Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller

Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / C-22 Jacking and Swing-keel Removal Gear
Author C-22 Jacking and Swing-keel Removal Gear
Russ Milham
Lake Forest Park, WA

Boat Name: Griot

Model/Year: C-22 1981

Hull No. CTYH0492M811

Hailing Port: Kenmore Air Harbor
01/10/2004 3:24 PM Pacific Time

I’m in the Seattle area and looking to borrow or rent a swing-keel sled and hull jacking gear for a C-22 on a single-axel trailer. If anyone is interested in seeing their hard work help out another trailer sailor, please let me know. Thanks!
Bob Vick
Caldwell, TX

Boat Name: Over Keel

Model/Year: <1985

Hull No. 13059

Hailing Port: Lake Somerville
01/12/2004 7:26 AM Pacific Time

When I pulled the keel, I blocked the keel stable on the trailer. Removed the keel bolts, & lifted the boat off the trailer & the keel. I could have left it on the trailer to take it to the sand blasters & machine shop. When I re installed I blocked it back on the trailer with wood & carpet & lowered the boat back on top of the keel. I jacket the keel the last few inches with flat load straps to adjust the square of the keel. I did have to slide the trailer sideways to get her lined up just right, because she did not lower just right.

Bob Vick
Caldwell, TX
C 22 #13059
Over Keel

Bill OBrien

Boat Name:


Hull No.

Hailing Port:
01/13/2004 8:41 AM Pacific Time

Could you give me some more on how you lifted the boat off the trailer and what tools you used? Thanks.


Bob Vick
Caldwell, TX

Boat Name: Over Keel

Model/Year: <1985

Hull No. 13059

Hailing Port: Lake Somerville
01/14/2004 7:25 AM Pacific Time


I used the frame of a metal building & 4 each 10,000 pound lifting straps. Over Kill I know but I knew a guy that dropped a transmission on his face.

Most guys lower the nose of the boat with the trailer as low as it will go. They place barrels aft with a large timber/board between them. I have not heard them say so, but filling the barrels with water would make them more stable. After the aft is stable, they crank the trailer up & shore up the front with barrels & timbers as well. I think Randy W. has some picture on his sight.

Below is a description I saved from Paul David, Reflections 13369, Melbourne Australia. His writing skills exceed those of mine.

Happy sailing,

Bob Vick
Caldwell, TX
C 22 #13059
Over Keel

Simon - As a fellow "new style" (post 1985 construction) owner living
outside of the US, welcome to the list. If your boat has been in the
water for the past 10 years, it's likely your keel pin and/or hole the
pin goes through in the keel may have been worn from wave action. There
are things you can do to check and correct it. I have created
instructions for removing and checking your keel pin, which I provide
below. Note that I make reference to Catalina Direct, the host of this
discussion group and a great source of parts (I've bought replacement
keel pin kit as well as a new mast and had it shipped to Australia).
Others on the list may have something to add. Here goes:

I'm going to tell you almost everything I know about lowering your keel
(and maybe a few things you don't need or want to know) and checking
your keel pin. This job is the one that causes our owners the most
anxiety in an otherwise great boat. I've done some research and offer
my suggestions - your own experience may be different but it worked for
me. Read all the way through first before starting.

The keel weighs 500 or so pounds and the first thing to keep in mind is
to keep fingers etc from getting in between anything if something falls.
I used two short lengths of 2X4, held with a c-clamp to my trailer
roller posts, and with a notch cut in the wood so it fit around the
upright, measured so that the end of the wood almost touched the keel.
But your trailer (if you have one) may be different.

The best tools and other things you will need will be

* A helper (get them to read through and understand this sheet as
well before you start)
* A hydraulic floor jack (I don't know if a car jack will work,
but the hydraulic gives you more control) to lower and raise the keel in
place - beg borrow or steal one and learn how to use it before getting
* A car jack at the bow, and a thick piece of wood with carpet on
it to raise the bow an inch or so if needed (if you don't already have
enough clearance to lower the keel). I went to the trouble of mitering
the wood to follow the curve of the hull, but this may not be necessary
* A socket wrench (some people suggest a torque wrench so that the
bolts aren't over tightened and then seize up and break off at the heads
- - my mechanic didn't have one, and I didn't use it)
* A mallet or heavy hammer and a block of wood (because as the
keel is lowered, its weight actually slips aft a little bit and you have
to muscle it back into position to get the bolts back in)
* Replacement stainless bolts and lock washers (4 - I don't know
the size offhand)
* Low grip Loctite (this may or may not help but is recommended if
you keep your bolts torqued loose)
* A replacement keel pin (a length of bronze - I can give you the
measurements or order the bolts, Loctite and pin directly from
CatalinaDirect - that's what I did)
* Two to four long smooth shank bolts (about 4 inches long) with
the heads cut off, the same size as the keel bolts (this will allow you
to line up the keel and hangers with the holes - see below)


