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Old 20-06-2021, 06:04   #1
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catalina 250 keel maintenance

This is a thread where I am recording what I have done to refit the swing keel of my Catalina 250 sailboat 1995. I have got my swing keel off from the boat. At the pivot pin, there is some wear of about one quart of an inch around the pivot pin. Also there is some wear on the spacers at the top of the keel. And at the base of the keel there is some wear as the keel has scrubbed the bottom of the lake.

I found that very useful article on the maintenance of swing keel, a must read:
https://stingysailor.com/2019/03/30/...revent-them-2/

Also, being a perfectionist, I wondered if I should not take the opportunity to check the centerboard hydrodynamics and rectify it according to the following hyperlink.
https://stingysailor.com/2020/02/22/...t-3-fairing-2/

General view of the catalina swing keel and of drift well
https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-...xy-repair-kit/
Would the rudder bearing epoxy kit of the catalina 25 be a good way of fixing the wear on the keel at the pivot pin?

Keel hanger casting kit
https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-...it-c-25-c-250/
Mine seems in good shape. The two hanger casting are exactly the dimension described, so nothing to improve there. However the pivot pin in my case is corroded. It seems a good choice to change it.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IBUDahGq6sqTpo8eth3b_jloEb3lkJJz/view?usp=sharing

Rudder hole at pivot pin point.
There is some wear of about one quart of an inch aroud the pivot pin. Would the rudder bearing epoxy kit of the catalina 25 be a good way of fixing the wear on the keel at the pivot pin? It seems not.

For the catalina 250, I wonder if I should not use the C-25 Keel Pivot Pin Bushing to give some additional ridity between the pivot pin and the hole in the rudder instead of have the pivot pin directly in contact with the epoxy of the rudder. It is said that this will insure more rigidity to the swing keel.
https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-...t-pin-bushing/

The method to install the pivot pin bushing is described here:
http://www.catalina-capri-25s.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=32076

There is a good thread on the Catalina forum concerning the catalina 250 keel maintenance.
http://www.catalina-capri-25s.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=32076

The spacer kit
https://www.catalinadirect.com/shop-...it-c-25-c-250/
This seems a little more complicated. I imagine that I have to measure the centerboard trunk width at the upper bearing point when the centerboard is lowered down. How do I do that?

Thanks for your suggestions or mentioning your experience with the same issues on a swing keel.
I will come back to comment the result of the operation on my boat.


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Old 04-08-2021, 04:16   #2
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Re: catalina 250 keel maintenance

I thought everything was done with my swing keel until it got stuck down. There was no way to lift it up. All I could do was to navigate with the 1,5 m of draught. My catalina 250 could have a 0,5 m of draught.


The turbidity of the water prevented underwater visual inspection. I had to have the sailboat lifted, there was no other solution. East of île d'Orléans on the rivière Saint-Laurent, no lifting apparatus where to be found.


Until I observed at the Baie Saint-Paul marina, at lower tide where the boat sits on the sédiments once the water recessed, that the keel cable was slaked.


The keel pushed by the bed of sediments, had loosened the keel cable. I just took the slack from the cockpit and then the keel cable was operational again. No more trouble and 0,5 m of dvessel draught.


Happy to share the solution.
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Old 04-08-2021, 04:18   #3
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Re: catalina 250 keel maintenance

For those of you with a swing keel, is it bad practice to keep it permanently lifted?
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Old 04-08-2021, 04:45   #4
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Re: catalina 250 keel maintenance

By "permanently", do you mean while sailing, too? You'll have more trouble going to windward with the keel raised, of course.

Beyond that, I lower the keel only when I intend to sail. It remains raised in the slip or while motoring, usually because I am motoring into a shallow anchorage.

Some owners experienced wear from the back and forth pressure on the keel when rolling in swell. That can be mitigated with the spacer kit you mentioned in your first post. I have also heard someone add a rubber bumper to the trailing edge of the keel foot such that the bumper makes contact with the aft end of the keel trunk when raised. It seems to me that the stress and wear from rolling would be worse with the keel down, because the forces would be greater.
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Old 09-08-2021, 04:39   #5
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Re: catalina 250 keel maintenance

By permanently, I meant when at the wharf or at the mooring. I understand that trying to sail upwind will not be much efficacious with the sailboat drift upward: ellementary sailboat physic.


Thanks for reminding me the trick of the rubber bumper.
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Old 09-08-2021, 04:55   #6
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Re: catalina 250 keel maintenance

We have not had ours down in over six years. The boat sails Ok to windward. 6,-8” draft up, 13’ down. The board and trunk are a zoological wonder. We found that in rough sea state and board down that water is rocketed into the salon up the cable.

The board only weighs about 400# and the SS cable is 3/8”, massive.

Chaguaramos, Trinidad. We’d so love to get back there.
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Old 09-08-2021, 06:37   #7
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Re: catalina 250 keel maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
We have not had ours down in over six years. The boat sails Ok to windward...
That was our experience on an Irwin 42 -- we lowered it once for an afternoon of upwind, didn't notice anything special (maybe the sails were too baggy to point well), and didn't lower it again for nearly ten years... draft with it up was right at 5' as I recall
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Old 09-08-2021, 08:09   #8
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Re: catalina 250 keel maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
... We found that in rough sea state and board down that water is rocketed into the salon up the cable.
Yeah, I get that too, especially when backing down to confirm my anchor is set, though it does not matter on our Catalina whether the keel is up or down. It is part of my routine to stuff a paper towel in the top of the tube to prevent that urping.
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