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Sailboat KnowledgeBase

Keel removal

Author
John
Article
Removing the keel

Remove the table top in the cabin space to gain access to the hauling line.
First remove the lower screws to the table's two folding brackets.
Next remove the four brass screws on the table top and remove the table assembly. Remove the line. You can skip this step and remove the line from the board when it drops out but the line should be replaced anyway and removing the table is required to replace the hauling line.

Dropping the keel requires removal of the keel mounting assembly. The assembly is held in place with four stainless ��x 2� long slotted machine screws and an adhesive sealant compound like 3M 5200.

Two bolts are located in each � x 2 x 2 stainless steel angle on opposite sides of the keel. The angles hold the �� diameter x 5� shaft the keel pivots on. Removing these four screws allows the angles and the keel to drop free of the hull. The lock nuts for these screws are located under the cabin sole. Some of the lock nuts are obstructed by a fiberglass lip supporting the cabin floor. To make the job easer, drill a �� hole over each obstructed nut to allow a socket wrench and extension to turn the nuts.
Once they are loose you can use a vice grip to retain the nuts and turn the screws from below or get a willing crew member to help.

There is not enough room to allow the keel to clear the hull with the boat loaded on the Magic Tilt single axle trailer. The boat must be lifted above the trailer.
If you have the double axle Magic Tilt trailer, though not recommended, the keel can be dropped with the boat on the trailer. To drop the keel remove the front two tires and the keel runner board. In most cases this will allow the front axle to drop low enough so the keel slides out. This puts all the weight on the two rear tires so they better be good ones!

In all cases note these two additional points:
You may find it necessary to cut away some of the adhesive compound before the mounting assembly lets go. Be prepared for the 60 lbs of keel by placing a jack underneath the keel so it can be lowered slowly.
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