Where to Put the Centerboard on a Reach

Skipper and middle crew sailing a Thistle downwind with waves surging on the boat.

Here’s an excerpt from the 2020 Thistle Nationals Roundtable Series. Listen to Greg Fisher describe where to put your centerboard when the boat is on a broad reach.


Greg Fisher: I’ll kick it off first by just saying we’re on a reach – broad reach – boat’s flat, helm’s neutral. In this situation we’re clearly not out of control or even overpowered. Somebody asked about the board position, and my total guide on where I’d put the board is so that the helm is neutral. So for me in this situation, I’d probably have the board surprisingly up at least 5/8 or 2/3 of the way because that’s what would make the rudder just follow straight behind the boat. And we would play the board depending on the breeze, depending on how overloaded we were and all that, we would keep that board moving to keep the helm balanced.

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