Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller

Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / Raising the boat off the trailor to paint the bottom.
Author Raising the boat off the trailor to paint the bottom.
Dave Cole
Middleboro, MA

Boat Name: Zephyr

Model/Year: 22' swing, 1973

Hull No. 2241

Hailing Port: Fairhaven, MA
04/04/2008 10:49 AM Pacific Time

In the upcoming weeks I plan to add a coat of bottom paint on my C22 swing keel which is on a loadrite trailer. I am worried about damaging the hull by jacking it up. I am currently thinking I will get a 2x6 about 5-6 feet long, then 4 pieces of 2x4s to put perpendicular to the 2x6. The 2x4’s in the middle will be placed flat, while the outer ones will be upright to accommodate for the curve of the bottom. Then maybe even some plywood in the middle. I would use a floor jack and jack up one side at a time placing this contraption just inside the brace from the trailer.

Am I being over or under cautious? Is there a better easier way?

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
04/05/2008 5:34 AM Pacific Time

Dave: I guess my bottom line is you are being a bit cautious.

The first thing to note is that the strongest parts of you boat are the stern and the bow area. Here's what I do.

1. Lower the tongue of your trailer to the ground.
2. Build a column of cinder blocks under the stern area, dry stacked with holes up. Mine is usually 2 blocks, side by side, stacked in alternating directions. Place sufficient lumber on top of the stack to touch the stern. A small wedge on either side of the lumber placed parallel to the stern will keep th boat steady. This is adequate for the stern if you are just going to paint. If I am going to do more I make two stacks an put a 6X6 across them.
3. Raise the tongue. As you do the weight will be placed on the roller which is about 4' aft of the bow. As the height increases the boat will be lifted off the bunk boards and will allow you to paint the bottom. There will be a small rectangle you can't get to unless you support the forward part of the boat and lower the tongue.
4. Reverse the sequence and remove everything and you are ready for the water.

A couple of weeks ago I took my boat off the trailer and took the trailer out from under the boat. It took 1:40 to accomplish that.

Too bad I didn't know you needed help. Last Sunday I had breakfast at White's on my way back from the Cape.
Greg Guenther
Belleville, IL

Boat Name: Magnificat

Model/Year: 1970

Hull No. 473

Hailing Port: Belleville, IL
04/05/2008 5:54 AM Pacific Time

RC is right Dave, I am blessed with a farm shop and I have an A frame that I set up. I put an empty 55 gallon drum (suitably padded under the stern and a heavy tie-down strap under the boat near the bow and simply winched her off of the trailer using a come along on one end of the strap. We put blocks under two points of the strap and painted the bottom, put her back on the trailer and finished the spots under the strap blocks. If you have a couple of trees that are close together they work just fine also. While fairly large, the C22 really isn't that heavy.

Al Gearing
Burleson, Texas

Boat Name: Torch of Freedom

Model/Year: C-22/'76

Hull No. 6448

Hailing Port: Arlington YC
04/05/2008 7:19 AM Pacific Time

To support Greg's point that the boat isn't all that heavy. I have the frame used to weigh all the boats in '96, so four com-a-longs attached with 5/16" bolts to the lower forward shroud fittings and the backstay fittings is all it takes to hold the 2200-2500 lbs. If you were close it is real handy.
Dave Cole
Middleboro, MA

Boat Name: Zephyr

Model/Year: 22' swing, 1973

Hull No. 2241

Hailing Port: Fairhaven, MA
04/05/2008 8:48 AM Pacific Time


Yes that does sound like a better plan! I have the week after next off to do allot of work on the boat, hopefully the weather will cooperate.

I will be also resealing the windows with the kit from CD, new keel wench, scupper ball valve, and the list goes on.
David Torrisi
Santa Clara, CA

Boat Name: Dumbo

Model/Year: 1975 C-22

Hull No. 4330

Hailing Port: Santa Clara
04/05/2008 8:53 PM Pacific Time

I lifted the boat and trailer, supported the boat on three 55gal drums and lowered the trailer away. It sat for 3 months without a problem. Photos are here:
mail me at dtsails at if you would like more details.

