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Old 18-04-2010, 13:05   #1
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Location: St. Croix, USVI
Boat: Pearson 390 - Tantalizer
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Pearson 390 Swing Keel

Hello everyone:

I have an old Pearson 390 (center cockpit) built in 1973. It is a project boat with a lot of promise. My next project is to get the swing keel to work. Right now is stuck all the way up. I checked the keel itself and is seems to be free. The mechanism to make it go up or down is ok. The only thing that seems to be the problem is the encased pulleys. See attachment. Luckily I have the original drawings.
Pearson 390 - Sheave and Casement Aft - Dwg. no. P-1884.pdf

Pearson 390 - Sheave and Casement Forward - Dwg. no. P-1205.pdf

My question is: Can anyone tell me where to find this? Or if there are more modern parts to replace them. Thanks.

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Old 19-04-2010, 05:52   #2
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Looking at the drawings, I would think you could salvage the pulleys and cases that you have. Looks like you would need to grind the weld off of each side of the pulley pin and drive it out so you can get the pulley out through the bottom. Find a machine shop with a good verical mill, lathe, stainless steel rod stock, welder, etc. and you should be able to have them repair it for a lot less than the cost of new. They may have to bore the pulley center out and make a larger diameter pin for you. You want a machine shop that can fabricate parts, NOT an automotive repair machine shop.

If you can't find a good machine shop, email me and I'll send you a contact. That would be a last resort because you would have to ship your pulley cases to them out of state. You really are better off finding someone you can talk to face to face with the parts and drawing in hand.
Regards - Mark,
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Old 29-04-2010, 12:56   #3
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Thanks for your repply. Please send me the contact for a machine shop. I can request a quotation to fabricate new ones, that way I can change them real quick.
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Old 29-04-2010, 13:30   #4
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The pulley diagrams look the same as those on my P35. You might want to pull the cable and check that first before tearing apart the sheave boxes. On my boat, the cable frays with age and hangs up in the cenerboard tube and sheave run. Replacing the cable takes care of it hanging up. I'm going to try Spectra/Dyneema line instead of metal cable the next time I haul the boat. No electrolysis problems and wires to hang up the system. Hopefully the cable run hasn't been so gouged up that it will cut the synthetic line.

BTW, the boat is a centerboarder not a swing keel. The board is only ballasted so it will come down and doesn't have much at all to do with righting moment. Swing keel boats are mostly on small trailerable boats where the side loads on a heavy swinging keel can be more easily handled. Not to say that there aren't heavy boards made out of solid bronze or stanless but they still don't add significantly to the righting moment when down.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:10   #5
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Thanks for the clarification. My Pearson 390 has a centerboard, not a swing keel. Let me know how the Spectra/Dyneema line works. Whenever I replace the pulleys I could replace the cable with syntetic line as well.
I have checked and the cable is hung up. I'm afraid that if I force it it might spring out a leak in the conduit pipe. There is already a small pin hole that I had to repair; pulling the cable (forcing it) could make things worse.
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Old 10-02-2015, 14:55   #6
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Re: Pearson 390 Swing Keel


Hello. I have just purchased a project Pearson390 of my own. Would you please take a minute and help me. I need to know if you have the Pearson 4-108 engine, what transmission Make and Model you are using. Mine came with a different engine and transmission and I am looking to make it original. Thank you for your help. If I can be of service to you in the future, please email me at David
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