Mac 26S: Removing the keel

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Tedd
Deckhand
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:11 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Tedd » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:10 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
Chief Steward
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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:58 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 25
Location: Oshkosh, WI

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Sisu » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:59 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
Engineer
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Stevenhigbee » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:11 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
Engineer
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Great Plains

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Interim » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:30 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
Deckhand
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:11 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Tedd » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:07 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
Engineer
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Stevenhigbee » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:35 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
Deckhand
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:11 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Tedd » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:28 pm

Stevenhigbee wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:35 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
Chief Steward
Posts: 61
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Sailboat: MacGregor 25
Location: Oshkosh, WI

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Sisu » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:18 pm

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
Engineer
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Stevenhigbee » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:09 pm

Tedd wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:28 pm
Stevenhigbee wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:35 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
Deckhand
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:11 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

Re: Mac 26S: Removing the keel

Post by Tedd » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:12 pm

Stevenhigbee wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:09 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.

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