and forget them!
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 02:34 pm:
I have just played with my bilge plates and I have got just over 1/2 inch, so the holes must wear over time. For a quiet night without banging plates I have a nylon rope (heavier than water) that I tie on to one grab rail on the cabin roof, feed around the front of the boat under the bowsprit and back to the other grab rail. The rope will sink and when you pull it tight it will come up under the bilge plates and stop the rattle. Yes Roger and I often debate the pros and cons of sailing with plates up/down. I like sailing to windward with both plates fully down, once on Ullswater we were following Partan (one plate down) and I could not work out why she was getting away from us. I had forgotten to put the plates down and once this was done we were able to keep up with her.
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 05:12 pm:
The whole board issue is interesting. I think you do need them at least for tacking. I can just about come about with both boards up on smooth water, but if it is at all choppy I find it nearly impossible to tack without a board down. I did some very unscientific experiments last week and there does seem to be a small difference in the angle you can beat to windward with the "right" or the "wrong" board down. If I am feeling lazy, I drop one board and I don't bother to change when I tack, but if I am really struggling to make ground to windward I do work both boards. It keeps me busy, if nothing else.
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 07:46 pm:
I'm so relieved to read Julian's May 2 message. I've consistently been failing to tack in my new (to me) boat, and I'd been attributing the problem to fast currents and my own incompetence. Now I'll keep one board down and see how it goes.
Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007 - 11:51 am:
I find WBs need a fair bit of speed to go about, often we back the jib for a second or so to help get us round. If we are tacking against the flow on say the Norfolk Broads we find we make so little headway we resort to the motor (apologies to all you purists ot there but what is the fun in tacking for ages and getting nowhere?) On the open sea yes we do tack against the tide and provided there is a good breeze and we have the topsail up and both plates down (am I being lazy as well or should I play with the plates?) we can make good (reasonable) progress.
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 - 06:01 pm:
I went to look at WB#100 today, and it clearly has removeable plates. the s/s pivot is held in place by two s/s allen key bolts, as can be seen in my rather poor picture. (the broad vertical stripe down the middle is the underside of the plate.)
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2007 - 09:54 am:
Adrian, this photo seems to answer the question. There is certainly nothing like this on my No 6 Winkle Brig. The boards just emerge from the slots as if by magic.
Do you own No 100#? We haven't got it on the owners register. If you sent me details before, apologies for not picking them up.
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2007 - 01:13 pm:
No, I looked at it yesterday. Its just come on the market. It is in decent condition, but I didn't buy because the vendor was asking £12k.
I hope to look at two more on the bank holiday weekend.
Seeing the removable fixing in the photo does raise a little anxiety regarding robustness with me - probably unnecessarily, but I do wonder how much of a knock they would take to leave your plate lying on the bottom...
Posted on Friday, July 20, 2007 - 09:15 am:
I've just grabbed a day and a half of semi-decent weather (good for this summer) to have a night out on Poole harbour. I tried Dave's trick of pulling a rope under the boat to pull the bilge boards tight and stop them rattling. Worked a treat, the quietest night I have had. One day I will forget to remove the rope...
On sailing with bilge boards up/down, I spent most time with both up and generally the boat sailed beautifully (strongish winds with a double reef most of the time) but there is a lot of leeway. Mind you, there is a lot whatever you do. I tried to tack against a strong wind and tide and the GPS depressingly showed me going backwards and forwards on the same line. I put the engine on eventiually.
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2008 - 07:09 am:
Bilge boards:- I replaced the lifting ropes on mine this year (with slightly thinner rope) and now, from time to time they are getting stuck in the up position. Not quite sure why this is, (still investigating), but yesterday, in a strong wind and foul tide I had huge leeway problems without them, so I am convinced they are essential for upwind sailing in these conditions. Anyone else had problems with them getting stuck in the up position? How do you tie the rope to the board?
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2008 - 09:13 am:
My port board always sticks up a bit if there is any sideways pressure on it. It eventually drops down when there is a lull. The starboard board always goes up and down happily, so I tend to just rely on that one. I don't know if it is due to gunk in the slot or wear on the pivots.
Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2008 - 06:38 pm:
I have a tool which resembles a long thin stainless steel skewer which is pushed down the rope hole. I couldn't operate the bilge boards without it. It came with the boat when i bought it. it's only when the board is completely retracted that it sticks. I have marked my ropes allowing about an inch of slack when i'm sailing. This works ok providing I remember not to yank them all the way up.
My ropes is passed through the board and a knot tied. There seems to be plenty of room at the end. I removed a lot of the anti fowling from the tops of the sides. This has helped a bit.
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2008 - 03:30 pm:
I have discovered why my bilge boards were getting stuck up. Many/all of you may have discovered this already, but for those like me who found out the hard way, it is to do with the knot.
I couldn't understand why mine was tied to the rope with the following knot:-
Now I know! Where the end of the rope tucks through the braid, this forms an adjustable spacer, preventing the knot from being pulled up too tight into the rope hole at the top of the bilge board casing (and thereby getting stuck).I think the thickness of the rope is important too.7mm sticks but 9mm does not. I think this is because the above knot in the fatter rope does not stick in the rope tube.
Posted on Saturday, May 23, 2009 - 08:28 pm:
I have a different problem - My bilge boards were both jamming up (having at least one down makes a huge difference to leeway on my boat when close hauled). So, I took out both boards, religiously removed many coats of antifouling, and the rust flakes from the boot, repainted, and thinking what a good job I'd done, tried them out. Guess what - they STILL jam, even without the rope connected. I wonder if the casing tapers towards the top and past a critical point they just get squeezed in a vice like grip? Only thing I can think to do is to sand them down to a thinner profile, particularly at the hinge and along the edge that is drawn up into the casing. Any other ideas?
Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2009 - 11:19 pm:
I think I just solved my problem. Hooray! In desperation I squirted some marine PTFE lubricant up inside both sides of the bilge boards, and guess what - they don't stick at all, even if I haul them up hard against the stop. I think part of the problem is that they don't go straight down, so any friction at all on the keel side of the casing is sufficient to stop them going down. Sea trials next.... :-)
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2010 - 04:34 pm:
Has anyone tried lowering the boards beyond their 45 degree(?) point?
Do you think all our Winklebrigs have the same angle of board - or perhaps Eric played with it over time to optimise performance?
Out of idle curiosity I would be interested to know what length retaining rope others have.
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2011 - 04:43 am:
I own WB100 ( Adrians pivot pic above).My boards were sticking in the up position.I removed them for stripping and cleaning, and noticed they were both slightly warped, so I obtained new 18mm marine ply from Savoy in Preston, (they only charge for the part sheet)to replace them. We'll see if its worth the effort at the next launch.