Swing Keel Replacement

Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Swing Keel Replacement / keel pin hole repair?
Author keel pin hole repair?
mike mccarthy
titusville, florida

Boat Name: tomorrow

Model/Year: 1986

Hull No.

Hailing Port: Kennedy Point Marina
10/19/2007 6:32 PM Pacific Time

acquired a 22 catalina and am uncertain of how to repair the hole in the keel for mounting it too the boat? Do to years of use and salt water the hole is enlarged and elongated. I'm aware that cast iron welding is possible but have not been able to find anyone capable. I have also considered fiberglassing it with a stainsless sleeve tube for the pin hole but am uncertain of its strength? Any advise or knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Mike
Youngstown, Ohio

Boat Name: Sea Dog

Model/Year: Catalina 22 1987

Hull No. 13971

Hailing Port: Andover, Ohio
10/22/2007 5:47 AM Pacific Time

I think that I would keep looking for a person to do the welding repair. I think that there should be someone who can do some welding. Auto or truck repair service? A career training facility? It may be cheaper to learn welding on your own, buy the equipment and do it yourself rather than replacing the keel.
I would not consider the fiberglass or even epoxy idea for a repair. I don't think that it would be strong enough for a real repair.
Mitch Kronowit
Mission Viejo, CA

Boat Name: Paulina

Model/Year: 1984 Catalina 22

Hull No. #12276

Hailing Port: Dana Point, CA
10/25/2007 11:12 PM Pacific Time

So just what the dickens is the swing keel made of, steel or cast iron??? And what's the specified diameter of the pin hole???

Is it better to fill in the elongated hole by welding then drill it back out to spec or drill out the hole oversized and braze a cast iron bushing in place??? In either case, drilling that large a hole in this keel has got to be murder. It was tough drilling just 2 small 3/16" holes into the keel for a zinc.
Fred Apstein
Gabriola Is BC

Boat Name: Scruples

Model/Year: 1976

Hull No. 95

Hailing Port: Gabriola Is BC
10/26/2007 11:26 PM Pacific Time

Cast Iron isn't very strong. More surface of threads is better.

Cast Iron drills and taps easily if you go slow and lubricate your tap.


Drill a big enough hole to clean out the corrosionin the hole, tap it, screw in a bolt, either galvanised or stainless. Maybe 1/2 or 3/4 inch.

( I would use galvanised for a galvanised keel cable and stainless for a stainless cable. I understand that this may be a controversial)

screw in the right size bolt, cut it off, and drill and tap for the eye bolt size you want to hold the cable.

Or cut the bolt short of the hole depth, drill it through, put a smaller bolt in the drilled hole with nut on the other end, and screw it in.

Put lock tite on the threads.

C22 keels are made of cast iron, and the surface of the older ones can be REALLY ROUGH even when they were new from the factory.

The story I heard is that Frank Butler had a fellow in Mexico who did the keels cheap with a sand casting operation more or less on the beach.

They got faired up with putty at teh Catalina factory.

I learned about this when I had my C22 keel sandblasted down to bare metal. It looked like hell and I had to build it up with putty again to make it smooth. Took a lot of fairing.

I used a tar/epoxy coating on the clean keel, then resin thickened with microballoons, followed by epoxy paint, then regular bottom paint.
Al Gearing
Burleson, Texas

Boat Name: Torch of Freedom

Model/Year: C-22/'76

Hull No. 6448

Hailing Port: Arlington YC
10/27/2007 6:20 AM Pacific Time

Fred, I think that Mike is talking about the 'mounting hole' not the cable attach point.
Cast iron has a very hard shell that is hard to work, under the surface about a 1/16th to an 1/8th of a inch it is realively soft.
There is a kit that CD sells I think that has the correct bushing for the keel pivot pin. I think that the proceedure is to have the hole brazed under size and then drilled out for a press fit of the bushing. Most any welder can braze the hole, but it takes a bit of skill to drill the hole perpendicular. There are magnetically held drill presses that you can rent then shim with metal strips for alignment, I would align with the trailing edge. The hole can be reamed with a hand reamer for the final fit. A good machine shop should be able to do it for you if you don't want to do it yourself.
For what it's worth,
Al Ge
Swing Keel Replacement
Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Swing Keel Replacement / keel pin hole repair?