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Old 04-21-2006
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Stuck Keel

I apologize for the tardy response. So here goes my Oday 23 is a 1973 model. It has an iron trunk with retractable fiber glass keel. Do you know if the fiberglass keel contains any lead or heavy metal within the fiberglass? I do have the dinette post and was able to find the crank. However I have bigger problems now the keel is stuck in the trunk. The boat has been sitting on land since 1996 so the iron trunk has rusted away causing a layer of friction between the keel and the iron case. Also the hinge that the keel swings on might also be frozen. I tried every thing from clearing the gap between trunk and fiberglass. Drilling holes into fiberglass and pulling keel down, banging down on keel from inside boat however it wouldn’t move an inch. Has anyone experienced a similar problem like this? I feel like the boat is worthless and won’t sail well without the keel down, this is the only problem with the boat everything else is mint. I also thought of fiber glassing an extension to the keel and making a new one that was fixed. Has anyone ever tried jerry rigging a new keel onto a stuck keel? Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.

-Stephen Paul

Westbury, NY
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Old 04-21-2006
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Unless your boat is water ballasted or has ballast built into the bilge, you probably have metal in the swing keel.

I had a 21' Macgregor once with an iron keel. I had all kinds of trouble with the winch mechanism. Is the cable loose? If not, it could be jammed or wrapped somehow.

Also, the pivot bolt on my boat was a few inches back from the forward end of the keel. When I let the keel down, a portion of the forward keel would pivot up into the trunk. It had a stopper bolt through the trunk to keep the keel from swinging too far forward if the cable snapped. If something managed to lodge between the keel and that bolt (a piece of junk floating around the last time the boat was launched) the keel would be restricted in movement.

At 23', you might be able to beach the boat and roll it on its side for a good look. I wouldn't use too much force though, boats that size are sometimes thin skinned.

As a last resort, I suppose you could build leeboards like the ones used on sailing canoes to give the boat lateral resistance. It would be less costly and less work than trying to fabricate and install a fixed keel.

As an after "the last resort" resort, you could remove the mast and rigging and turn it into a slow power boat. At least you would get out on the water.

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Old 04-21-2006
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I expect you're barking up an pretty empty tree on this forum. Do a Google for "oday 23" and follow the first couple of links, plus and you should quickly find gold. Also join the ODay email forum

Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2006
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Keep -a - Goin'

The old O'Day is a worthy little boat and will serve you well once you get that keel fixed. Don't be tempted to take short cuts. Myself, I have also considered something like, 'have a small steel keel welded up and then welded to the iron keel trunk blah blah blah ....' Forget it.

Use crowbars and drills and chisels and whatever it takes and get that old centerboard out. Get to the pivot pin and drill it out if you have to. Do not destroy the iron trunk or any part of the hull, but don't be afraid to turn that centerboard and pivot pin into shavings and filings. It is a suck job, but it's worth it.

Once the junk is out, do a real good job of cleaning up the iron trunk and coating it with epoxy primer (Interlux 2000 works best) and bottom paint it two coats.

Start an internet search now for another centerboard for the boat, as well as a new pivot pin and the various small pieces. If worse comes to worse, you can actually build a new centerboard out of fiberglass, and a machine shop can make you a new pin.

Don't give up. The experience will be worth it. The boat will sail well when fixed properly, and will be easy to sell to move up to another when you are ready.
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