Join Date: Dec 2013
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Re: Lifting keel on Seaward 26RK wonder if they give any trouble
I own hull #1 of the Seaward 26RK. I bought it from the original owner about 7 years ago. I love this boat! You have to pay attention when coming about or you will either fall off too much or stall the sails. This is, I suppose, because of the high aspect ratio main. But it is a solid, well built boat that is easily single handed. I feel completely safe and have enjoyed owning her immensely.
The lifting keel is wonderful and a burden at the same time. I sail primarily in the upper Potomac River, but have trailered to the Cheasapeake and Smith Mountain Lake. Never have to worry about running aground... if you do , simply raise the keel 6" and sail away. Also, because of the lifting keel, the boats center of gravity is much lower when trailering, making for a safe, controlled ride.
The burden: hull #1 has the winch so close to the post on top of the lifting keel that I couldn't service the rotor cap that controls power to the winch. I eventually corrected that by hardwiring a switch back in the cockpit. This has made it a much more reliable method than before and I am sorry I didn't do it sooner.
Bigger problem just happened three months ago. Keel got stuck about halfway down. I thought it was just some growth (happens occassionally) so I used a 3lb hammer and normally knock the keel down an inch or two until it is free. Something else is wrong this time. I couldn't knock it down, so I fastened the main halyard and tried to pull it up while applying 'up' power to the winch. The stainless steel cable parted, but the keel is still stuck. So I now have a fixed keel boat with a draft of about 2.5 feet. I plan on having her lifted with a travelift onto the trailer next spring. Hoping whatever is stuck will get unstuck when the weight of the boat pushes down on the keel.
At that time, we'll drop the mast and take the winch off to get to the turning blocks that control the lift.
more in the spring