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keel cable snapped

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  • mlipmd
    I have a 1984 5.5 and when I went out to sail yesterday, I noticed the keel lifting cable had snapped down in the well, below the winch. It was galvanized
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 3, 2006
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      I have a 1984 5.5 and when I went out to sail yesterday, I noticed the
      keel lifting cable had snapped down in the well, below the winch. It
      was galvanized wire, and looked as if it had been cut off rather than
      having rusted strands which parted, which I would have expected. Does
      anyone accurately know how this cable was originally attached to the
      keel? I read some old posts here that the cable passes through a tube
      in the centerboard trunk below the winch but I haven't taken this
      apart yet to see how the cable passes through. I never noticed a tube
      at the bottom on the well below the boat in the slot for the board,
      but I never looked up in there either when the boat was on the
      trailer. I don't know if I can power the boat up onto the trailer with
      the outboard and if the board will hinge up allowing me to get on the
      trailer. I was thinkng I may have to slide a line from the bow
      backwards underneath the boat and pull it towards the stern to get the
      board to hinge up, then tie it up somehow to get up on the trailer.
      Did anyone else ever have this happen to them?
      Will the cable just pass down from the winch and exit at the bottom of
      the slot or is this more complicated than it should be?
      I plan to replace the cable with a 3/16 stainless steel cable so this
      doesn't happen again, but I'm curious about how this attaches to the
      320 lb. centerboard before I get the boat out and look at it.
      Any knowledge of this, or pictures/diagrams or suggestions would be
      appreciated.
    • Dean McNeill
      Mlipmd, I have an 84 as well and I ve had it for 12 years. Fixed that keel wire about 8 times now! First of all, it s practically impossible to fix in the
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 4, 2006
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        Mlipmd,

        I have an '84 as well and I've had it for 12 years. Fixed that keel
        wire about 8 times now!

        First of all, it's practically impossible to fix in the water. I've
        taken mine out with the keel down plenty of times... out is easy,
        launching with a broken keel cable is a pain.

        Get the trailer in deep – I use a tow cable attached to my van and
        release the trailer to back it deeper into the water. Aim the boat for
        the center of the trailer and power it on with the outboard until it
        stops. Then use the trailer winch cable to snug the boat on... the keel
        will kick up on the cross piece at the back of the trailer and fold up
        quite nicely!

        I don't have a "tube" for my keel cable... I believe some folks have
        added this when rebuilding the keel swivel pin area. With the boat on
        the trailer here's what I do...
        1) Take off the keel winch inside the boat.
        2) I attach a piece of stiff wire to new STAINLESS keel cable using a
        few wraps of electrical tape. I position a strong bright light under
        the boat focussed on the keel cable hole under the boat.
        3) From inside the boat (best if it's dark in there, feed the stiff
        wire from the hole under the winch towards the point of light you can
        see at the bottom... takes a bit of practice but it's not that hard.
        4) when the stiff wire is out the bottom, then get below the boat and
        gently pull the stainless through but not all the way 'cause this ain't
        so much fun that you want to start again!

        Now, how to attach the wire to the keel? You can make a loop with a
        stainless pinch but the best way seems to be to tie it... sound stupid
        but you get less electrolisis or whatever if you reduce the number of
        metals involved.

        Hope that helps!

        Dean (BarraWind)


        On 3-Sep-06, at 10:05 PM, mlipmd wrote:

        > I have a 1984 5.5 and when I went out to sail yesterday, I noticed the
        > keel lifting cable had snapped down in the well, below the winch. It
        > was galvanized wire, and looked as if it had been cut off rather than
        > having rusted strands which parted, which I would have expected. Does
        > anyone accurately know how this cable was originally attached to the
        > keel? I read some old posts here that the cable passes through a tube
        > in the centerboard trunk below the winch but I haven't taken this
        > apart yet to see how the cable passes through. I never noticed a tube
        > at the bottom on the well below the boat in the slot for the board,
        > but I never looked up in there either when the boat was on the
        > trailer. I don't know if I can power the boat up onto the trailer with
        > the outboard and if the board will hinge up allowing me to get on the
        > trailer. I was thinkng I may have to slide a line from the bow
        > backwards underneath the boat and pull it towards the stern to get the
        > board to hinge up, then tie it up somehow to get up on the trailer.
        > Did anyone else ever have this happen to them?
        > Will the cable just pass down from the winch and exit at the bottom of
        > the slot or is this more complicated than it should be?
        > I plan to replace the cable with a 3/16 stainless steel cable so this
        > doesn't happen again, but I'm curious about how this attaches to the
        > 320 lb. centerboard before I get the boat out and look at it.
        > Any knowledge of this, or pictures/diagrams or suggestions would be
        > appreciated.
        >
        >
        >
      • Marc Lipsius
        Thanks for your advice, I ll try it and let you know how it worked out. I may just sail it this way for a while as the canal and channel I have to navigate out
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 4, 2006
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          Thanks for your advice, I'll try it and let you know how it worked out. I may just sail it this way for a while as the canal and channel I have to navigate out of to get to open water is usually deep enough not to have to worry too much about running aground, even though the draft is 5' with the keel down. The biggest pain seems to be having to drop the mast unless I can find a close by place to pick the boat up with the mast in place. It would be nice to be able to get under the boat with the mast up, like get it elevated off the trailer a few feet to drop the keel enough to get the cable attached to it, instead of having to pick the whole boat up. How does the cable attach to the keel? Is there a fitting on the aft end of the keel or a hole through the keel into which the cable goes?

