Monday, 29 January 2007

Removal of Jaguar 22 Keel

If you have read any other information on the Jaguar 22 on any other website you'll find that the boats scariest weak point is the keel and the keel bolt, closely followed by the toilet. Stories tell of keels falling off, keel boxes being ripped apart and boats capsizing and sinking. Enough to make any Jag. sailor a little nervous. As our Jag. was built circa. 1980 and I knew that the last time the keel had come out was at least 10 years ago, we thought it prudent for an inspection. The other thing mentioned regarding the keel in the handbook recommends not to moor the boat in salt water as there seems to be 'negative' electrolysis between the cast iron keel, stainless hanging bolts and bronze keel. i.e. you launch the boat in the Spring and by the end of the season the keel has half vanished.The keel drop has been on the cards since November but we finally got around to it last week and it all went very smoothly, using a very simple method.

Tools required:
Trolley Jack
13mm or 5/8 sockets or spanners
Knocking stick (hammer)
A couple of blocks of wood
The first piccie shows the keel in it's normal position on the trailer. We removed the trailerboard which the keel rests on, so that the jack could take the weight of the keel. Using the keel winch the aft section of the keel was lowered on to the trailer to allow the trailer to take half the weight. As the top of the keel at the forward end above the pivot hole remains in the keel casing the keel cannot 'fallover'. Bear in mind though the keel weighs 200kg+.
The jack was positioned under the front of the keel about 20cm aft of the leading edge. The weight of the keel and boat was then taken on the jack.
On each side of the keel are 4 threaded studs with nuts. These are all stainless with two locating the plate and two holding the keel bolt hangers in. Undo carefully the two outer nuts being sure to not shear the studs. Though to do this you would have to use a lot of force. On Aretia the inner two studs on either side had double nuts. If you try an undo only the outer nut you will find the whole stud spins, so grip the top nut with on open ended spanner to stop this. I'd suggest taking the outer nut off completely and only loosen the top nut about 10mm.
We then lowered the jack slightly to check we'd undone the correct bolts and you should see the whole plate fall away slightly. Jack back up and proceed to finish removing all the remaining nuts. The plates should then come of easily once you have a screw driver behind it.
Now it's time to lower the keel completely. Very carefully lower the jack, mm x mm. You may find that every now and then you will need to whack the keel with the hammer as it catches on the way down. We also jacked the keel back up every now and then, just to ensure it was coming out true. You should start to see the keel hangers which are basically bearing supports showing. As soon as these are clear you can pull the hangers away from the keel and give the bolt a nudge out of the keel. Inside the keel casing the top of the keel should still have a good 6-8 inches left before it would come out of the casing completly. Our bronze pin was almost pristine the hangers were in good condition and only very, very slight ovaling of the hole in the keel itself.
It's then a case of putting the hangers back in, pin in and gently jacking the keel back up. Don't be a pillock and do what I did and put the first hanger in upside down. Be careful not to damage the threads on the bolts. A little gentle persuasion from the hammer on the keel helps to true the upward movement. Once all up, add the plate and bolt up tight. Once secured drop the jack back out of the way. After completing once it should be only a half hour job every year.
It was then a case of checking the keel winch wire. Again a 5 min task. Next.....removing the toilet (heads).

Sunday, 28 January 2007

I'm back!

Just a quick note. I'm back from 3 days Boardin in France so will get some posts up this week. Will try and get up to date as last week we dropped the keel out to check the pivot bolt. Actually quite interesting, and in the case of Aretia good news. Off now to recover from the effects of alcohol and aching legs. Chris.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Wainfleet Yacht Haven and Skegness Yacht Club.

Well, after a little bit of T'internet surfing it became clear that living in Nottingham is perhaps not ideal for locally available moorings on the coast. So, figuring that Skeg. is the closest point on the coast to Notts we looked for a suitable location. For those that don't know the Lincs coast, it's flat and sandy, most of it having been reclaimed from the sea. And with global warming it looks as though it's likely to go back to the sea.
Anyway, one of my work collegues had their boat at Skegness so after a little delving we found the details of the small yacht club. We visited the club and the Haven and decided it all looked very interesting. The club secretary was very helpful though it did come apparent very quickly that having a fin keeled boat which draws 5ft ain't the boat of choice for this area. The other thing which swung the decision was the cost. Compared to most other coastal clubs the fees were very reasonable. The club facilities are basic, but functional, but you get a jetty, a slipway and a bankside mooring. All that is required!

