Whats up with my keel? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Whats up with my keel?

HELLO everyone!
SO! I have a question about my 1969 Grampian 26' that I hope someone will be able to shed a little light on...
My keel is short, and looks like it would be a drop keel, though there is no indication from the outside, absolute bottom of the keel. And it is wide. But today, whilst inspecting in the bilge, I saw this little square bolt on the aft portion of the keel extrusion.
So my question is; do I have a drop keel boat that someone glassed shut?

I briefly talked to some people in the chat before about this (I think Dferron & Faster?((Thanks again!)), and some thought perhaps the boat could be a prototype, since it is an earlier model, being hull #27

I sailed her all last season in LI sound, and from what I can tell, she is a little tender in the heel, but stands up well..

Below are links to images of the boat from the port side, on the hard. The other is a pic of the keel bolts in the bilge. Hopefully another grampian owner, or those familiar with drop keels, will be able to identify whats up. Ive never seen or operated a boat with a drop keel, so I really dont know what Im looking at. Thanks to all for reading!

imgur: the simple image sharer

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Last edited by Chartreuse; 05-10-2013 at 08:25 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

That looks like you have a centerboard version.

Check out Sailboatdata.com

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
That looks like you have a centerboard version.

Check out Sailboatdata.com

Yes it does, but theres no way (that I can figure) To lower a Center board from the cabin... Unless that bolt aft of the extrusion in the bilge is turned to spool/unspool a cable? Only center board Ive ever had any experience with is that of a Sunfish.

If it is a CB version, the bottom does not indicate it, but rather that it has been sealed shut. Whats my next step? scrape the bottom to the bones I suppose...

Great website BTW, thanks for the reply!
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

I've never owned a Gramp 26, but did own a 34 and am somewhat familiar with the line. I think they did three keel versions, including a drop-keel. You could very well have one that was sealed off, or it might be a shoal-draft version.

Have you looked through the Grampian owners website? Lots of good info there.

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

Well it does look like there should be a shaft going aft from the cylinder but it is hard to tell. Perhaps there was a problem with the mechanism and a "thrifty" DPO (dreaded previous owner, who gets blamed for everything that is wrong with the boat, even if you did it!) decided to disable it. I doubt they would disable a functioning one. But perhaps they sealed it off with a plumbing plug as that looks to be what is there now. I would start off with removing that to see what is behind it. I have heard of people sealing off a center board when they sail predominately in shallow waters, and light airs. But mostly I think it normally just a kludge rather than fixing the real issue. I have not seen someone do it to a boat as small as this. There have even been builders that just deleted the swing keel, and called it a shallow draft keel. What to do would depend on what was broken. At this point I would sail it as is for this season and at next haul out you might want to do some exploratory grinding. If they did a clean job of covering the opening it might not be hard, but that is not likely.

I think it depends on your attachment to this boat, you might be better off starting fresh. After another year of sailing you might want more boat anyway. Those stringers don't look too solid but it is hard to tell from the photos. So perhaps it might be worth a general condition survey to see what a professional would advise. Really depends on your patience for projects, skills, work-space and tools.

Look at number 4 on "how to unstick my centerboard"

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GRAMPIAN 26.

I think you will find what they did to fix it. I guess it depends on how much you have invested. I would likely sail it as is, till I moved up.

Last edited by miatapaul; 05-10-2013 at 09:29 PM.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

This might help as well
Grampian 26 centerboard

There is a photo of the mechanism.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

Mike Oreilly, Miata Paul, Thank you for your replies.
I will read #4 on the FAQ, Grampian owners website.
Upon reading Pauls advice, I will sail it as is for the season, as Im not looking to add yet another project to my list. I have talked to an individual in my marina who owned a G26 in the past, and mentioned that there were shoal-drafters out there. I was under the impression that this was one of them, until I saw the bolt protruding from the keel inside the cabin. I may scrape the very bottom of the keel a bit to try and get a look-see, just so I know (maybe better off knot knowing..)
I havent invested a terrific amount of money, (got into her cheap) but I have a lot of love and work put into her. and I rather like the interior space and headroom she affords on such a small cruiser. I dont plan on upgrading for a while (at least until I upgrade my job situation!) so I will heed the advice paul, and address this issue more in depth during the next haul out. Great feedback and sound advice here. When I learn more, I will post again for those interested. (w/pix) Thank you for the guidance, guys!
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

This from the Grampian Owners Website link above:
"McGruer's design mandate had been for a comfortable family sailer, with six-foot headroom in the interior, and the berths for four (five if you squeeze two into the pull-out settee). She was to be strong and seaworthy, and trailerable - hence the swing-keel version. (The swing-keel has a draft of 3ft with the keel up, 6ft 6in with the keel down; fixed keel draft is 4ft 3in.)"

So, if you can figure out the approximate draft of your boat you should be able to figure out if it ever had a center board. If the draft is around 3 feet then it should have a center board; if the draft is around 4'3" then it is the fixed keel version.
Should be fairly easy to figure out.

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post #9 of 13 Old 05-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

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Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
This from the Grampian Owners Website link above:
"McGruer's design mandate had been for a comfortable family sailer, with six-foot headroom in the interior, and the berths for four (five if you squeeze two into the pull-out settee). She was to be strong and seaworthy, and trailerable - hence the swing-keel version. (The swing-keel has a draft of 3ft with the keel up, 6ft 6in with the keel down; fixed keel draft is 4ft 3in.)"

So, if you can figure out the approximate draft of your boat you should be able to figure out if it ever had a center board. If the draft is around 3 feet then it should have a center board; if the draft is around 4'3" then it is the fixed keel version.
Should be fairly easy to figure out.

I can tell from pictures that mine is not a 4'3" fin keel...But what about the possibility that it is the elusive shoal draft, with no CB?
The draft depth should be a good tell, and I'd say off hand that it looks closer to 3', but my uncertainty derives from the fact that I dont see any gear, cable or mechanism for a CB in the cockpit or cabin.
Of course, that too may have just been done away with. Thanks for the input Caleb!
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Whats up with my keel?

When you want to take a good wide shot of your sailboat, it seems you're not about to let a little fence stand in your way.

Bashing about on Lake Ontario and Beyond
"Ariel" '79 Endeavour 32
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