Saturday, March 21, 2009

Re-installing the Keel

Two of us went in together to get our keels galvanized in order to save a little money.  The keels for two Potter 15's together weighed 134 pounds.  That still got us into the galvanizer at the minimum $100 charge.  So with tax the galvanizing cost each of us $54.50.  I thought that was a great bargain.

As I noted in an earlier post, I took my keel to a friend for sandblasting.  I invested between $20 and $30 in sand, and another $10 to buy lunch for my friend.  The other keel in this adventure went to a professional for sandblasting and the bill for that was $95.

The hot dip galvanizing process caused some accumulation of zinc in the holes where the line and pulley attach.  The zinc is pretty soft, so it was very easy to dress out the holes with a round file and then polish the edges smooth with a little sandpaper.  

I invited the same friend who helped remove the keel to come back and help re-install it.  I was under the boat when it came out, so I didn't get to see all the secret gyrations he had to do to get it out.  After a little head scratching, it went right in.  We dropped it in vertically then rotated the top forward until it rested against the pin.  We then continued to rotate the top of the keel forward until the keel was seated on the pivot pin.  All that is left now is to install the pulley and the new line.

We noticed a couple of differences between my keel from 1980 and the newer keel from the late 90's.  The shape is basically the same, but the newer keel swing arm attached a little differently.  The different attachment point means that the keel well slot can be 2 or 3 inches higher above the waterline.  That sounds like a great safety enhancement.  

Another key difference is the shape of the slot that holds the keel on the pivot pin.  My keel has a "J" shaped slot.  To get the keel off the pin you had to push up and back.  Unfortunately, this is the same motion one might experience if the keel hits bottom.  I have heard sad stories about keels bouncing off the pin.  The newer keel has a "T" shaped slot.  This makes the keel harder to take off, both accidentally and on purpose.  Both of these improvements seem to be intentional efforts on the part of the engineers at International Marine to make the Potter 15 safer and more seaworthy.

No comments:

Post a Comment