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FlyingScot255 07-15-2009 10:10 PM

Catalina 22 Swing Keel wobble
Anyone know how much at risk my 1979 Catalina 22 is of losing the swing keel or experiencing hull damage if the keel wobbles and makes a pounding sound against the hull when it's moored? I would like to get through the season without changing the pin and installing shims.

Has anyone you've known lost a swing keel? What should I do if it happens -- cut the cable as fast as I can and let the keel sink?

Thanks, Dean
I sail on Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, NY -- one of the finger lakes.

Capnblu 07-16-2009 12:52 PM

Why on earth would you plan on how to throw away your keel? Take your boat out of the water, and get it repaired. Geesh!:puke

Ogrenaut 07-16-2009 01:03 PM

According to Practical Sailor, your swing keel is about 550 lbs of cast iron. Sounds like an expensive part of the boat just to be thrown away, not to mention what the sudden change in ballast could do to the stability of your boat. Would you drive your car if you knew the lug nuts on the wheels where loose or worn? Fixing the swing keel now sounds a lot cheaper than replacing it later.

GaryHLucas 07-16-2009 10:30 PM

I used to be on the Catalina Direct C22 newgroup and quite a few keels have been lost. The one on my boat was nearly worn through to the top edge before I fixed it.

I have come up with a quick cheap fix. Pull the keel off and flop it on it's side. Get a short piece of 3/4" pvc pipe which measures 1.050" diameter. Put some wax on the pipe so epoxy won't stick. Then put the pipe through the hole and use putty on the bottom to seal around it and locate it where the hole belongs, and make sure it is nice and square to the keel. Mix up some epoxy with graphite filler and pour it around the pipe. When it sets flip the keel over, remove the putty and pour in some more epoxy with graphite. After the epoxy sets hard pound the pipe out with a hammer. Put the keel back on and go sailing! You can do this repair over and over again if needed, but it should last several years at the least.

Gary H. Lucas

seasplash2 09-09-2012 08:55 PM

Re: Catalina 22 Swing Keel wobble
How did you pull the keel off the boat?

GaryHLucas 09-12-2012 09:59 PM

Re: Catalina 22 Swing Keel wobble

Originally Posted by seasplash2 (Post 920313)
How did you pull the keel off the boat?

All by myself! With the boat supported by jack stands. I picked up a $50 hydraulic floor jack with wheels. Put it on a sheet of plywood so it will roll. I held the weight off the pin while I removed the four bolts that hold the bronze blocks on either side that contains the pin. I laid some 4 x 4 wood on either side of the jack. Then I got well out of the way, and pulled the release on the jack. It came down and the keel fell over on the 4 x 4s. I slipped the jack under the balance point of the keel and rolled it out from under the boat. Then I move the jack slightly towards one end and raised the jack until the keel was as high as it would go. I backed my van under the raised end and lowered the keel onto the bumper. Moved the jack and raised the end on the ground, then supported it with some concrete blocks. Moved the jack right to hte balnace point and raised it higher, so I could back the van under it right up to the jack. I put a piece of pipe on the van floor as a roller and lowered the keel on to it. Then lifted the outboard end one more time, and carefully pushed the keel on the roller and the wheels of hte jack into the van. I lowered it onto a second pipe roller and pushed it all the way in so I could close the hatch. It came out the same way in reverse.

To put it back on I welded up a U frame that replaced the lifting plate on the jack. I positioned it under the boat standing on edge on some wood blocks. I put the U frame and jack under the keel and attached the keel cable. I pulled up the bottom end with the keel winch, and jacked the front end up to put the pin and blocks in. Again I did all the work by myself.

The $50 jack has saved me tons of time and money. I jacked up the trailer and the boat, then blocked up the boat at one end. Jacked up the hitch end and put a wooden beam across concrete blocks and rolled the trailer out from under the boat. I moved the keel around my shed sitting on the jack. I moved my car sideways in the garage for more room to work. A really useful tool!

Gary H. Lucas

Barquito 09-13-2012 10:11 AM

Re: Catalina 22 Swing Keel wobble
Do you raise the keel while on the mooring? That would reduce torque on the keel. I would imagine that if the pin let go, the cable would hold the keel by itself OK. Would be difficult to get boat out of the water, however. If it was me, I would just do it at the end of the season.

GaryHLucas 09-13-2012 07:29 PM

Re: Catalina 22 Swing Keel wobble
By the way. The keel MUST fit loose on the pin, and in the trunk! The keel has to move side to side slightly as it is a quite irregular piece of iron that does not match the inside of the keel trunk closely. When heeled sailing everything is quiet. On a mooring the keel is a pendulum and swings and bangs. If you want to stop that just put a lot of your stuff on one side when you leave so the boat heels on the mooring, and the banging will stop completely.

If someone were to repair your keel and make it a nice close fit on the pin THEN you would be in danger of loosing it! That is because a sloppy fit means that the four bolts holding the pin blocks into the hull are only carrying the weight of the keel, and even less when heeled over. If the pin fits tight then the keel is a huge lever trying to pull the bolts on one side out of the hull when you are heeled. It very well may succeed. That is why my repair method using hte PVC pipe to form the hole actually needs to make the oversize hole.

Gary H. Lucas

DivingOtter 09-16-2012 11:54 AM

Re: Catalina 22 Swing Keel wobble
23 Attachment(s)
My Santana has the same problem. Someone online fit lexan spacers in to eliminate the play and keel slam that has worked out well from what I understand.

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