Careen keel bolted boat? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-25-2010
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Question Careen keel bolted boat?

I have a 32' Bavaria 960 sailboat built in 1985. My husband and I bought "Wishful Thinking" a year ago. This is our first sailboat with a bolted keel. Our boat is moored in Boston Massachusetts. A couple of years ago we had a year with mussels and other crud growing on the prop/sail-drive. This seems to be another year with heavy growth. Despite having painted anti-foul paint and a spay paint to the prop/sail-drive. By the way the boat is handling I suspect that something is growing on the sail-drive. I'd like to careen the bottom of the boat, but I question if allowing the boat to sit on its keel is prudent?

Should bolted on keels be allowed to go aground or sit in the mud?

Thank you,
Pam

Last edited by Pamsboat; 08-25-2010 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 08-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamsboat View Post
....
Should bolted on keels be allowed to go aground or sit in the mud?

Thank you,
Pam
Not by choice, although quite often when error takes control. Hire a diver to service you saildrive, or get a mask and snorkel and do it yourself. The water will be fine for another 3-4 weeks.

Careering any boat takes real care and planning and a fin keel even more so. In 30 years of New England boating, I've never seen someone do it...
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Old 08-26-2010
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Pam--

You cannot "careen" a fin keel yacht in the traditional sense of the word. If there is a club with a careening rack in your area, where you can side-tie and secure the yacht fore'n aft to hold her in place while the tide runs out you might be able to do it but I think that would be very unwise. The diver suggestion, above, or buying a lightweight wet suit and diving the boat yourself, would be a much better solution. A monthly diving service to maintain your bottom and running gear is not very costly and should be considered as a matter of routine maintenance.

FWIW...
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Old 08-26-2010
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I will agree that your best bet is to dive down and clean it up.

However, I have seen plenty of boats careened, especially up in your area. With fin keels, too.

Some folks think of careening only as tying alongside a wharf with a big tide range, stabilizing/bracing the boat, and letting the tide go out. The boat stays upright. That's one way, that you see sometimes see up in Maine/Nova Scotia/England, etc.

Another way to careen is on a protected beachhead, where the boat leans over as the tide runs out. The key here is to find a sheltered location with a steep drop-off from the beach, and to position the boat along that drop off so the keel has more depth than the hull as it leans.

I admit that I have never done it myself, but I have seen it done many many times in various places along the South Shore (between Boston & Cape). I would careen our bolted-on fin keel, if necessary. But I know that ours was designed for this, too. I do not know the design of your keel, so maybe ask your builder what they think?

All that said, I would still just dive for your issue. If you do it yourself, be sure to wear some kind of gloves to protect your hands form barnacle/muscle cuts while scraping.
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Old 08-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamsboat View Post
This seems to be another year with heavy growth. Despite having painted anti-foul paint and a spay paint to the prop/sail-drive. By the way the boat is handling I suspect that something is growing on the sail-drive.
Anti fouling paint does not eliminate growth, merely retards it. Further, anti fouling paint has a lifespan and you can usually figure that after 2 or 3 years, it is ready to be repainted.

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Hire a diver to service you saildrive, or get a mask and snorkel and do it yourself...
+1

Why go to the trouble and risk of careening to simply clean the bottom and running gear? A diver can do it while the boat is in her slip. You don't even have to be present.

Last edited by Fstbttms; 08-26-2010 at 10:45 AM.
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