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Keel Casting Retrofit Eliminates Wear

Keel Casting Retrofit Eliminates Wear

For a complete understanding of the Catalina 22 and Catalina 25 swing keel pivot mechanism, start with the first article in this series: History of Retractable Keel Design.

To repair the problem that creates wear to the keel and pivot pin, you must eliminate the excess space between the keel and the hanger castings. It is this excess space which allows the keel to slide from side to side on the pivot pin. It is the this lateral motion (not raising and lowering the keel) which causes the wear.

If your keel is not yet worn, yet there is excess space between the keel and the hanger castings, it is very likely to wear in the future. Lack of wear today is not an indicator of the likelihood of future wear. More use than the boat has previously seen or mooring in a more exposed marina or anchorage will accelerate the wear. Replacing the keel hanger castings before the symptoms of wear arise will eliminate the need for expensive repairs to the keel itself.

Restricting the keel’s side to side motion is also key to a properly functioning locking bolt. Tighten the locking bolt and it will feel tight when it contacts the 550 pound keel. But if the keel simply moves to one side as the boat is sailed, the locking bolt is not doing it job of keeping the keel down during a knock-down.

Eliminate excess space and eliminate future wear by installing two retrofit kits. First is the Keel Hanger Casting Kit (#D1191 for the Catalina 22, #E40035 for the Catalina 25). The kit includes new bronze castings, a new pivot pin, and new bolts and lock washers to complete the installation. New castings are actually too big to install and still have the keel fit! Since the keels vary in thickness, this allows the castings to be ground down to achieve a perfect fit for every keel.

To install the Keel Hanger Casting Kit, lower the keel enough to clear the hull. Remove the old castings and keel pivot pin. Fit the new castings and carefully measure the distance between their inboard surfaces. Measure the thickness of your keel in the vicinity of the hole. Calculate the difference and discover how much material must be removed from each of the bronze castings to achieve a proper fit. If all surfaces are parallel, about .030” (about 1/32”) of space on each side of the keel will give plenty of space for the keel to move freely up and down while eliminating almost all of the lateral motion which causes the wear. Find a friend with a stationary disc sander to sand off the excess bronze with course sandpaper or have your machine shop remove the correct amount of material.


Keel Centering Spacer Kit
You must complete the second part of the project