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Ramona82
Deckhand

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13 Posts

Initially Posted - 01/20/2021 :  14:36:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, first time poster hoping I don't bomb up here.

I bought my first sailboat, an '82 C-25 swinger, this past summer and as I'm getting close to making all the necessary repairs and getting closer to actually sailing her, I'm starting to second guess myself for buying a swing keeled boat that lives full-time in salty water.

I have Ramona on a mooring ball in San Diego bay and am concerned about the long term effects the salt water could have on the keel and the lifting hardware. I have her scheduled for a haul out in March and will be replacing the winch, cable, turning ball, etc but am wondering what else I should look out for? How many other swing keel C-25's are in salt water 365 days a year? Also, how does the swinger fair in coastal waters? I do plan on taking her to the islands offshore of Southern California.

Thanks for any input, I appreciate it!

John Potetz
1982 C-25 SR/SK #3363
Ramona
San Diego, CA

Edited by - Ramona82 on 01/20/2021 14:47:09

Davy J
Master Marine Consultant

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1500 Posts

Response Posted - 01/20/2021 :  15:01:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I owned my C25 for ten years. It was docked behind my house on a saltwater canal. During that time it was only pulled out of the water just a few times.

Provided that the pivot point hardware is in good condition, and you change the cable, turning ball and associated parts every two to three years you should be just fine.

Davy J


2005 Gemini 105Mc
PO 1987 C25 #5509 SR/SK
Tampa Bay
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Ramona82
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Response Posted - 01/20/2021 :  15:34:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the reassuring reply, Davy. I have a good feeling my hanger/pivot assembly could be in good shape as I've yet to hear any knocking and I'm pretty far out in the mooring field where the there can be some decent wave & wind energy causing her to corkscrew, yet she's quiet as a church mouse.

John Potetz
1982 C-25 SR/SK #3363
Ramona
San Diego, CA
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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4528 Posts

Response Posted - 01/20/2021 :  15:57:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations on your purchase. You are in for years of good sailing fun. A company called Catalina Direct sells parts for these boats. If you have not bought it already, go online and order the keel cable replacement kit. You will want the cable, the turning ball, the pivot pin for the turning ball. Perhaps also the rubber hose and the 2 stainless steel clamps that hold the hose in place. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to remove that rubber hose while the boat is in the water. Behind that hose is what we call the "volcano" on top of the keel trunk. The top of the volcano is at or just below the water line, and with your weight right there, it will be below the water line.
Another part you will need to inspect when the boat is hauled is the hardware on the keel to which the cable connects. It may need replacing as well. The keel winch may be okay. It is a brake winch (holds its position when you stop cranking).
Check the drawings (available on this forum?)for how the keel cable travels around the turning ball, or be sure to check it before disconnecting the cable. If the turning ball doesn't show much wear when you remove it, and if the keel cable has not worn into the turning ball pin, hold onto the parts as spares.
BTW, the turning ball is located at the top of a metal pipe imbedded in the volcano. Good luck!

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN

Edited by - dmpilc on 01/20/2021 16:04:37
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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4528 Posts

Response Posted - 01/20/2021 :  16:03:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One other thing, if you ever do remove the keel hanger/pin hardware, be sure to have a fresh set of stainless screws to put them back in and a tube of Locktite (blue, not red if I remember correctly - someone correct me if I'm wrong), and maybe a replacement pin.
If you have to replace the hangers, they may not be the same width. On my C-22, I had to take the hangers to a metal shop and have them ground down.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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Ramona82
Deckhand

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13 Posts

Response Posted - 01/20/2021 :  17:32:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the solid advice, David. I'll be sure to apply it. I have my wish list on Catalina Direct all ready to go once I start gathering all the material to do the repairs. I'm going to have the pros down at the yard look over my keel hanger assembly to make sure it's up to snuff but the rest I can handle pretty easily. My biggest worry now is blisters. She's been in the salt water a few years now and I don't know the last time she's had her bottom done. From the waterline up she's pretty clean and dry, so I'm hoping the same hold true down there...

John Potetz
1982 C-25 SR/SK #3363
Ramona
San Diego, CA
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Lee Panza
Captain

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425 Posts

Response Posted - 01/21/2021 :  01:29:06  Show Profile  Visit Lee Panza's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ramona82

...I'm starting to second guess myself for buying a swing keeled boat that lives full-time in salty water...


Regarding the swing-keel in salt water, there's essentially no risk - even if the lifting hardware has never been replaced - as long as you don't try to lift the keel with that compromised hardware. Have the boat hauled at a yard with a travel-lift, and replace the lifting hardware while it's on the hard. I've never heard of a pivot failing (even though the hole through the keel gets wallowed-out, and the keel flops back and forth noisily within the case), so that's not a reason to worry, either.


The trouble with a destination - any destination, really - is that it interrupts The Journey.