1. Block your trailer wheels so the trailer does not shift
2. Block the aft end of the trailer so that when you climb aboard
the boat does not teeter-totter up on the wheels (you should do this all
the time anyway)
3. Block the keel so that it does not fall from side to side (see
4. (Raise up the stern of the boat if your keel is resting on your
trailer and you can't lower the keel with your cable) - there is a
separate process that I can tell you for this if you need to do this)
5. Loosen your keel cable so that the aft end of the keel rests on
the trailer (and so it doesn't pivot up into the 'glass)
6. Loosen any cables at the bow of the boat so that it can lift if
necessary with the car jack, but don't remove them in case the boat
starts to roll backwards as you lift the bow
7. Get the car jack and carpeted block of wood under the bow (in
front of the keel) and ready to raise if needed (I ended up not needing
this step)
8. Place the floor jack under the keel about the same place as the
keel bolts and raise just enough so the keel is being supported and the
weight is off the bolts
9. Remove the first keel bolt and replace it with the temporary
long shank one
10. Continue until all four are removed.
11. If you snap off a bolt head you are in the poo and the bolt will
need to be drilled out without damaging the surrounding "weldment"
encased in the bottom of the boat (this is a separate process, but you
should be OK if the keel has been removed in the recent past and the
bolts not overly tightened in the past)
12. Gradually lower the floor jack until the hangers fall out of the
recess in the bottom of the hull. You will only need to lower the keel
about two inches. Try not to lower so that the keel comes completely out
of the recess at the bottom of the hull.
13. If you don't have enough clearance, you will need to raise the
bow a little with your car jack
14. Check your pin, the two hangers the pin rests in and the hole in
the keel for excessive wear - replace the pin if it is badly worn. If
the hole is badly worn, there is a stainless sleeve you can buy from CD
along with the pin (I bought one and had it on hand in case I needed
it), but the keel needs to be drilled out (professionally) before the
sleeve can be inserted. There is an alternative approach that just
fills the hole with graphite-loaded epoxy that I can tell you about if
it comes to this). Replacement hangers are also available from CD but
they seem to be the last thing to wear.
15. Remember at this stage your keel is still being held in place by
the floor jack and the temporary long bolts are still in place
16. Put the pin into the hangers and slip them over the ends of the
temporary bolts. At this stage I had to take off two bolts from each
side as they wouldn't allow me to put the hangers back in place but I
think this depends upon the length of your temporary bolts. REMEMER
17. Raise the keel with the floor jack slightly and guide the
hangers into the recess in the hull. If you need to take all the
temporary bolts (which I had to do for some reason), the keel may shift
backwards slightly and you'll need the mallet (and wood) to force it
back into position.
18. Use your temporary bolts, if you've taken them out, to ensure
the hangers are in position and the screw holes match up.
19. If you use it, squirt the new keelbolts with low grip Loctite,
slip on the lock washer and hand-tighten each bolt in place, gradually
replacing each temporary bolt with your new keel bolt.
20. Using the floor jack, raise the keel the rest of the way
21. Tighten the keel bolts in place with your socket wrench. If you
use a torque wrench, I'm told that the setting is 20 ft pounds. If not,
I'm told that tightness should be about the strength that two fingers
around the wrench handle can hold as you tighten.
22. Lower the floor jack and reverse all earlier steps
23. Before you raise the aft end of the keel and replace the V
block, take the opportunity to check your keel cable attachment - After
I had sailed for about six months I checked mine - the terminal fitting
the cable is swaged to was cracked and when I removed the clevis pin
holding it to the keel, the fitting fell apart in my hands! The
replacement fitting is a special aircraft part not available from marine
chandlers and my rigger traced it down in Perth (see me if you get to
this step).
24. Assuming everything is alright, you should be good for around
five years before doing a check and replacing the 4 keel bolts again.

Hope this helps.

