Well, I took my boat to a buddies house who has a boat hoist so we could inspect the keel and it's related hardware. I had images of the keel falling off somewhere on Georgian Bay, so an inspection was warranted.
Here is the boat on the hoist
The keel deployed.
Here is a view of her "privates" Always hidden from view under normal circumstances. I feel like a bit of a pervert just looking.
Cable disconnected from winch so we could lower if further
1/16" SS cable. It has a crimp fitting holding things together. It looked in good shape actually
Front pivot pin cover off and pin removed
Not bad for almost 40 years of wear. It's a very hard foam core and lead encapsulated in glass. It weighs about 100 lbs. Somehow, it has stayed in one piece. Some of these boats have been known to have swollen keels that don't come out of the slot anymore. Swollen by being water logged and frozen/split open I guess.
This doesn't look that great, but no time to fix, and it's lasted this long so it's going back in this way. I am pretty sure it looked like this when new.
New cable 1/8" instead of the original 1/16".
I think the old cable had broken at the winch at one point, and then shortened and reattached to the winch. The new cable allows the keel to drop another 4 inches or so.
Now I can sail with peace of mind. I had visions of frayed cables and worn keel pin/holes.