Tagged: ,

  • Creator
  • #26374
    Trefor Goronwy

    Hi all, new owner of A161, Amber Ellen. Most of the work so far is going well however I can’t get the keels to move at all. The keels have been left in the upright position for at least a few years and aren’t resting on anything. I’m not sure the proper way to keep them when out the water but I’m assuming they should be lowered onto something to take the weight off the mechanism?
    Anyway I think it may be a combination of not moving for a long time, build up of debris in the keel boxes and my lack of knowledge of how the mechanism system actually works.
    Any advice on how to lower them would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers Trefor

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • Author
    • #26375
      Trevor Thompson

      You really need to download the Keel servicing manual which is among the Technical papers on the website. It will tell you everything about the keels and how they work. The keels don’t work in the way that a conventional centreboard works. I recommend that you read it before you attempt to solve this problem.

      It isn’t a major problem but you will expend a lot of time and effort to free them.

      It is inevitable that the keels will need attention when you have just got the boat. You may have to remove the keels to sort this out properly.



    • #26376

      Hi Trefor

      Great to hear that things are proceeding with Amber Ellen.
      As Trevor says ‘Paper F Keel Servicing’ on the Technical Papers page is an essential start point.  It gives a really clear explanation of the various components, their operation and repair. (Its worth familiarising yourself with the other keel related papers too.)

      You ask about support when out of the water.  It is certainly a good idea to lower them down onto the trailer structure or onto blocks on the ground to relieve the strain on the gear.  Equally it helps to loosen all three keel bolts on each side and try to lubricate the mechanism and particularly the clamping plates when laying up.  There should be a way of removing the keel box ‘lids’ forward of the bulkhead to gain (limited but sufficient) access for this lubrication.

      As the keel are stuck getting some penetrating oil all over the clamping plates now, perhaps repeatedly over a few days, would be a good thing to do regardless (with due regard for any woodwork you might be going to paint).

      Have you managed to move all six keel bolts? By which I mean slacken the nuts off but do not remove so they are a few millimetres (should that be in inches for an Atalanta?) off their tight position and then hit them to move the keel bolts towards the outside of the boat.  Before doing this you should remove the keel bolt covers on the outboard sides of the keel boxes. There are many different arrangements but typically each side will have three disks held to the case by bolts or screws.

      Can you post a photo of this area of the keels?  It is surprising how much weight a little corrosion in the plates can support. When trying to remove the keels on Emma Duck last year we removed all the keel bolts and went at the keels with a scaffold pole and sledge and they were still reluctant to come out! (I am not suggesting you follow our method!)



    • #26377
      Gregory Manning

      If you go into the forward cabin there is a small amount of the keel box there.  Remove the covers from the top and you should be able to see the forward end of the keels in their mechanism.  Loosen off the big screw caps on the keel bolts  and see if you can gently tap them with a two lb hammer to loosed any corrosion between the keels and the bolts.  When you look into the mechanism from the forward cabin you might be able to spray in some diesel mixed with old oil onto the mechanism.  Go for a drink , or two and then next day see if you can get a cold chisel between the keels and the plates on both sides and using that 2lb hammer try to loosen the keels form the plates.  Be careful as if they come loose you do not want them to drop uncontrolled.  Give me a ring to talk about it if you want.  01464 841394.  I am free Sunday afternoon, I think!

    • #26379
      Richard James

      Fwd cabin keel viewing

      Hi Trefor,

      Above is the main cabin keel viewing plate, which I have replaced with Perspex, so I can keep an eye on what’s going on.

      Below is the outer keel bolt water covers mentioned by the others. On my boat, they are kept in place by thin box section with a drilled 10 mm bolt pressing on the centre of the cover. Others have screws in the cover plates. Good luck and please report back.

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.