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FishDragon 05-31-2013 09:23 PM

The Saga of the Sad Swinging Keel
First of all, let me thank those that have been kind enough to reply to my earlier posts. FishDragon is my first real sailboat (relatively speaking), and the first boat I've ever worked on - so if I seem clueless, that's why.

Just got the boat up on blocks (is that the correct term?) a few days ago, and went down there this evening to get my first real assessment of the job ahead of me.

I'm going back Sunday (if my wife allows me) with my hydraulic jack to see if I can remove the keel (it supposedly weighs 400 lbs.). I don't know what the keel's made of (lead?), but it appears to have a thick coating over it (fiberglass?) that needs serious refinishing. My guess is that the best thing to do would be to strip it to the metal, and paint it - but any input on this would be very appreciated.

One specific question - what would be the best tool for removing whatever it is the keel is covered in?

Obviously, this rookie's got his work cut out for him if I want to get it launched by Sailstice! LOL

Hope everyone's out SAILING this weekend!!


deniseO30 05-31-2013 09:33 PM

Re: The Saga of the Sad Swinging Keel
nasty looking! But if you find lead inside you may not be so bad off. Check the trunk see if there is room for more thickness. Seems to me with it dried out. epoxy and filler, glass cloth... 4 -5 coats of epoxy.. and new lifting band and cable... but you don't want to be too wide for it to retract into the trunk.

minnow1193 05-31-2013 10:22 PM

What boat is it? That would help. Looks strange the way it is sitting, should be farther down, unless it is actually resting on the ground. Most swing keels are cast iron AFAIK.

CalebD 05-31-2013 10:35 PM

Re: The Saga of the Sad Swinging Keel
However you go about getting that rusty bad old center board out you are going to need an angle grinder tool to grind off the rust and whatever coating remains. They sell heavy duty sanding discs for the 4 1/2" angle grinders that would make an easy job of grinding away the not so attractive outer coating.
Good luck you dragon!!!

FishDragon 05-31-2013 10:36 PM

Re: The Saga of the Sad Swinging Keel
It's a 1972 MacGregor Venture 21

FishDragon 05-31-2013 10:39 PM

Re: The Saga of the Sad Swinging Keel
Lucky me - I already have an angle grinder. That's very helpful - thanks!

jimgo 06-01-2013 11:27 PM

Re: The Saga of the Sad Swinging Keel
Is that keel solid steel? There are a lot of venture owners forums out there, and I'd bet you can get the info on the keel's composition pretty easily. Once you've established that, figure out whether it is encapsulated or solid. If it is solid, those cracks would make me a little nervous. If it is encapsulated, then Denise's suggestions seem spot on.

JoeLena 06-02-2013 08:02 AM

Re: The Saga of the Sad Swinging Keel
While repairing my Rhodes 19 I found this site. The Mariner and Rhodes 19 share the same hull so I could use a lot of Nathan's ideas working on my boat. While he had his blasted, I found I could use the grinder to do mine. It was, as he reflects, a lot of work and time.

Mechsmith 06-02-2013 09:18 AM

Re: The Saga of the Sad Swinging Keel
Keep in mind that it is quite possible for the keel to break off at the hinge end. I would definetly pull it completely off. Check the "Seafarer Research Center" There was some discussion on removing-repairing or broken swing keels a couple years ago.

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