New owner of yankee 24 seahorse with stuck swing keel - SailNet Community

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Old 08-26-2010
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New owner of yankee 24 seahorse with stuck swing keel

I just bought my first sailboat that is a yankee 24 seahorse, mid 70's. The swing keel is inside of a stub keel and weighs 200lbs according to brochure that I found online. Previous owner never sailed it and doesn't know how to get it down. It has a winch in cabin, but with the rope loose it is stuck. The boat has a removable cover for the keel trunk, but it is only rough fiberglass under the cover with no visible pins ( no pivot pin, no retaining pin nothing, just rough fiberglass) The rope exits rough fiberglass hole that extends up about 6 inches off the floor. I've read that most swing keels have a pin that holds the board/keel when it is in the "up" position to take the strain off of the rope, but I don't know where mine is, if I have one at all. If I try to get it out of the water and remove the keel, how do I get it out with no bolt access? The rope that goes to the keel is currently getting wet, how to I replace it when it rots? I've got to missing something here...please help.
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Old 08-26-2010
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I can not help you with the pin but not all swing keels have pins Mine does not.

It was stuck when I bought the boat but I slackened the wire a little and went sailing to windward over a short chop. That loosened the barnacles which were holding it up and by letting it out slowly as the boat bounced away I got it all the way down.

However there is another thread somewhere on Sailnet about someone who has a badly rusted keel stuck in the raised position and that seems much worse than barnacles.
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Old 08-26-2010
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I guess it depends who made it and what they made the center board from. It is not really a 'swing keel' but rather a center board and from the websites below weighs in around 120# although yours could be heavier. Both center boards and swing keels will have pivot bolts and pennants, control line(s) which some even call an up-haul.
DOLPHIN 24 (YANKEE) Sailboat details on - A Website For Dolphin Owners and Others Interested in this Classic Design
TQA's advice is sound if you know how to release the center board (C/B) pennant. Bashing into some waves can be enough to break the marine growth in the C/B trunk but do not let the pennant out all the way, just a few inches of slack is enough to find out if the C/B has slipped down a bit. The momentum of the C/B free falling can damage the C/B trunk or break the pennant.
The advice I give to most folks with boats that have a stuck C/B is to find a flat but strong piece of metal that is an inch or two wide and work it between the C/B and the slot from underneath (an old wood saw would do in a pinch, preferably not a 'cross cut' saw) to break away the marine growth that is the real problem. You could do this with the boat in the water if you are up for that or do it after hauling out. I prefer to do this on my boat when it is out of the water (on the 'hard') and safely blocked as I've given my SCUBA gear away.
It might also be helpful if we knew your general location and what kind of water your boat is sitting in right now. Marine growth is generally slow in colder more northerly waters but pretty aggressive in warmer and saltier waters. If your boat is in a lake then you wont have barnacles but might have Zebra Mussels or a ridiculous slime problem. Location is important.
Disclaimer: I give this 'advice' based on owning another S&S designed boat of a similar era that has a C/B that sometimes gets stuck in the trunk due to barnacle growth. I have owned a Tartan 27' from 1967 for 8 years now that is mostly in salty water.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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