Lee Panza
SR/SK #2134
San Francisco Bay
(Brisbane, CA)
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Ramona82
Deckhand

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13 Posts

Response Posted - 01/21/2021 :  08:15:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Lee. That does give me some peace of mind knowing the pivots are more robust than most people think. I made the mistake of researching swing keels outside of this forum where they're falling off left and right, imploding, crashing into buildings, etc. I am now understanding that Catalina's swing keels are a much better design than what other boat builders were offering at the time.

John Potetz
1982 C-25 SR/SK #3363
Ramona
San Diego, CA
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8603 Posts

Response Posted - 01/22/2021 :  09:47:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another consideration for being on a mooring is whether to leave the keel up or down on the mooring. I wasn't a swinger owner, but I would probably have chosen down. Even a very small chance of a failure in the cable and mechanism (possibly having to do with wave action), causing a free-fall of the 1500 lbs. of iron, is a chance of sinking--however small.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-USCG-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Ramona82
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Response Posted - 01/22/2021 :  11:34:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the reply, Stink! The mooring field I'm located in is deep, averages 22+ft, so there's no need to ever have the swing keel lifted. Being on the Pacific coast, I probably won't have to lift the keel much, if ever at all. I think my fears of my swing keel suddenly falling away from my boat have been abated. I'll replace the lifting hardware and make sure my pivot is sound then not worry about it again for another 2 or so years.

John Potetz
1982 C-25 SR/SK #3363
Ramona
San Diego, CA
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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1787 Posts

Response Posted - 01/22/2021 :  14:08:01  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I keep my 1979 Catalina 25 swing keel in brackish water (when it's not on the trailer being worked on).  Not much I can add to what others have said, other than agreeing with them.
  • Replace all the stainless steel and other small parts every couple years during haulout.  (4 pivot bolts, lift bolt, cable & clevis pin, turning ball & axle, hose & clamps,...)

  • Inspect the bronze pivot hardware and hole in the keel, repair or replace as needed.

  • Leave the keel all the way down unless there's an immediate reason to have it up.

  • Periodically inspect the winch, especially for serious rust on the spool under the cable.  Replace only with exact original equipment.

  • If you're interested in reconditioning the keel, here's one way to go about it:  http://sailincat.com/boating/C25_proj/C25_sk_refurb.htm

Leon Sisson
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Ramona82
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Response Posted - 01/22/2021 :  15:31:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
More great info, Leon. I appreciate it. I'll check my winch out before blindly replacing it as I don't plan on using it much anyways. I'm sure given Ramona's age that I'm going to have to eventually resurface the keel...I'm not looking forward to that. Can you replace the 4 pivot bolts without removing the entire keel?

John Potetz
1982 C-25 SR/SK #3363
Ramona
San Diego, CA
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4528 Posts

Response Posted - 01/23/2021 :  16:52:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Others who have done it can speak to this, but I believe there is a way to replace the 4 keel hanger bolts without dropping the entire keel. On the hard, with the keel up and fully supported, it is possible to replace the hanger bolts, one at a time. I never tried it with our C-25, but we can do it on the C-22. Of course, the C-22 keel is only 550 lbs, not 1,500 lbs.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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Leon Sisson
Master Marine Consultant

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1787 Posts

Response Posted - 01/23/2021 :  17:41:58  Show Profile  Visit Leon Sisson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Re: " Can you replace the 4 pivot bolts without removing the entire keel?"

I've done it several times.  Works just like DavidP said.  Don't even need a jack.  With keel retracted, stack blocking under fwd half, but behind pivot.  Lower keel so weight is on blocking.  Change bolts one at a time.

Leon Sisson
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Ramona82
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Response Posted - 01/23/2021 :  20:25:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for clearing that up, Leon and DavidP. I'll be sure to add a fresh set of keel hanger bolts to my parts list. Seems like a straightforward procedure.

John Potetz
1982 C-25 SR/SK #3363
Ramona
San Diego, CA
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dmpilc
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4528 Posts

Response Posted - 01/31/2021 :  16:02:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The other option is the build a keel support, place it under the boat, and use 4 pieces of all thread, each about 2 ft long to replace the bolts, one at a time, and slowly lower the keel down the threaded rods, doing a couple of turns on each repeatedly, as you lower the keel into the support. As others have written, it is a slow process. to raise back up, reverse likewise.

DavidP
1975 C-22 SK #5459 "Shadowfax" Fleet 52
PO of 1984 C-25 SK/TR #4142 "Recess"
Percy Priest Yacht Club, Hamilton Creek Marina, Nashville, TN
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Ramona82
Deckhand

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USA
13 Posts

Response Posted - 02/02/2021 :  08:45:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks again, David. I've read about that technique and I may have to employ it. It won't be with this haul as I have a lot of other issues all over the boat to tackle and all in a limited time frame. I do plan on hitting the major rust areas and was thinking something like por-15 and then seal it with epoxy? Would this be a decent band-aid to buy me a couple of years before thoroughly restoring/fairing the keel?


John Potetz
1982 C-25 SR/SK #3363
Ramona
San Diego, CA
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