RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
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RL24 - Stuck swing keel
Led My brother and I have just purchased an RL24 that has been out of the water for approx. 4 years. Prior to going sailing we decided to check the condition of the swing keel to find it stuck in the retracted position. We are told that the keel is a metal case filled with led. I will attempt to gain access to the keel from the cabin and try to free it that way. Inspecting the keel from below shows a fair bit of corrosion to the metal case. My questions are: 1. Does anyone have advise for an amateur? 2. Could anyone advise me if the led filling in the keel extends to around the pivot bolt? and 3. When would the corrosion on the keel case become dangerous or requires replacing?

Keith Millett18-Aug-2003    Edit    Delete 
Keel problems
Congratulations on your purchase.

I found my MK1 keel case has a taper in it. When it came to pulling my keel out, I found that the pieces of corrosion had flaked off the top, and wedged themselves at the bottom. It took a couple of people about two hours to finally remove it out of the bottom of the hull.

Does anyone know if the Keel moulds are still available??

Hugh Hetherington "Miss Tress"18-Aug-2003    Edit    Delete 
Keel problems
Keith. I think you will find that your keel is made of 11000 grey cast iron if it is an origonal keel. This metal is very durable and can easily be ground back to new metal, it is then best coated with Tar Epoxy (3 coats) This should then last for at least eight years. The Rl24 and Rl28 keels were origally cast by Farnell and Thomas in Brisbane and they may still have the pattens
Rob18-Aug-2003    Edit    Delete 
Stuck Keel
I think that your cast steel keel has rusted at the bolt hole and griped around the bolt.

Slacken the nut or nuts on the pin bolt. If this does not free the keel remove the top covers and run release oil or rust remover down at the pin position. Try pushing the keel at the rear end of the box and then pull up on the tackle or the winch. If this does not work you will have to drive the pin out and file out the rust in the keel hole. I do not think you will have any lead in a RL 24 swing keel.

Do you have two alloy plates at the side of the keel box as the disimilar metals can cause a growth or corrosion on this area pin? If this is so there will be a white powder around the alloy plates.

The problem could be caused by a combination of three things. Steel corrosion, timber in the keel box swelling or electrolissis. I think the pin bolt is made from marine grade stainless steel



Alastairrussell18-Aug-2003    Edit    Delete 
Thank you
My thanks to Hugh, Rob and Alastair for your advise. My brother Charles will be building a suspension frame to allow us to work on the keel. I shall update this area with our findings and solutions so as to help others that experience similar problems.
Keith Millett19-Aug-2003    Edit    Delete 
Jammed keel in case
Hello Keith When I purchased my Mk3 I found the keel jammed in the case & it wouldn't move which was due to the cast iron plate growing with rust & expanding in the case locking it solid, the boat had been on a hardstand for a long period prior to the sale. To free it I put the boat in the water & worked the lifting blocks with pressure & no pressure on them, with pressure on I would jump onto the blocks to shock it up, when I gained a little movement I slightly slackened the block & continued jumping on it, the keel would rise slightly & fall back under its own weight & re jam so I kept the block slightly slack & continued the process until it finaly came down this probably took 1/2 hour. I later removed the keel, sandblasted it sprayed 2pack zinc primer then 3 coats of 2 pack epoxy tar on top this was around 11 years ago & is now still in good condition. I hope this is of some use to you Regards Rob
Rob20-Aug-2003    Edit    Delete 
Update on jammed keel in case
Thankyou everyone for your advise/help,as Rob mentioned on the 20/8/03:our keel too had swollen with rust(middle and lower section of the keel),we could see the sections that touched the casing side after removing the top of the casing...on loosening the rust with a flat metal strap/strip, the keel came loose. The keel's now back in and working well. We bought the boat from Chris Laird (my father in law) from Yallourn north, he sailed it at Mallacoota and the Gippsland lakes, Boat name: Lady Jane grey. My brother Keith and I took her out for the first time last weekend and had a great time, at Mandurah W.A. (especially as neither of us have sailed before. Thanks Charles.
Charles Millett11-Sep-2003    Edit    Delete 

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