Fair winds,
Russ Wahlers
Muncie, IN

Boat Name: Spindrift

Model/Year: C22 1988

Hull No. 14410

Hailing Port: Muncie Sailing Club
04/06/2008 7:57 AM Pacific Time

I've been jacking up my boat for bottom painting each spring season without problems. If your boat's stored near a friendly marina, borrow six jack stands. (A case of beer for the marina owner does wonders.) I place two jack stands aft, two adjacent to wing keel, and two forward and gradually inch boat up to just clear the bunks. After letting about half the air out of trailer tires, there's just enough room to get a roller under the bunks. Works like a charm, but you need to make sure opposing stands are chained together and well padded. For what it's worth, has worked well for me.
Al Gearing
Burleson, Texas

Boat Name: Torch of Freedom

Model/Year: C-22/'76

Hull No. 6448

Hailing Port: Arlington YC
04/06/2008 7:33 PM Pacific Time

In short there are a lot of ways to lift a aboat and clean and paint the bottm. Good luck.
Nancy Varvil
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Boat Name: Cha-Ching

Model/Year: 1981

Hull No. 10448

Hailing Port: Beaver Lake, Arkansas
08/10/2009 7:24 PM Pacific Time

Is there a way to sand and paint the keel when painting the bottom? If so, do you only paint the part reachable when the keel is raised? Or is this a whole other procedure?
Howard Friedman
Pisgah Forest, NC

Boat Name: Forspacious Seas

Model/Year: Wing - 1989

Hull No. 14907

Hailing Port: Lake Keowee-Seneca, SC
08/11/2009 11:00 AM Pacific Time

If you only want to put bottom paint on the keel, You can just reach up into the well with a long handled brush or tape a brush to a stick. If you need to totally refinish the keel, you must remove it from the boat entirely and lay it down on two wood crosspieces. Sand-blast each side and seal with metal primer and epoxy type finish of choice. I had great success with the Petitt metal priming system, a two part coating that comes in a kit. Fairing is optional. You'll need some muscle help to flip the keel over when your ready to do the other side. Getting the keel out can be dangerous so you might want professional help for this part. I have done it a number of times using a few different techniques. I am loathe to recommend this process as it is dangerous, but it has worked for me on at least two occasions. Again, I am not endorsing these techniques but just sharing my experiences. I would recommend using professionals for removal and replacement. You can do the refinishing yourself. Here's what I did:
When the boat is on stands, lower the keel until it touches the ground, wedging the front against the pin holders and keel well. Leave plenty of slack in the winch cable. Make sure it is wedged tightly. Put a floor jack under the keel about a third back from the front of the keel. Use a wood V-block- which is easy to make- between the jack and the keel. Remove the hinge blocks so the pin is free and remove the pin if possible. Have a couple of strong guys supporting the front of the keel as it will move slightly in the housing as you loosen the hinge pin and to keep it from falling or flopping over off the jack. Gently lower the keel, supporting it from flopping over. If you lose the center of gravity by not supporting it well, It WILL fall off the jack. If it falls it will not break but it will break any feet that are underneath it so be very careful. Lower the keel to the ground and carefully let it flop over onto the wood on the ground. Remove the jack. Reverse the process to put it back, lifting the front of the keel onto the jack to begin. This is not for the feint of heart but actually works pretty well with the right muscle help.
I have also done it by having the boat on a sling lift with the keel down all the way, lowering the boat carefully until the keel is on the ground. Call for the muscle again to support the keel in the upright position, the ground taking most of the weight, remove the hinge pins and raise the boat off the keel with the lift. Lower the keel to the ground using muscles and leverage. It is OK to drop the keel if it starts to get away from you but WATCH THE FEET! Reverse the process to refit.
REMEMBER-you're dealing with over 500 pounds of cast iron so be very careful
Tim Seifert

Boat Name: Mary's Joy


Hull No. 8281

Hailing Port: Holyrood, Newfoundland
08/12/2009 6:43 AM Pacific Time

Has anyone flipped their boat over to paint the bottom? I've seen Glenn's boat flip pages, and the boat flip on youtube. Has anyone else flipped their boat? I'm going to give it a try in the fall and would like to study it as much as possible before hand.
Lynn Buchanan
Nevada City, CA

Boat Name: SAILYNN

Model/Year: SWING 1984

Hull No. 11994

08/12/2009 2:03 PM Pacific Time

My mentor in the 80's, Ray Woods hung his boat from a steel beams in his barn and used come a longs to hang it on it's side. He would stand next to it with a spray bottle and wet sand it with a power sander, then finish sand it by hand. Reverse the process and do the other side. It looked very scary to me to see the boat on it's side hanging in the air. Two recommendations, the strongest part of the boat hull is where the bulkheads are, and be sure to have the boat parked/lifted on a flat surface. One of our yacht club members thought the surface was flat and the boat didn't agree with him. Result, the boat moved forward taking the aframe with it, landed back on the trailer bending the bow stop, but the A frame fell forward crushing the back of friends pickup bed and fenders. No one was hurt, thank goodness, but friend and his helpers earned the "Toilet Seat" annual award for dumb tricks with a sailboat.
Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller
Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / Raising the boat off the trailor to paint the bottom.