Swing Keel Hardware Replaced
Well, I finally got around to replacing the pivot bolt and cable for my swing keel on my Venture 2-22. Much easier job than I had thought it would turn out to be. Only unexpected turn was the keel cable bolt---I completely forgot about this one when I ordered my parts, and wish I hadn't. The cable has cut nearly halfway through the bolt, but this is the original bolt from 1972. Nevertheless, a new bolt is in order.
One thing I wanted to post here for other V2-22 owners of the early-70's variety....beware when ordering replacement keel pivot bolts. You may need to have a 5/8" drill bit and a good drill on hand. Blue Water Yachts' listing states that only the early V17 and V21 did NOT use the 5/8" pivot bolt, but it appears that some of the earlier V22/222's may have used the smaller pivot bolt, as well.
Blue Water Yachts (good site for Venture parts, by the way) lists that the one and only pivot bolt that they sell (5/8") is the bolt used on everything but the early V17 & V21. For these boats, they recommend drilling out the existing 1/2" hole and upgrading to the 5/8" pivot bolt. Bigger is stronger and better, but the V17 & V21 aren't the only boats. In his book, "Fix It and Sail," Brian Gilbert tells the reader that it had appeared that a prior owner of his V2-22 had installed a nylon bushing into the keel that allowed that owner to use the smaller 1/2" pivot bolt. Mr Gilbert drilled out the bushing and installed the 5/8" bolt without a problem. I found the exact same setup on my boat, and I know the full history of it and that the pivot bolt had never been changed. With that in mind, along with Brian Gilbert's account, it seems safe to say that at least some of the V22/222's up to and including the 1972 year used the smaller pivot bolt.
While the 1/2" bolt will do the job, it really is too small for its work load, and will bend under the keel's weight regardless of abuse or underwater keel-to-bottom strikes. A 5/8" pivot bolt is the better way to go, hands down.
No problem. Support the keel with a jack and take the weight off of the pivot bolt. Remove the pivot bolt and drill straight through the keel trunk and keel with a 5/8" drill bit. Then, install your new 5/8" pivot bolt and go. My father's 18V DeWalt cordless drill had plenty of power to buzz through the fiberglass and nylon (my drill bit was NEW).
The cable and cable bolt (guide bolt, near the top of the trunk) were also very easy. Very simple to do yourself, as long as you can drop the keel enough to be able to reach up inside the trunk from underneath.
The whole project, start to finish, only cost me $70. Cheap and I did it all in one afternoon, in my own back yard--though I had to lift the boat off of the trailer to do it. :D
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