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If I drop the keel a few inches, will the stands not damage the hull as it's now taking the weight of the boat (vs the keel)?
Have just been through this...

You drop the keel an inch or two (whatever you can get away with without the nuts coming off - this keeps the weight on the hull and negates any stability worries.. You'll need a couple of inches of space between the keel and the ground, if the boat's already on stands this could be problematic because it's difficult to lift the boat sufficiently with the jack stands without point-loading the pads - esp on a C27 this could cause local deformation and possibly some unsettling 'cracking' sounds.

If you must do it that way double the number of stands (being sure to place as many as you can in the way of a bulkhead) and take the weight up one by one, very gradually. Also get ahold of a handful (4-6) long narrow wedges and a heavy hammer to force the keel off the hull in case it doesn't conveniently 'drop'. Scraping/cleaning out the joint surfaces is a tough go with little room to work. Fully inspecting the bolts is difficult too, since you'll never 'see' the entire length.

Good luck!
 
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