          Marc  -  mlipmd

          Dean McNeill <deanmc@...> wrote:
          Mlipmd,

          I have an '84 as well and I've had it for 12 years. Fixed that keel
          wire about 8 times now!

          First of all, it's practically impossible to fix in the water. I've
          taken mine out with the keel down plenty of times... out is easy,
          launching with a broken keel cable is a pain.

          Get the trailer in deep – I use a tow cable attached to my van and
          release the trailer to back it deeper into the water. Aim the boat for
          the center of the trailer and power it on with the outboard until it
          stops. Then use the trailer winch cable to snug the boat on... the keel
          will kick up on the cross piece at the back of the trailer and fold up
          quite nicely!

          I don't have a "tube" for my keel cable... I believe some folks have
          added this when rebuilding the keel swivel pin area. With the boat on
          the trailer here's what I do...
          1) Take off the keel winch inside the boat.
          2) I attach a piece of stiff wire to new STAINLESS keel cable using a
          few wraps of electrical tape. I position a strong bright light under
          the boat focussed on the keel cable hole under the boat.
          3) From inside the boat (best if it's dark in there, feed the stiff
          wire from the hole under the winch towards the point of light you can
          see at the bottom... takes a bit of practice but it's not that hard.
          4) when the stiff wire is out the bottom, then get below the boat and
          gently pull the stainless through but not all the way 'cause this ain't
          so much fun that you want to start again!

          Now, how to attach the wire to the keel? You can make a loop with a
          stainless pinch but the best way seems to be to tie it... sound stupid
          but you get less electrolisis or whatever if you reduce the number of
          metals involved.

          Hope that helps!

          Dean (BarraWind)


          On 3-Sep-06, at 10:05 PM, mlipmd wrote:

          > I have a 1984 5.5 and when I went out to sail yesterday, I noticed the
          > keel lifting cable had snapped down in the well, below the winch. It
          > was galvanized wire, and looked as if it had been cut off rather than
          > having rusted strands which parted, which I would have expected. Does
          > anyone accurately know how this cable was originally attached to the
          > keel? I read some old posts here that the cable passes through a tube
          > in the centerboard trunk below the winch but I haven't taken this
          > apart yet to see how the cable passes through. I never noticed a tube
          > at the bottom on the well below the boat in the slot for the board,
          > but I never looked up in there either when the boat was on the
          > trailer. I don't know if I can power the boat up onto the trailer with
          > the outboard and if the board will hinge up allowing me to get on the
          > trailer. I was thinkng I may have to slide a line from the bow
          > backwards underneath the boat and pull it towards the stern to get the
          > board to hinge up, then tie it up somehow to get up on the trailer.
          > Did anyone else ever have this happen to them?
          > Will the cable just pass down from the winch and exit at the bottom of
          > the slot or is this more complicated than it should be?
          > I plan to replace the cable with a 3/16 stainless steel cable so this
          > doesn't happen again, but I'm curious about how this attaches to the
          > 320 lb. centerboard before I get the boat out and look at it.
          > Any knowledge of this, or pictures/diagrams or suggestions would be
          > appreciated.
          >
          >
          >


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        • Dean McNeill
          Marc, I make the repairs I mentioned while the boat is on the trailer with the keel in the folded position (resting on the cross brace of the trailer). There
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 5, 2006
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            Marc,

            I make the repairs I mentioned while the boat is on the trailer with
            the keel in the folded position (resting on the cross brace of the
            trailer). There should be enough room between the bottom of the boat
            and keel to make the fix, but you'll be lying on your back. Usually I
            make the fix when I pull the boat for the fall (I sail in Canada).
            I've often sailed an entire season with the cable snapped, but I'm in
            the ocean and depth isn't an issue.

