Effects of Daggerboard

Thread starter #1
I just got into sailing with my recently purchased 1973 Sunfish. Yesterday I notice that when I lifted the daggerboard half way out the boat would not heel as much. I kind of like this because when the wind gets heavy I can use this trick to diminish the lean on the boat.

My question is, what are the effects of having the daggerboard half way up versus fully down on the following aspects:

* Heeling
* Direction
* Speed
* Maneuverabilty
* Drag

Please feel free to give your 2 cents on this subject and also mention any other comments or tricks that you consider important or helpful.

Thanks, Rafael


Well-Known Member
Heeling - less, of course, it's like reefing the sail.
Direction - the boat moves more sideways.
Speed - depends what you're measuring against, but Velocity Made Good to windward is what counts, and that won't improve.
Maneuverability - doesn't improve, the boat gets "slippery" in the water, harder to steer accurately.
Drag - there'll be less of that, of course, but as there's less lift, too, it's kind of pointless.

That said, you can depower with the centreboard but it's a two-edged sword, and should be used only in certain classes and situations, and as a last resort. In the Laser it's never done (people are keeping their boards lower and lower even downwind); in the Europe Dinghy it used to work if you were very light and/or your mast was too stiff for you. The Sunfish experts here (I certainly don't claim to be one!) will know what is good for this class. But in any case, never raise your board so high that you'd need to lower it for tacking. 50 % sounds very extreme and impractical.
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Well-Known Member
Except when downwind in very light winds I find myself mostly with the board all the way down. Note the change of tiller position as you adjust the board upwards.

Stability is important—and I stay dryer—sharing a cold lake with huge powerboat wakes. :eek: