Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller

Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / why keel cable wears
 
 
Author why keel cable wears



Boat Name:

Model/Year:

Hull No.

Hailing Port:
09/15/2005 6:50 AM Pacific Time

I keep boat year round in brackish water in Currituck Sound NC.. That means some salt but not as much as ocean. Has been in water for 5 years except for hauling for bottom paint for a couple of days every 2 years. Previous owner had at least 2 years similar conditions. Cable not replaced for at least 7 years under these conditions, perhaps longer. I finally replace cable because a single broken strand could be seen on cable as I wound it on the winch. I discovered that otherwise cable in perfect condition. I cut open the swage at the end that attaches to keel and found the cable there in perfect condition. Did this because according to Lowell at Catalina Direct that is where the cable usually breaks. So the question is: why does cable break and why should replacement every 2 years be necessary as recommended especially if kept in salt water? Lowells [Catalina Direct] theory is that the user permits the cable to be loose when the keel is down and the "violent" flapping of cable as the boat moves causes stress especially where the cable goes under the swage. Therefore Catalina Direct recommends you tighten 2 turns after fully releasing cable. However this results in cable hum. Many sailers seem to love the hum and delight in calling it a "speedometer" since the hum gets louder when the boat goes faster. I always get rid of the hum by releasing the cable a turn or two. In other words I do opposite from the suggestion of Catalina Direct. I believe that the high frequency vibration required to cause a hum is much more stressful to the cable at the swage then any "flapping" of a loose cable could be. And the louder the hum the greater the vibration frequency must be. Therefore I suggest that failure of cable to fail in my use must be because I try to eliminate the hum. I use the boat about 20 times during the year. It is at a dock and the keel is fully retracted at the dock because of shallow water. There is little or no wave action at the dock. Any comments concerning my remarks?
Michael Smalter
Webster, NY

Boat Name: Marrakesh

Model/Year: 1986

Hull No. 13645

Hailing Port: Rochester, NY
09/15/2005 7:28 PM Pacific Time

I agree that a high frequency vibration is likely to cause more wear than a loose cable. I've broken 2 cables, both where the cable goes over the turning ball. I keep the boat in the water from mid-May to early November in a marina with moderate wake. My new "trick" is to not pull the cable up all the way. That varies the location of contact with the turning ball and spreads the wear out. My breakage conditions seem to be unique. I wonder whether my turning ball is farther back than normal (1/4"?) causing more tension on the ball than one that is aligned for no tension when the keel is up.



Boat Name:

Model/Year:

Hull No.

Hailing Port:
09/16/2005 6:12 AM Pacific Time

From Bill --the sender of the original note about cable breakage--sorry I did not give my name. I did not want to complicate my comments by talking about the ball but since you mention it I must say that after at least 7 years my turning ball was worn completely flat on one side of the groove. I am told that this is probably because at some point it stopped turning. The replacement has a delran insert which may help prevent this. I do not know how far back a "normal" turning ball should be. In my boat the relative position of winch and "volcano" is such that the latter is quite far back and thus the cable is directed aft through the rubber tube and on to the ball.



Boat Name:

Model/Year:

Hull No.

Hailing Port:
09/17/2005 7:07 AM Pacific Time

More from Bill--I have now cut open the swage fitting at the bottom end of my old cable. IThe cable is in pristine condition under the swage even after 7 years at least in brackish water. Again i am wondering why there is so much concern about cable breaking espececially in salty water. Again i askl whether the problem may be that peoplel ove to hear that cable hum and do not release cable a turn or two to get rid of it when the keel is down? Again i ask whether the high frequency vibration that cause w the hum may lead to breakage but if so it weems to me that this would be where the cable meets the sqage rather than under it. If I understand correcty it is under the swage that Lowell at Catalina Direct says the breakage generally occurs. Another possibility to account for my good fortune may be that the water line differes slightly from boat to boat.. Perhaps the swage is just above the water line in my boat when the keel is fully retracted. IContra the recommendation of Catalina Direct i always keep the keel fully retracted when the boat is at the slip. I am forced to do so because the water is so shallow at the lowest tides. Any comments?
Jay Schkloven
Baltimore