            The keel actually has a hole that the cable attaches to... below the
            pivot and on the trailing edge of the keel... but only several inches
            from the exposed top part of the keel usually situated just as the
            keel widens or is notched. Imagine where the keel wire would touch the
            folded keel and that's right about where the hole will (or should) be!

            My "attachment hole" rusted through to the notch so I drilled a new
            one an inch further into the keel. Search the archive of this list and
            you'll find several posts about the keel wire and how to fix.

            Dean (BarraWind)
          • summerspi@juno.com
            Hey! I ve replaced mine once a couple of years ago and it just broke again. However, I have another question, along the same lines, for all of you 5.5 er s:
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 5, 2006
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              Hey!  I've replaced mine once a couple of years ago and it just broke again.  However, I have another question, along the same lines, for all of you 5.5 er's:  Do any of you have a problem with water pouring into the cabin of the boat through the keel cable hole????  If I'm going slow, I have no problem, but when I'm doing 5-7 knots, the water just pours in.  I actually had to install a bilge pump in May as I got tired of bailing and did a 10 day sail in the Keys in June.  However, I would much rather fix the problem and keep most of the water out of my boat.  I looked at the bottom of my boat and it appears that the cable has worn a pretty big hole in the bottom.  Any suggestions would be helpful. 

                                                         Thanks,

                                                            John Summers

                                                            Delray Beach, Florida 

              -- "Dean McNeill" <deanmc@...> wrote:

              Marc,

              I make the repairs I mentioned while the boat is on the trailer with
              the keel in the folded position (resting on the cross brace of the
              trailer). There should be enough room between the bottom of the boat
              and keel to make the fix, but you'll be lying on your back. Usually I
              make the fix when I pull the boat for the fall (I sail in Canada).
              I've often sailed an entire season with the cable snapped, but I'm in
              the ocean and depth isn't an issue.

              The keel actually has a hole that the cable attaches to... below the
              pivot and on the trailing edge of the keel... but only several inches
              from the exposed top part of the keel usually situated just as the
              keel widens or is notched. Imagine where the keel wire would touch the
              folded keel and that's right about where the hole will (or should) be!

              My "attachment hole" rusted through to the notch so I drilled a new
              one an inch further into the keel. Search the archive of this list and
              you'll find several posts about the keel wire and how to fix.

              Dean (BarraWind)

            • Marc Lipsius
              Thanks for your advice, hopefully I can fix it on the trailer and not have to take the mast down and pick up the boat. I don t know if it s possible to raise
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 5, 2006
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                Thanks for your advice, hopefully I can fix it on the trailer and not have to take the mast down and pick up the boat. I don't know if it's possible to raise the boat a foot or two off the trailer on jacks or something like that to get the keel to drop far enough to get to the aft edge to atttach the cable.
                The last time the boat was on the trailer, when I bought it and painted the bottom, I don't recall being able to see the aft end of the keel. I think it was up in the well a little, maybe 1/2 the width (the forward half) of the keel was exposed, the forward end horizontal and resting on the trailer bed on a board, but I'll have to see when I pull it out on the trailer. I might be able to support the weight of the keel, remove the board on the trailer it's resting on, and lower the board to attach the cable.  And if all goes well, like I've been advised, the hanging keel will pivot up when I power the boat up onto the trailer. Thanks all for your help, I'll let you know what happens when I get around to fixing it. Right now I'm sailing and having too much fun with it.

                Marc

                Dean McNeill <deanmc@...> wrote:
                Marc,

                I make the repairs I mentioned while the boat is on the trailer with
                the keel in the folded position (resting on the cross brace of the
                trailer). There should be enough room between the bottom of the boat
                and keel to make the fix, but you'll be lying on your back. Usually I
                make the fix when I pull the boat for the fall (I sail in Canada).
                I've often sailed an entire season with the cable snapped, but I'm in
                the ocean and depth isn't an issue.

                The keel actually has a hole that the cable attaches to... below the
                pivot and on the trailing edge of the keel... but only several inches
                from the exposed top part of the keel usually situated just as the
                keel widens or is notched. Imagine where the keel wire would touch the
                folded keel and that's right about where the hole will (or should) be!

