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funjohnson 08-30-2008 05:54 PM

Swing Keel Bangin sound and Mooring Question
Having just ran a search, I see that a clunking or banging sound from a swing keel boat is common.

I just bought a 1998 Hunter 240 and have been spending every night on it I can. I'm being kept up at night thinking my boat is bashing itself apart while I sleep. First I thought it was my ruder.... now I found out it is my swing keel moving around. Should I be concerned? Is this cause to instantly pull my boat out of the water and have it fixed? How much is too much?

Also, is it ok to have my keel pulled up at my mooring? If I pull it up the banging stops, but I don't think it was designed to be pulled up all the time. Is this better than letting it move around?

Thanks for the help.


newpbs 08-30-2008 06:48 PM


We sailed my father's 1969 Irwin for over 15 years. Stout Fella, the 31 foot Irwin, had a swing keel. Every time we came into harbor we raised the board and pulled into our slip. We always raised and lowered the board with every sail. I think you should raise the board to simply protect it from damaging itself every time is bounces back and forth. You will also get better sleep too.

Good Luck,

somers12 08-30-2008 06:48 PM

My swing keel does that too. Try tightening the winch one turn. The banging should stop. Wind her a bit more if it doesn't


Maine Sail 08-30-2008 08:09 PM

Centerboard and swing keel boats should have the board up while at the mooring. There have been more than a few cases of the board fracturing the centerboard trunk in sloppy seas from the back and forth motion. We had an O'day mariner sink in front of our house because the owner left the board down and it eventually fractured the trunk housing and sunk the boat..

tweitz 08-30-2008 11:01 PM

Its also a good idea to regularly raise and lower the board to discourage marine growth from fouling the centerboard trunk.

Stillraining 08-30-2008 11:10 PM

It might need new wear bushings and is sloping side to side not for and aft.

Did that on mine was told it should be better now..well find out pretty soon

sailaway21 08-31-2008 12:56 AM

Which way is the motion? Side to side should be looked at, as mentioned above. Fore and aft might be remedied by either pinning the keel down or winch tension depending on your set-up. I disagree with halekai on raising it unless for a compelling reason-you're raising your ballast and you'll also have a boat that is far more prone to veering all over on her mooring.

I'm not familiar with the Hunter and so cannot speak to that boat specifically.

Classic30 08-31-2008 07:37 PM

As Still said, it's probably slopping side to side and will need new bushings next time you haul out. It's not a huge job.

If you can get access to the top of the case with the board down, you could push a wedge (cheap rubber door-stops are ideal) either side of the plate as a temporary measure whilst sailing and sleeping - but don't forget to pull them out before trying to raise it again.

Bear in mind that a banging keel it's not only noisy but slow (you won't be winning any races with the board flopping around).


funjohnson 09-01-2008 08:17 AM

I cant figure out if it is side to side or up and down. I'll have it looked at when I pull the boat out this year. Until then, I'll just keep pulling up the board when I'm at my mooring.

Man, I love this site.... you guys are the best!

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