Boat Name: Atalanta

Model/Year: 1983 Catalina 25

Hull No. 3719

Hailing Port: Baltimore
08/27/2006 8:00 AM Pacific Time

I have changed my keel cable every 2 years ( cheap insurance). I am in a fresh water creek. The cable has not given me any problems but one year the cable had 3 broken strands that I notice on the last sail 2 years ago. I believe the problem occurred as the cable wrapped on the winch and was pinched. I also change the ball whenever I change the cable. I also have marked the cable with white house paint so that I know when I have pulled it up enough and not too much. I believe the keel is at a 5 degree angle when I have pulled it up to the white paint mark. The keel cable is tightened with 2 turns when down. The hum and the vibrations do not seem to cause any problems.
Dan Vitale
Rochester, NY

Boat Name: Schatzi

Model/Year: 1982 C22

Hull No.

Hailing Port: Rochester
10/16/2007 5:39 AM Pacific Time

Any suggestions on inspection and replacement of the cable? Do I have to jack the boat up off the trailer and lower the keel? What about inspection and maintenance of the hinge part? Is the keel fully supported when lowered with no tension on the cable? I just bought my C22, picking it up this week, first boat.
Dale Ouderkirk
Rome, New York

Boat Name: Summer Wind

Model/Year: 1984 C-22

Hull No. 12031

Hailing Port: Henderson , New York
11/27/2007 3:24 PM Pacific Time

Dan,

If you would like to e-mail me we can talk about your boat. My wife and I sail on the east end of the lake on Henderson Bay. We have a 1984 C-22. My address is [email protected] Hope tp hear from you Dan

Dale
paul osborne
Lima NY

Boat Name: Emy Lyn II

Model/Year: 1984

Hull No.

Hailing Port: Rochester
11/28/2007 4:59 AM Pacific Time

Dan, hello, Paul here in Rochester NY too, you may not have a problem . I installed a new cable abt 5 yers ago, ck it a few time each season and is still in good cond. I sail and keep my boat at Seneca Lake. Want to talk :
[email protected]
Bilbo
Youngstown, Ohio

Boat Name: Sea Dog

Model/Year: Catalina 22 1987

Hull No. 13971

Hailing Port: Andover, Ohio
08/01/2017 5:21 AM Pacific Time

Here's what I've found regarding this.
I've had my boat at a more exposed dockage where the water level required that I raise the keel off the lake bottom during drier periods and usually as the summer progresses. I would try to keep the keel partway down at that dock. to lessen the rocking action. BUT, this puts the keel cable tight and has caused more wear at the point of where it contacts the turning ball. The wear being caused primarily by the boat's constant rocking from lake waves while at rest. I've had to replace the cable annually because of worn or broken strands along with the turning ball that will get flat spots in the groove. Since we've moved to a deeper location 4 years ago, with a floating dock and about 6 ft or more of depth, I've inspected the cable annually and no wear on either. The wear comes from the keel slight movement to the side as the hull rocks.

I also don't tighten the cable while sailing because I don't need the hum. I would suggest that the hum isn't exactly progressive but works in steps of frequency and loudness. As I remember, at about 4.5 kts on my GPS it begins a low hum but at about 5.5 kts it changes to a higher (faster) pitch and is also a bit louder. This hum is a vibration like a guitar string and could also cause a predictable fatigue on the keel cable.
sacarlettleo87
OAKLAND GARDENS

Boat Name: yachet

Model/Year: 3457, 2017

Hull No.

Hailing Port:
11/18/2019 3:04 AM Pacific Time

Well said dear.
sacarlettleo87
OAKLAND GARDENS

Boat Name: yachet

Model/Year: 3457, 2017

Hull No.

Hailing Port:
11/18/2019 3:04 AM Pacific Time

Well said dear.
 
 
Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller
Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / why keel cable wears