                My "attachment hole" rusted through to the notch so I drilled a new
                one an inch further into the keel. Search the archive of this list and
                you'll find several posts about the keel wire and how to fix.

                Dean (BarraWind)



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              • Dave Carmichael
                Hi Marc, I m not sure I would sail without the keel cable attached. There is nothing keeping the keel from banging the fiberglass foward of the keel. I m
                Message 7 of 9 , Sep 6, 2006
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                  Hi Marc,

                  I'm not sure I would sail without the keel cable attached. There is
                  nothing keeping the keel from banging the fiberglass foward of the keel.
                  I'm concerned the glass may crack and leak. I'm sure you can hear the
                  keel banging around.

                  Dave

                  Marc Lipsius wrote:
                  >
                  > Thanks for your advice, hopefully I can fix it on the trailer and not
                  > have to take the mast down and pick up the boat. I don't know if it's
                  > possible to raise the boat a foot or two off the trailer on jacks or
                  > something like that to get the keel to drop far enough to get to the
                  > aft edge to atttach the cable.
                  > The last time the boat was on the trailer, when I bought it and
                  > painted the bottom, I don't recall being able to see the aft end of
                  > the keel. I think it was up in the well a little, maybe 1/2 the width
                  > (the forward half) of the keel was exposed, the forward end horizontal
                  > and resting on the trailer bed on a board, but I'll have to see when I
                  > pull it out on the trailer. I might be able to support the weight of
                  > the keel, remove the board on the trailer it's resting on, and lower
                  > the board to attach the cable. And if all goes well, like I've been
                  > advised, the hanging keel will pivot up when I power the boat up onto
                  > the trailer. Thanks all for your help, I'll let you know what happens
                  > when I get around to fixing it. Right now I'm sailing and having too
                  > much fun with it.
                  >
                  > Marc
                  >
                  > */Dean McNeill <deanmc@...>/* wrote:
                  >
                  > Marc,
                  >
                  > I make the repairs I mentioned while the boat is on the trailer with
                  > the keel in the folded position (resting on the cross brace of the
                  > trailer). There should be enough room between the bottom of the boat
                  > and keel to make the fix, but you'll be lying on your back. Usually I
                  > make the fix when I pull the boat for the fall (I sail in Canada).
                  > I've often sailed an entire season with the cable snapped, but I'm in
                  > the ocean and depth isn't an issue.
                  >
                  > The keel actually has a hole that the cable attaches to... below the
                  > pivot and on the trailing edge of the keel... but only several inches
                  > from the exposed top part of the keel usually situated just as the
                  > keel widens or is notched. Imagine where the keel wire would touch the
                  > folded keel and that's right about where the hole will (or should) be!
                  >
                  > My "attachment hole" rusted through to the notch so I drilled a new
                  > one an inch further into the keel. Search the archive of this list and
                  > you'll find several posts about the keel wire and how to fix.
                  >
                  > Dean (BarraWind)
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  > Talk is cheap. Use Yahoo! Messenger to make PC-to-Phone calls. Great
                  > rates starting at 1¢/min.
                  > <http://us.rd.yahoo.com/mail_us/taglines/postman7/*http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=39666/*http://messenger.yahoo.com>
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                  >
                • Marc Lipsius
                  THANKS FOR THAT - maybe I ll get it out and look at it now. Marc Dave Carmichael wrote: Hi Marc,
                  Message 8 of 9 , Sep 6, 2006
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                    THANKS FOR THAT - maybe I'll get it out and look at it now.

                    Marc

                    Dave Carmichael <dave01dave@...> wrote:
                    Hi Marc,

                    I'm not sure I would sail without the keel cable attached. There is
                    nothing keeping the keel from banging the fiberglass foward of the keel.
                    I'm concerned the glass may crack and leak. I'm sure you can hear the
                    keel banging around.

