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 How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!

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tlsallada
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PostSubject: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Thu May 09, 2013 6:55 pm

Okay - so I got my boat up high enough so it's off the bunks on my trailer so I can make hull repairs and replace the bunks. BUT - now I see my keel lift cable must be broken because the swing keel stays put on the trailer axle and the winch cable is tight and will not crank in any further.
How high off the ground do I have to get the boat so the attachment point on the keel is exposed?? There's not enough gap looking up into the keel pocket to see anything. Help !!
terry s.
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Triticum
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Fri May 10, 2013 3:44 pm

Having just dealt with the same problem, I can't tell you. My approach was to take her down to the launch and put her in as far as possible. Once there, I tied her up to the dock fore and aft tightly! I then slowly pulled the trailer out from underneath her. The keel swang down and grounded on the ramp so didn't crunch the keel well (again).

The next step was to put on the dry suit and grab the shackle and new cable. The cable already has an eye braded into the end. I went under the boat and put the shackle through the cable and then through the keel. The first shackle wasn't wide enough to go around the keel. I'd swung by West marine and bought another and fortunately that one worked. I then floated on my stomach under the ship with my hands up in the keel well any by touch feed the cable up into the tube below the winch. I had the regulator in my mouth and just left the tank floating free. This is much more effort than it sounds but you have water holding the sailboat against gravity which is much safer than hoisting it up on land.

The keel is actually 30% wider in the bottom 18" or so. If you are going to lift the boat up high enough to get to to the top of the keel it will have to be probably at least 18" above the normal beds. If you want to get into the space above the keel, you probably need it another 18' higher than that so you can get in between the bottom of the hull and the top of the keel.

If this sounds like a pain, check your local dive shop. I'm sure you will find someone willing to play under your ship for the price of a couple of air fills.
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Triticum
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Fri May 10, 2013 4:04 pm

Here is the shackle that DOESN'T fit the keel!

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tlsallada
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Sat May 11, 2013 10:17 am

It's been about 40 years since I used SCUBA equipment in the service so I'm a little rusty in that area!! Luckily, using three bottle jacks, two floor jacks of mine and one from my neighbor, I was able to get the boat up high enough so I could lower the keel and reattach the cable.
There was a 'U' type 'thimble' on the end of the cable and the thru bolt was missing from it. I replaced the thru bolt and safety wired it so it can't back out again. The cable end and thimble looked in real good condition so I didn't see the need to replace it plus, I didn't want the boat hoisted in the air any longer than needed!!
Thanks for the input !!
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Triticum
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Sat May 11, 2013 11:27 am

I don't suppose you took pictures... I'd love to see them. Was I fairly close in my estimate of how high you needed to get your ship? Great to know it is doable on shore!
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tlsallada
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Sat May 11, 2013 12:52 pm

I was too nervous to take the time to take pictures. I really wanted to but just didn't take the time. Yes - your estimate was close 0 the bottom of the hull was probably close to 30 -36 inches off the ground.
Doable on shore but frightening !!
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boracaydave
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:54 am

Hi, I have to repair mine too. Am far from the water ($150 gas to go there), so will try on land with 
farm type lift jacks like sold in Harbor Freight  then on blocks before working. Not only is my cable 
unconnected, I need to clean rust, treat metal, fill voids with marine epoxy, sand and paint it.

Photos on this forum suggest that the keel can be lifted back in and positioned back to the pivot hole with just the cable and winch. Is this true? Is it sort of balanced at the cable connection...enough to lift and tilt it to get the pivot hole lined back up and in?

What do you think?   A bit SCARRY.

Boracaydave (CM26)
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tlsallada
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:33 pm

Luckily, I didn't have to remove the pivot bolt on the keel. I just had to lower it enough to reattach the lift cable. It isn't balanced at all - all the weight to raise and lower it is left to the winch. As I understand it, it weighs in the neighborhood of 500 hundred pounds.
  I'd be real careful if you attempt to completely remove it - kinda like pulling the engine out of a car from the bottom (like the old VW's except twice the weight).
  To jack my boat up high enough, I did the following procedure:
1) Lower the trailer tongue as far as possible - this raises the rear of the boat.
2) I placed two oil drums off to the sides of the rear of the boat and ran two 4X4's across the tops of the drums and under the boat rear. I also nailed cribbing onto the 4X4's to prevent any 'rolling' .
3) Crank up the front of the trailer to now raise the front of the boat (this lifts the boat off the rear of the trailer.
4) Once I maxed out the travel of the trailer crank, I placed an automotive type floor jack under the front of the boat, supported by several concrete blocks, and jacked the boat up until the jack was maxed out. Please note, I used a piece of the pink 2 inch thick high density foam under both points where the boat was supported to kinda spread and cushion the load.
5) I have to mention that the place in my yard where I performed the operation provided a 'low' spot where I centered the keel. This allowed the keel to pivot down far enough.

