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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > MacGregor > Keel Locking Bolt Problem
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Thread: Keel Locking Bolt Problem Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-27-2014 11:47 PM
AlaskaMC
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Go to MacGregorSailors.com and there is a ton of info on this.

But, all you do is get it on the trailer, block it up so that it WILL NOT MOVE when you remove the keel bolt, the lower the blocking to remove the keel (letting out keel cable as needed and remove when appropriate). Many use floor jacks to build the V bracket on top of to hold the keel. Then you can wheel the keel to garage for epoxy/paint.

On the wallowing of the hole, picture a rectangle with a hole through it inches from the top long edge and about a foot from the short forward edge edge. With the keel up this hole wears toward the top long edge, vs the farther away short edge of the keel. When down it wears the long way, when up, it wears towards a dangerously thin piece of iron. So, now imagine that hole is no longer round, but oval. When up the keel falls to the top of the oval, now lower the keel, it is now lowering from a slightly different turning point and that causes the locking hole not to line up with the corresponding hole in the liner and keel box.

If it still isn't making sense, make a keel out of paper, put a hole for the locking hole and the keel hole. Put it on another paper and mark the holes with a pen. Now enlarge the keel hole to an oval, line it up with the old keel mark. Now you will see that when you pivot it, the locking mark will no longer line up.

Hope I am making sense. Go to the site and you can find many pics of people building rigs to remove keels and inspect. Also drawings with what I am describing.
06-27-2014 09:45 PM
jwir3
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Hmm... so I'm not really able to find a place that shows how to take the keel off safely from this boat. Is there a site you'd recommend to diagnose and/or fix this problem?
06-27-2014 09:37 PM
jwir3
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Oh, I forgot to mention that I have tried to get it to go back upward (less than a crank, and even a bit more than a crank), but I still can't get it quite right. I do know that this is the first time I've done this, and I've only sailed her twice. (I haven't put her in the water yet this year, due to all the flooding happening in MN).
06-27-2014 09:34 PM
jwir3
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Thanks, AlaskaMC.

AFAIK, this boat has only EVER been on freshwater. It's had two owners besides me (from what the guy told me), and both of them have lived in Minnesota. It's possible that it was left in the water with the keel up, but I'm thinking it's probably more likely it was left on the trailer for long periods of time with the keel up (obviously).

I do think there could be something wrong with the keel - i.e. warping or whatnot, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by the keel hole being out of round. Could you elaborate?
06-27-2014 07:40 PM
AlaskaMC
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Oh, and one more point that I hope IS the problem.

On our 25, the keel needs to be UP slightly for the keel to line up. You let it down all the way, then slowly crank it back up and the hole passes in less than one crank up. You have to get it PRECISELY right or it doesn't work. Most easily done with two people, one on winch and one on the keel.

WATCH YOUR FINGERS!!!!DONT PUT THEM ANYWHERE NEAR THE HOLE!!! ESPECIALLY ON THE WATER!!! Small wave hits boat, keel crushes finger. Be careful.
06-27-2014 07:34 PM
AlaskaMC
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Just an additional note: Google this issue and you will find lots on it. You can find out how to do measurements and such to see what is up. But, one that is so bad the lock hole can't even be found needs a quick close look. If that keel falls off it is dangerous on the water and almost impossible to replace.
06-27-2014 07:32 PM
AlaskaMC
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Just a possibility of what is going on here and I hope that I am wrong. If your boat was left with the keel up for long periods of time in the water, it will wallow out the keel bolt hole. In doing so it prevents the locking hole from lining up. This is how some Mac owners check for the keel without dropping it with some other measurements from the outside to see if the keel is getting worn.

So not to be a doomsayer but this you should check. Put her on a trailer, block up the keel and lower it from the boat. When this hole gets badly out of round (and what you describe is kinda a tell tale), it risks breaking from the boat as it is worn near the edge. This is why leaving one in the water with the keel up CAN be an issue. And before anyone flames me, I keep mine this way as I have no choice, my marina is too shallow. But, I keep an eye close to this issue. Also, it is only kept this way in fresh water.
06-27-2014 02:32 PM
jwir3
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Hi just practicing:

No, I haven't found a solution yet. Basically, what's happening is that when the keel is down, I can put the bolt all the way through the hole in the hull for locking, but then can raise the keel. Thus, its apparently not going through the keel and the hull, just the hull.

I've tried pushing on it with my feet while in the water to try to push it fully down. No joy. I think I'm going to get it on a drydock later this summer to see if I can diagnose the problem further.
06-22-2014 01:43 AM
just practicing
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

Sorry, meant Kwir3
06-22-2014 01:41 AM
just practicing
Re: Keel Locking Bolt Problem

kwr13, Did you find a solution to your keel locking bolt problem?

I am a new owner of a venture 17 and I have the exact same problem. Today I even rigged a line around the bottom of the keel so that when it was lowered I could pull from the front of the boat. I was unsuccessful in pulling the keel far enough to locate a hole in the keel that would lock it down. I am at a loss at what to do. It looks like I will have to pull the keel out of the boat this next winter to sort it out.
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