We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Daggerboard?

By Douglas Bonderud
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A daggerboard is a type of keel used by sailing craft. It is housed in a receptacle, or sheath, on board the ship and is dropped into the water when necessary. These keels garner their name from their shape, which has one long, flat edge along the back and a slightly curved edge along the front. This curved edge will face into oncoming water when the board is dropped.

Daggerboards are used when a ship is beating into the wind, which means that it is attempting to travel in the same direction that the wind is coming from. Proper sail techniques and ship positioning can take advantage of wind, even if it is coming almost head-on. A daggerboard provides lift to the boat when dropped into the water, preventing it from bogging down. They are simple to operate, typically coming equipped with a release that allows them to be quickly dropped when needed, and a winch to retract them.

Another type of lift-producing board, the centerboard, is often confused with the daggerboard. While both types are located under the center of a ship, a centerboard is able to pivot underwater, whereas a daggerboard is not. Also, a centerboard cannot be retracted, allowing only a ship equipped with a daggerboard able to access shallow water.

Currently, the preference in boat-building — and specifically in catamarans — is to use a centerboard model. This is because the cost of adding dual daggerboards to a catamaran is far more expensive than a centerboard. The board must also be retracted at the correct time in order to safely sail the boat. If the boards are not hauled in when the boat is in shallow water or is beached, serious damage could result. For this reason, daggerboard-equipped vessels tend to be preferred by purists and sport sailors, rather than the general public or charter vessels.

It is essential that daggerboards and their housings, which are usually made of wood, be crafted properly. The housings, which are commonly known as trunks, must be solidly constructed in order to hold the keel when not in use, and also to prevent the board from rattling around or shifting position. If the shape of the board is deformed due to excessive wear and tear while in the trunk, it will not perform properly. This can limit or even cripple the performance of a ship.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.