  Here's a link you might find informative on the restoration process of a Clipper Marine - I think there's also a photo of the keel completely removed so you can get an idea of it's size and configuration. I hope this hasn't been too long winded!!
http://26clipper.blogspot.com/
terry s
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:54 am

Hi Terry! Chip here. I haven't been on the site since August last year. Nice to be back. It took a while, but I finally started the restorations on my clipper 26.As I was reading to catch up on you guys, I ran across the conversation regarding keels. If I may, I'd like to share an experience I had with my keel cable. I was docked when I decided to unwrap the keel winch cable because it was loose at the top end. When I was putting on the clamp, the cable slipped out of my hand. Due to the coil in the cable, it pulled itself through the tube and out the bottom of the boat. I had to go into the water. I only had a scuba mask. That is not the way I want to do it again. I'm going to replace the cable during the restoration and like you, I'll will be using the old 4-55 gal. drums and 2-4 X 4 posts method. In the process I plan to check the condition of the keel hinge pin. I will have to build a crate like structure together with my floor jack to manage removal and replacement. One of my worst nightmares is sailing along and the hinge pin fails and the keel drops to the bottom of the lake taking the winch through the hull with it. I suspect I'll find hinge pin hole in the keel will be enlarged and rounded in which I will put in a bushing, flaring the ends so it doesn't shift, as well as a new pin. This should take care of most of the side to side movement reducing the banging. I was thinking I might make a rubber sleeve to the top of the keel to reduce movement. Also, I am concerned about the side to side movement of the keel boot when the keel is extended underway in choppy water. I am assuming that some play was built in to the design, thinking that if it was too ridged it may rip out the bottom of the boat. It unsettles me. Do you think strengthening  it up while I'm restoring the cabin would hurt anything? Happy sailing! Chip Newland. Later!
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:04 am

Hello to all.
In reference to the keel issue. My boat is a flush deck 21. The keel is 480 pounds of cast iron.
My keel cable was a mess and about to break. I did as was mentioned earlier about dropping the tongue and then blocking up the stern. However I used a bunch of wood I got from a construction site and made cribbing to set the stern on. I then raised the front with my floor jack as high as possible and then put blocks under the front. Lowered the jack put blocks under it and went up again so as to remove the trailer. I had it up in the air about 3 1/2 to 4 feet.  I also supported the sides with wood at an angle to prevent the thing from rocking. I dropped the keel down so I could remove the rats nest of cable that was on it. I too had trouble finding the right fitting for the hole for the cable. I ended up using a galvanized shackle that was a bit to narrow and spread the opening enough to go around the keel. I then put a pin in it. I also opened the hole a bit and put a bushing in the hole that would hopefully prevent  any  wear.
I also replaced the keel pivot bolt. I am lucky my keel is balanced and after much thought and supporting the keel with wood and jacks found the bolt had no resistance on it when hanging on the cable. The bolt just pulled right out and a new one was greased and put in.
I too am redoing the inside. It was all dry rot and I have gutted it and am going to redo all the inside in foam cut to fit and fiberglass. This my sound strange, but the flush deck 21 does not have much of a cabin. I can not even sit up straight down there. It will be a place to sleep and store gear, a cooler, and a camp stove if I am out overnight.
I do have pictures of my operation among other projects I have done. A new tip up rudder, a mast raising A frame, and a new tiller for the new rudder.
If anyone is interested drop me an e-mail and I will send the pics. e-mail is retired03@cableone.net
Russ
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:20 pm

I would help, but my boat is a fixed keel.  I hope someone with a similar boat has some advice.   In the archives, you can read about such things.  Good luck!

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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:23 am

Guys,

  Have the 21 regular doghouse boat and like others can tell you that the keel liftes balanced on cable to pull pin and lower if necessary.  All so in the archieves capt mike has good stuff on raising boat and droping keel to do a complete resurface of keel.  He's in baja.
  Some thing I have thought about is cutting an access hole on side of keel trunk.  Lets face it, on the trailer the connection is right in front of us, we just can't access it.  Don't know if a 4"x 4" hole with a little cover would weaken it that much or not.  Mine is in the water right now, but it would be a nice feature, since sooner or later you will have to deal with it.
  Dont know if Mr. Crealock is still around to talk to about it.  The hole would be almost a foot above the water so I would think it would work.  Has anyone heard of this?

good luck

Dan
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:00 am

Hello Dan,
I have the flush deck 21 and I too am considering putting a hatch over the area close to the point where the keel cable would be when raised. I think I am going to use clear lexan so I can see where to stop turning the cable winch too. Over cranking seems to be a problem with these type of boats. That way you can monitor the movement. I don't think it would weaken anything. We have to remember that in the early 70's fiberglass and epoxy were brand new and so many were way over built. A 4 to 8 inch opening that was covered with lexan would probably be as strong as the original.
I will keep everyone posted on the project. One of many.
Russ
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:26 am

Russ,

  Sounds like a good idea, being on top of the keel trunk.  When I go to sail next I will look at it.  The hole would have to be big enough to get at least one hand in there to fish out cable/clamp etc.  As for over cranking you are right, even warns about it in manual.  I have painted marks on cable to keep track of it, but the stuff wears off pretty fast. 

good luck

Dan
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PostSubject: Re: How high do I have to get?? Well not me, but my boat!   Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:12 am

The well isn't wide enough to get a hand into it.

What about a 1/2 in hole on either side.  Put a 12v led behind the lexan on one side and a bit of translucent material (hot melt glue) on the other side.  Turn the light on and the material will glow (blue?) until the keel is up.

On my 26, it is 18 turns between up and down.

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