Paul David
Reflections 13369
Melbourne Australia
Don treble

Boat Name: catalina22

Model/Year: ?1989

Hull No. 8939

Hailing Port: gerenda lake,ms
03/19/2004 6:07 PM Pacific Time

what type winch does ac 22 have on it?????
Don treble

Boat Name: catalina22

Model/Year: ?1989

Hull No. 8939

Hailing Port: gerenda lake,ms
03/19/2004 6:16 PM Pacific Time

on a cat 22 with a swing fin what type of winch do they have?
Al Gearing
Burleson, Texas

Boat Name: Torch of Freedom

Model/Year: C-22/'76

Hull No. 6448

Hailing Port: Arlington YC
03/19/2004 10:19 PM Pacific Time

The winch is kind of special, and nice, I don't know the name but the pricipal of operation is unique, in my estimation.
When you crank up the handle is threaded to the shaft and tightens a clutch, so the tighter it gets from lifting the keel, better the hold. When you loosen the clutch, cranking down, the clutch slips, when you sop going down it tightens. I would not use a different kind of winch, they are easy to fix if you realize how they work. I've fixed two that some had tried to fix but obviously didn't realize how they work, to me it is simple and straight forward. Take it out of the mounting position so you can see it, be sure that the paul works freely on the ratch, it is self bushed but there is a tendancy for it to get out of alignment and it doesn't fall into the gear teeth.

Good luck, Al Ge
Dick Reynolds
Lebanon, Oregon

Boat Name: Catnip

Model/Year: Swing Keel / 1974

Hull No. 4570

Hailing Port: Newport, Oregon
03/20/2004 6:06 PM Pacific Time

Somewhere in the clubhouse this has been answered. The winch is made in milwaukee and I have listed the part no., etc.
Tim Seifert

Boat Name: Mary's Joy


Hull No. 8281

Hailing Port: Holyrood, Newfoundland
04/04/2005 8:13 PM Pacific Time

In a previous post, Bob Vick described using long bolts for lowering the hanging brackets and keel. How well did this work? My boat is sitting in a cradle with lots of space underneath. With the keel hanging I can refinish most of the keel without removing it. To get access to the upper portion of the keel, I was thinking of using threaded rods in place of the keel bolts. But turning nuts on the threaded rod I could lower and raise the keel and hangers. How well might this system work? Do you see dangers (e.g., stability)?
Paul David
Melbourne Australia

Boat Name: Reflections

Model/Year: 1986

Hull No. 13369

Hailing Port: Melbourne Australia
04/04/2005 11:42 PM Pacific Time

Tim - I lowered my keel using that approach. but the keel was only inches from the ground. What you want to do is support the keel with a floor jack and gradually lower the keel with it as you lower the nuts on the threaded bolts. Make sure the threaded bolts don't turn. You'd want to be sure that the keel didn't slip off the floor jack's platform, so some kind of U-shaped receptacle might need to be built to fit on the jack. For added insurance, I'd also want to support the keel so it didn't fall sideways. I have this horrible vision of your keel slipping off the jack, torquing on the four bolts because it wasn't supported laterally, breaking out the hangers out of the bottom of the boat, and the big mother of a keel dropping onto you.

Keep body parts well clear in case the worst happened.
R. C. Luiken
Milford, DE

Boat Name: Ricochet

Model/Year: C-22 Swing Keel/1986

Hull No. 13560

Hailing Port: Milford, DE/St. Michaels, MD
04/05/2005 6:25 AM Pacific Time

I have built a stabilizing bracket out of 2X4's to keep the keel upright as it is lowered. It has a 6 ft. base and 2 - 3 ft. uprights which are braced from the sides. The space between the uprights equals the width of the keel about 6 in. aft of the hanger assenbly. The bracket allows me to finish the entire keel in the upright position.

WIthout it I found that the threaded rod leaves the area between the bracket and the trailing edge of the keel inaccesible. When I finish the keel I normally do the trailing half first, and then return it to its normal position and finish the rest.
Al Gearing
Burleson, Texas

Boat Name: Torch of Freedom

Model/Year: C-22/'76

Hull No. 6448

Hailing Port: Arlington YC
04/05/2005 7:46 AM Pacific Time

I have a keel setting in a cradle, much like the one described above. We have the boat hung in the frame that was used at the '96 Nationals at Fort Worth Boat Club to weigh all the boats. We modified it with braces across the top. We hung the forward end by the upper shroud chain plates, 5/16" shackle, and the stern by the backstay fittings. This gives us the whole bottom without bands in the way, to be done later. We're waiting for good weather and time from other projects, hopfully this week. Oh, we raised the boat from the keel after taking the screws out. The first cradle we built of 3/4" plywood collasped as we pulled the dolly out from under the boat, over the gravel, luckily we have a tractor with a front end loader to lift it up and put it in a stronger dolly made like above. It really does take 2x4's with braces.
I found the winches in Northern Tool, but just repaired the one I have.
Al Ge
Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller
Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / C-22 Jacking and Swing-keel Removal Gear