Re: Ahoy, Sailors and fellow Newport 212 owners!
Thank you for the reply! The problem with the swing keel seems to be that it is over engineered and the cabin is placed over all the mechanisms leaving little and no access. My first disaster happened when the bow pulley let go, leaving no leverage to lift anything. The second time, the cable itself snapped. When I got the boat, the keel had rusted and swelled to the point where it would not move inside the track. I chipped 14 lbs (yes I weighed it) of rust off to free it and although the track inside was a mess, it worked for a few years. The boat had one access panel just before the mast to see the keel and its rollers when they were in the down position. The bow had an access panel to the pulley but when I removed it, it was little more than a small hole for the wiring to the nav lights. There is another pulley midship on the port side. This had a small (useless) access hole in the port storage. I opened up all the access points and added another one in front of the mast, giving me access to the cable. When the cable finally snapped, I knew there was way to much resistance in the keel roller track. Both times, I had to swim under the boat and lift the keel back inside while two of the crew wrapped a rope around the hull. Being beyond the time and skills I had at that point, I brought it to a boat yard where they eliminated most of the assembly. There is now a snatch block forward of the mast and the cable is fed from the keel, around the pulley, and it ends with a handle which clips into a cleat at the back of the trunk. This is used to lift the keel up. The lowering cable remained the same, and there is a new track and rollers. The original set up was cool and might have worked when new, but it was near impossible to access the critical components. The only thing I lost was a bit of ease (no block and tackle) and the ability to adjust the depth. It is either up or down. A couple more cleats can fix this but I really don't need it.
One more thing. Do you know if it is called a Newport "twenty-one-two", or "two-twelve"? All I have is some info online and I've never talked to anyone familiar with these boats until now. Thanks again.