                    Dave

                    Marc Lipsius wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks for your advice, hopefully I can fix it on the trailer and not
                    > have to take the mast down and pick up the boat. I don't know if it's
                    > possible to raise the boat a foot or two off the trailer on jacks or
                    > something like that to get the keel to drop far enough to get to the
                    > aft edge to atttach the cable.
                    > The last time the boat was on the trailer, when I bought it and
                    > painted the bottom, I don't recall being able to see the aft end of
                    > the keel. I think it was up in the well a little, maybe 1/2 the width
                    > (the forward half) of the keel was exposed, the forward end horizontal
                    > and resting on the trailer bed on a board, but I'll have to see when I
                    > pull it out on the trailer. I might be able to support the weight of
                    > the keel, remove the board on the trailer it's resting on, and lower
                    > the board to attach the cable. And if all goes well, like I've been
                    > advised, the hanging keel will pivot up when I power the boat up onto
                    > the trailer. Thanks all for your help, I'll let you know what happens
                    > when I get around to fixing it. Right now I'm sailing and having too
                    > much fun with it.
                    >
                    > Marc
                    >
                    > */Dean McNeill <deanmc@... .ca>/* wrote:
                    >
                    > Marc,
                    >
                    > I make the repairs I mentioned while the boat is on the trailer with
                    > the keel in the folded position (resting on the cross brace of the
                    > trailer). There should be enough room between the bottom of the boat
                    > and keel to make the fix, but you'll be lying on your back. Usually I
                    > make the fix when I pull the boat for the fall (I sail in Canada).
                    > I've often sailed an entire season with the cable snapped, but I'm in
                    > the ocean and depth isn't an issue.
                    >
                    > The keel actually has a hole that the cable attaches to... below the
                    > pivot and on the trailing edge of the keel... but only several inches
                    > from the exposed top part of the keel usually situated just as the
                    > keel widens or is notched. Imagine where the keel wire would touch the
                    > folded keel and that's right about where the hole will (or should) be!
                    >
                    > My "attachment hole" rusted through to the notch so I drilled a new
                    > one an inch further into the keel. Search the archive of this list and
                    > you'll find several posts about the keel wire and how to fix.
                    >
                    > Dean (BarraWind)
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
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                    >



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                  • Craig Canfield
                    To John & All, Forget galvanized cable, stainless cable is the way to go. Please know though that stainless steel cable comes rigid or flexible (ie.Side Stay
                    Message 9 of 9 , Sep 7, 2006
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                      To John & All,
                       
                      Forget galvanized cable, stainless cable is the way to go. Please know though that stainless steel cable comes rigid or flexible (ie.Side Stay use or winch use). When routing the cable from the winch to the keel you do need that straw / tube in place. It needs to be a close or snug fit to keep the water out. Heat shrink tubing on the end of the cable will help with feeding thru the tube. Maybe polyethelyne tubing or similiar from a hardware store, or check a marina that "knows" sailboats. Power boat mechanics/marinas are not familiar with sailboats and don't have a clue. 
                       
                      Think about it for a moment. The keel trunk is at or below the water line. If you have a 1/4" cable going thru a 1/4" hole will you have less water come than a 1" hole? 
                       
                      One closing thought. When lowering the keel drop it all the way down and then bring up ever so slightly. Why? The keel is very heavy and swinging/bouncing of the keel can cause cracks and damage to the hull. Hope this helps.
                       
                      Fairwinds to you all,
                      Craig

                      "summerspi@..." <summerspi@...> wrote:
                      Hey!  I've replaced mine once a couple of years ago and it just broke again.  However, I have another question, along the same lines, for all of you 5.5 er's:  Do any of you have a problem with water pouring into the cabin of the boat through the keel cable hole????  If I'm going slow, I have no problem, but when I'm doing 5-7 knots, the water just pours in.  I actually had to install a bilge pump in May as I got tired of bailing and did a 10 day sail in the Keys in June.  However, I would much rather fix the problem and keep most of the water out of my boat.  I looked at the bottom of my boat and it appears that the cable has worn a pretty big hole in the bottom.  Any suggestions would be helpful. 
                                                                 Thanks,
                                                                    John Summers
                                                                    Delray Beach, Florida 

                      -- "Dean McNeill" <deanmc@... .ca> wrote:
                      Marc,

                      I make the repairs I mentioned while the boat is on the trailer with
                      the keel in the folded position (resting on the cross brace of the
                      trailer). There should be enough room between the bottom of the boat
                      and keel to make the fix, but you'll be lying on your back. Usually I
                      make the fix when I pull the boat for the fall (I sail in Canada).
                      I've often sailed an entire season with the cable snapped, but I'm in
                      the ocean and depth isn't an issue.

                      The keel actually has a hole that the cable attaches to... below the
                      pivot and on the trailing edge of the keel... but only several inches
                      from the exposed top part of the keel usually situated just as the
                      keel widens or is notched. Imagine where the keel wire would touch the
                      folded keel and that's right about where the hole will (or should) be!

                      My "attachment hole" rusted through to the notch so I drilled a new
                      one an inch further into the keel. Search the archive of this list and
                      you'll find several posts about the keel wire and how to fix.

                      Dean (BarraWind)



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