So, June 2006, all ready to go and after aquiring some additional mooring buoys we were good to launch. Tides were checked, we needed a good 6m tide so as to not go instantly agound. Off we trundled with the boat on the back of the Discovery. Arriving about 8pm on a Sunday it was up with the mast ready to catch the flood at 8am. The night was spent kipping in the car and on the boat- the boat is not recommended. Also imagine a nice warm Summers evening sleeping in an open boat in the middle of a marsh. Yes, most of the wildlife still awake at that time is intent of getting it's share of your blood.

Dawn arrived and the resident Barn Owl popped over to say hello. Launching the boat down the slip was never going to go as planned. After trying the text book way a couple of times, it was a case of getting momentum up to push through the mud as far as possible. A bit of grunt shovng the trailer in with the Disco. seemed to do the trick. Then a case of heaving the boat off the trailer with a little help from fellow SYC member Glenn.

The rest of the day was spent completing final jobs on the boat and rigging the mooring in temperatures of 30C. Day 2 saw us taking a trundle out in to the channel. You'll see from the aerial image not the easiest of channels to follow with water all over, hiding the grass only inches below the surface. After inspecting the outer channel and discovering it was all a little windy, it was a sharp turn around and off back home.

Next Dropping the keel out of the Jag.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Red Star

A bright January day in 2006 and I thought I'll buy a boat....bugger it! Now I've sailed since I was 10years old and my brother hs done the same. Both with a bit of time off from it. So in went the call and a budget was set. A little look around on t'internet and up popped a H19 at Rutland Sailing club where we both sailed. So we popped over had a Gander at the boat which was in a bit of a state and put in the offer. The thing that sold it was the trailer. We figured if the boat was written off the trailer would sell for what we paid for the package, so nothing to lose. Anyway Ebay did very well out of us, in that it supplied most of the required parts. The pain in the arse bit was painting everything especially the hull, I reckon a good 150hrs work was put in to it filling, sanding, painting oh yes not reading the tin about primers! So 5 coats later out popped Red Star. Now just the rigging to change, electronics to add etc, as I say mostly aquired from Ebay including the engine. All that was required was a place to sail. Initailly the boat went over to Rutland for a test sail. Luckily light winds, and no problems. I was half expecting to for the boat to be under the water with only bubbles to be seen on the surface as soon as it was launched. But no, dry as a bone and sailed like a dream. Well your average 1970's plastic slightly past it's best dream. Test complete more research was put in for a good mooring location as we really couldn't be arsed to trailer sail it. Skeggy up next.........

Thursday, 18 January 2007


Just a quick post to get started. My brother and myself purchased Aretia last November. This came after selling our Hunter 19 (Red Star) which we sold the week before to a guy in Ireland....nothing like an impulse buy!
Well actually we had done a little research but I'll go into that later..... surfice to say thank god Winter is long, as the project list gets longer and longer and time seems to speed up more and more, especially with 3 weeks Snowboarding to squeeze in around work.
Luckily I keep the boat at work which is an old Lancaster Bomber Hangar so I can escape and spend a little time bodging bits together when ever I can. Once ready the SHIP is off to Rutland Water for trials, prior to, hopefully floating on some salty water at Wainfleet Yacht Haven and Skegness Yacht Club. (That's Red Star at Skeggy! above) An interesting place to sail!
To get out of the creak which is about 12ft wide and has a tidal flow you couldn't run as fast as, you have to dodge the Seals and the Snakes swimming in the river. I'm not kidding about the Snakes either and no they're not Eels! Then you had to head off across what looks like Paddy fields and turn right when you can touch an old wreck. From it's towards the RAF Bombing range and out though the sandbanks. All good stuff. I'm sure you can imagine the number of boats which go aground here! Even those who know what they are doing.
Once in the open sea it's just a case of avoiding the moving sand banks, the Windfarms, Gas Rigs, weather stations before settling down for a well earned beer.........
Again more on this later. Next Blog......... Hunter 19 Red Star project and then on to the current project.

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