Mac 26S: Removing the keel

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Tedd
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Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Tedd » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:10 pm

To clarify, I'm not planning to remove the keel on my 1995 Mac 26S any time soon. But I am thinking ahead to the day when I might want to. I have an idea for how to get the boat off the trailer and onto stands and I'm wondering how much ground clearance is required to remove the keel. Has anyone here removed their swing keel?

Sisu
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Sisu » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:59 am

I pulled my Mac25's keel off a few years ago, but it was considerably easier since the keel sits outside the hull when retracted. We were able to do it on the trailer - dropped the head down off the bolt using a floor jack and dragged it back onto a cradle using a come-along.

One option I considered before that was putting the trailer on jackstands and removing the axle, as this was the only part of the trailer blocking me from dropping the keel directly onto the cradle. Is this an option for you?

Stevenhigbee
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Stevenhigbee » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:11 am

I can tell you what I did, although I don't consider it the best way. I initially thought it was just a broken keel cable which I could have probably replaced in the water without removing the keel. This is what I was actually repairing:
http://www.macgregorsailors.com/forum/v ... 3&p=336360

I first tried diving on it, but found it too hard to get a grip on the inside nuts quickly enough before running out of breath. So I hauled it back out without pulling it all the way onto the trailer, so I could reach the bolts from underneath. With the bolts removed, I then tied string to not lose the hinges and threaded rope to catch the keel, slid it back into the water off the trailer and let everything fall.

Putting the keel back on was more or less the reverse, but much harder and more risk to lose the hinges.

If I ever have to do it again, I think I will build a hoist with 4 12-foot 4x4 posts set in concrete, 2x6 cross beams at top, and 2 nylon strap hand winches to lift it up in the front and the back.

Interim
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Interim » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:30 am

I tried the method of dropping the tongue, bracing the stern, and jacking up the tongue. I lost faith before I got it high enough to pull the keel. so I gave a local tow truck $100 to hoist the boat on slings so we could drop the keel (a little more safely).

--john

Tedd
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Tedd » Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:07 pm

Thanks everyone, that's all great feedback.

Here's what I had in mind. I have a set of ramps that I use for working on cars and trucks, similar to these:

https://www.harborfreight.com/solid-ste ... 63250.html

I was using them to service my tow vehicle the other day when I realized that it wouldn't be very difficult to drive the trailer up onto them, then raise the front of the trailer, then block the boat, then let down the trailer and remove it, leaving the boat on blocks, about a foot higher than it is when it's sitting on the trailer, with nothing in the way. You could probably have the boat on blocks in about an hour, with about 2.5 to 3 feet under the lowest point.

So the question is: Is that high enough to be worth the bother, or would I still not be able to get the keel out? It seems like it ought to be enough clearance.

Stevenhigbee
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Stevenhigbee » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:35 am

I don't think increasing the distance from the ground will help. The issue is increasing the distance between the boat and the trailer, and ramps would just raise them both up.

Tedd
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Tedd » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:28 pm

Stevenhigbee wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:35 am
I don't think increasing the distance from the ground will help. The issue is increasing the distance between the boat and the trailer, and ramps would just raise them both up.
"...then let down the trailer and remove it, leaving the boat on blocks..."

Sisu
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Sisu » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:18 am

If you live somewhere near a boatyard, you might at least consider the option of using their travel lift and putting your boat up on jackstands for a little while. Higher upfront cost but saves a lot of time, effort, and headache. Sometimes you can talk your way into a good deal.

Stevenhigbee
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Stevenhigbee » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:09 pm

Tedd wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:28 pm
Stevenhigbee wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:35 am
I don't think increasing the distance from the ground will help. The issue is increasing the distance between the boat and the trailer, and ramps would just raise them both up.
"...then let down the trailer and remove it, leaving the boat on blocks..."
You would have plenty of clearance by just getting the trailer out of the way--no need to raise everything up higher. The issues are raising the hull up off the trailer without damaging the hull, supporting the hull without danger of it falling on the ground or on you, then getting the trailer out of the way.

Tedd
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Tedd » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:12 pm

Stevenhigbee wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:09 pm
You would have plenty of clearance by just getting the trailer out of the way--no need to raise everything up higher.
Good to know, thanks!

Now that I've had the idea I probably would raise it up. More room would surely make the job easier. But it's good to know that it's not necessary.

WinSome
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by WinSome » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:50 am

The perfect answer to your question of getting the boat raised: it’s in the power sailor section entitled ‘coping with spring (from 2014). Has pics of the stand you can build, full descrip of method of getting boat lifted and off trailer. Although it doesn’t need to come off trailer to remove the keel. Great pics there also !

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buck_justice
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by buck_justice » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:44 am

These all seem to be very good ideas. That photo of the busted keel hoisting hole makes me want to go check mine right now! That looked ugly, I could not help but wonder if a sleeve with a wrap around plate epoxied to the keel would eliminate this from ever happening again. I know some guys on the forum have talked about adding weight, such as lead shot and sand to their keels. That photo is worth looking at!
Buck

luis_sailing
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Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by luis_sailing » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:44 pm

You might want to look at what I did with very detailed pictures and diagrams. Placed on my photo blog so it stays for a long time and not lost.

https://www.lasphotos.com/blog/2018/4/m ... eplacement


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