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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After seeing the problems with shoring up the keel for work on the shoe, and since I'm starting to build my dual axle trailer, I was trying to come up with a simple plan to incorporate some device in the rail system to make the job easier.

Enclosed is a pic of a Keel Lifter design.

There are two 8' long 2 X 4 box steel structures running the center and full length of the trailer spaced 10" apart(not definite). They will have a roller rail system of perhaps 6 rollers or more. The shafts of the rollers are set in one side of the rails, and so are free to travel up and down 4".

The removable lift plate can be stored elsewhere until needed. It attaches to holes drilled in the bottom of the 2 X 4 members. The holes are either tapped, or better still, a nut welded to the underside of the box steel. Any two odd spaced rollers can be lifted at one time, but the plate can be drilled for other lifting configurations. The lift tongues are 3/8 plate and are 3" wide X (4"-N) high, where N would be 1" for shafts of that diameter.

Lifting process is to decide which part of the keel to work on, then lift rollers on either side or further along, and turn the lifting bolts at the same time as hull support towers are raised. Perhaps a 1/2 turn at a time. Hardwood safety blocks are then placed across 2 X 4's and between keel before working. Optional thin plate wings can be bolted to the outside of the 2 X 4's as a side slip preventor if the rollers are not up to scratch. They can be unbolted when the assembly is lowered.

Another problem later is to give up on the standard rollers of solid rubber which crack in time, and make my own with molded fiber imbeded horse mat rubber. I'll just punch out 3 inch sections of mat with ever increasing circumferences to make up the width I want, then punch out the centers for standard threaded plumbing pipe, and put a plate on each end and squeeze the whole thing tight, after first sliding each section over the pipe smeared with a coating of 'Goop' cement. The pipe can have grease fittings, and the rubber will not be part of the shaft or see the friction of the standard marine rollers.

The punches can be standard pipe with sharpened edges, and simply given a wack with a sledge hammer to cut out the rubber segments. It's just an idea at this time.


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