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Old 23-07-2008, 13:52   #1
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creaking & vibration

On the port side tack, my 26' vibrates and creaks. However, it doesn't do it on the starboard tack. It has just recently started this. I was told by folks at the dock that the previous owner had ran her aground before. She has a shoal draft keel. I dove down to feel around the keel and none of the bolts seemed loose and she isn't taking on water. Also, I dove down with a friend to give the keel a few tugs to see if it may be loose, nothing. I noticed that a spreader was a little bit loose as are the stays on the same side. Can this be the problem? The vibration and creaks are mainly felt from the midship while she is heeled over on the port side. Any suggestions? Does this sound like keel damage?

Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind
That our forefathers harnessed before us
Hear the bells ring as the tight rigging sings
It's a son of a gun of a chorus
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Old 23-07-2008, 14:07   #2
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Aloha Russell,
I would say that you might want to tune your shrouds and stays, tighten up your spreader and then try a test sail. Spreaders should not point horizontal but have a bit of an upward tilt. Before you get underway tighten your shrouds just enough to take out the slack (both sides equally while the mast is straight up and down). Real tuning is done while underway and requires a practiced eye. Shrouds are on the port and starboard side. Stays are fore and aft. If you've been down to investigate the keel then that shouldn't be it. The creaking might come from chainplates as they tighten and slacken and the mast shifts a bit.
I know you know this but starboard tack is when your mainsail and boom are carried on the port side and port tack is when your mainsail is carried on your starboard side. I was a little confused by how you described which side it was that was creaking. I had an older Catalina 22 that would vibrate through the rudder on one tack because the gudgeons were worn quite a bit. I know you said it was amidships that you had the problem so I wouldn't expect that to be of value.
Kind regards,

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Old 23-07-2008, 14:09   #3
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If a spreader's loose, work on tuning your rig first. If you're heeled over on the port side you're on starboard tack. In any event it doesn't strike me as a loose keel bolt problem. Look in the bilge, is water coming in at the bolts?
Rick I
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Old 23-07-2008, 14:32   #4
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I would also have a close look at the chainplates
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