Two different daggerboards.

A daggerboard is a retractable centreboard used by various sailing craft. While other types of centreboard may pivot to retract, a daggerboard slides in a casing. The shape of the daggerboard converts the forward motion into a windward lift, countering the leeward push of the sail.


Daggerboards are often long and thin, thus providing a better lift-to-drag ratio. Daggerboards are usually found in small craft such as day sailers, where their size is easily handled by a single person. Daggerboards are not usually ballasted, but are locked in place by a clip.

When a daggerboard is extended through the keel, it improves a ship's stability. Daggerboards can be raised when the a ship enters a shallow harbor, allowing the boat (for example) to load and unload cargo in locations that would not otherwise be accessible to larger ships.[1]

If a daggerboard is located off center, then it is called a leeboard or a bilgeboard.

One problem with such boats if that if one were to hit shore, it would be quite easily damaged.

Boats equipped with it

The Mirror Dinghy, for example, uses a plywood daggerboard. The Laser and Vanguard 15 also use daggerboards.

In 2008, a 55-foot-long (17 m) daggerboard ship was found in Lake Ontario, using deep scan sonar equipment off the lake's southern shore, the only one known to have been found in the Great Lakes. Vessels of this type were used for a short time in the early 19th century.[1]

According to [2] there are only four non-custom manufacturers of catamarans which use daggerboards: Catana, Outremer, Sud Composites, and Dolphin. One reason might be its construction cost, estimated to be about $30,000 for a 45-foot (14 m) catamaran.


  1. ^ a b "Upstate NY explorers ID rare boat in Lake Ontario". Associated Press. December 13, 2008. http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-science/20081213/Schooner.Discovered/. 
  2. ^ "Daggerboards vs. Keels". http://www.multihullcompany.com/Article/Daggerboards_vs._Keels. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • daggerboard — n. a centerboard, specif. one that is thrust directly into the water rather than being swung down on a pivot …   English World dictionary

  • daggerboard — noun Date: circa 1930 a removable narrow centerboard in some small boats that is raised and lowered by sliding up and down …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • daggerboard — /dag euhr bawrd , bohrd /, n. Naut. a removable board on a small sailboat, typically of small dimension fore and aft, lowered into the water through a trunk to serve as a keel. Cf. centerboard. [DAGGER + BOARD] * * * …   Universalium

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  • daggerboard — noun a kind of centreboard which slides vertically through the keel of a sailing boat …   English new terms dictionary

  • daggerboard — /ˈdægəbɔd/ (say daguhbawd) noun a type of centreboard which can be removed completely from its housing. Also, daggerplate …   Australian-English dictionary

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