Replacing the centerboard gasket...

Thread starter #1
My boat is fairly new to me, but it has been around the block a few times. Some of the parts are showing their age, so I have been updating them a few at a time. This week I'm replacing the centerboard gasket. The gasket on my boat looks as if it may the original that came with my 1986 boat. It was warped, cracked, and generally served no purpose, other than perhaps to funnel water into the boat like a fountain. The first step in replacing the gasket was research, but the only vague links I found had little information about where I could purchase a new gasket or how to install it. I then called Catalina. Not only do they have the gasket (part number 15386), but it is covered with durable sailcloth, which should extend its usable life. With a price less than $10.00, including stainless steel screws and gasket retainers, it is a good value too.

When it came in, the first thing I did was to remove the old screws. Most of these came out fine, but as you may be able to see in the pictures, the boat had an old bottom coat of paint put on. (My boat has been professionally repainted since by Lindsey Marine at Canyon Lake, and the painters were thoughtful enough to leave the centerboard gasket parts unpainted so that I could change out the gasket without having to remove painted screws.) Nevertheless, a few of the heads of the screws that were sealed under the old paint striped when I tried to remove them. Using my Dremel and a small cutting wheel, I very carefully cut new slots into the tops of the screws. This allowed me to remove them easily using a flat head screwdriver. Since I did all of this under my boat, with the wheels chocked and the trailer secured, I was only to able to remove most of the screws. Eight screws were inaccessible due to the rollers on the trailer. However, with the help of my son, I was able to carefully slide the boat back just enough to allow access to the remaining screws. After all of the screws were removed, the gaskets and plastic gasket retainers came off easily. The final clean up work simply required removing the old sealant.

Up to this point, I put in about an hour of work. Tomorrow I will finish the job by installing the new gaskets, which should also take about an hour. When I'm done, I will post pictures of the finished product.

Pictures post below

Thank you for taking time to do this write up (including the rub rail post). This is very useful especailly for those who have a old 14.2. Mine is 1987. Keep up the good work.

Thread starter #3
Thanks :)

I had never done either before, and I figured there had to be somebody else looking for that info like me.

The bug I caught still has me down today, but I hope to be up tomorrow so that I can finish the job and post the results.
Thread starter #4
Tonight I hit a snag when I prepared to install the new gasket. The plastic retaining strip that Catalina sent in the kit had predrilled and countersunk holes. The problem is the spacing of the holes doesn't match the holes in the old gasket retainers, and subsequently, the holes in the boat. I was warned the holes might not match, and that I should drill new holes in the new strip to match the boat and seal the unused holes with marine sealant. I tried to offset the old strip over the new strip and mark new locations for the holes, but Catalina didn’t send enough plastic strip material. No matter how I tried to position the two strips, several holes would overlap, meaning I would have irregular shaped holes that would not work with the supplied screws. I am going to write Catalina to find out if I can get the plastic strip without predrilled holes. Just in case they do not have it, does anyone know where I can find some suitable replacement material?

Adhesive for gasket

I'm doing this same job presently. I glanced at the intructions last night. I believe it said something about 'apply adhesive.' Even if it didn't it seems it would make sense to put something down, then the gasket, then the plastic strip with the screw holes.

But what to use as an adhesive?

I was thinking of putting down some West System epoxy and then the gasket before it sets, but I fear I'll have a real hard time if I ever want to replace the gasket again in the future.

Thread starter #6
I'm using Goop Marine Sealant / Adhesive, but according to Catalina, most any modern marine sealant will do. The main reason to use sealant is to keep water from infiltrating the screw holes.

Thread starter #7
The saga continues... After many calls to Catalina (I think they are avoiding me now ;) ), I finally found out that Catalina only stocks the gasket retainers that are pre-drilled, which are provided through a third party supplier. Catalina is going to try to get some un-drilled stock, but this may not be available for a few weeks. I want to sail this weekend, so I cleaned up the old, gross looking gaskets retainers with sand paper and acetone (to remove the old crusty bottom paint). They are nicked up where I had to cut new slots in a few of the old screws, but the retainers should work well enough.
Thread starter #8
I finished the centerboard gasket installation last night using the old gasket retainer, and it went very smoothly. In hindsight, using the old retainer was a good option, because all the holes were of course were lined up perfectly with the holes in the boat. (I recommend using the old retainer if it is in good condition.)

Before I started the installation, I lined up the retainer over the new gasket and using a black marker, I marked the locations of each screw. I also marked the gasket and retainers so that I was sure to have the correct match during installation.

The only hard part of the installation was trying to squeeze on the sealant while lying on my back under my boat. To keep the work from getting too messy, I just worked with small sections at a time. After putting on the sealant, I held the gasket in place and pressed the gasket retainer over it. Making sure the screw was lined up with the hole, I pushed the screw into the gasket until it held. Next, using my cordless drill, I screwed in the screw. Finally, after installing both gaskets, I trim the remaining gasket material, and then seal the gaps between the gasket retainer and hull using sealant. While doing this, I found a few placed along the gasket where I had put on too much sealant, which squeezed out between the overlapping gaskets. I cleaned this up and then the job was done.

Now I wonder how much, if any, of a difference this will make. If nothing else, perhaps I won't have a water fountain in my boat now.

Center Board Gasket What Does it Do?

I was under my boat last night looking at my center board gasket. What is the gasket degigned to do? How do I know when it is bad? The boat is a 1992 and has spent much of its life on the trailer. The gasket looks to be all there and it looks to somewhat seal around the center board.

Thanks for the info
Roger Lohrey
Thread starter #11
Roger Lohrey said:
I was under my boat last night looking at my center board gasket. What is the gasket degigned to do? How do I know when it is bad? The boat is a 1992 and has spent much of its life on the trailer. The gasket looks to be all there and it looks to somewhat seal around the center board.

Thanks for the info
Roger Lohrey

It should seal around the centerboard when it is down, and when it is up it should provide a level surface nearly flush with the bottom of the boat. Its purpose is to keep water out of the centerboard trunk, which will act like a brake on the boat. One way to know if it is working is to see how much water is coming up through the trunk when sailing. Before I replaced mine, water literally sprayed up through the trunk when moving. (Since it isn't a perfect seal, there will be water will be in the trunk, but you shouldn't be getting a shower while underway.)
I know this is an old thread, but I just replaced my centerboard gasket, and lo and behold the screw hole locations did not line up on the new retaining strips from Catalina. The screws they sent were also all random lengths and even different threads on some. I ended up having to use the old retaining strips, which I didn't want to do, but they seemed to still be flexible and strong even after being 20 years old. The bad parts, along with Catalina's weird way of taking spare parts orders kinda has me wondering about the quality of their operation.