C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

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John h
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C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby John h » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:42 pm

What are the pros and cons between the different keel raising mechanisms in the C18 family?

From what I understand there are three different types - pulley set, worm drive winch and hydraulic ?
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fritzelhund
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby fritzelhund » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:56 pm

John, I will no doubt be rapidly corrected, but I believe the worm drive system was never fitted to C18s...I have only seen one once and that was on a Dancer 19 ( a wonderfully solidly constructed NZ trailer sailer with more stylish lines than our C18s but no faster on the water .. the worm drive is compromised by the design in that if the board hits things it is a hard collision...think spreading forces ).
The earliest C18s have a simple rope and pulley system that has only the strop at the board as its failing..they were originally gal wire, which was replaced by stainless and lately by new Spectra rope...evolution of materials. The stainless had a habit of sudden failure, not in itself catastrophic, as being a swing keeler the plate can be eased back into its slot as the boat is replaced on the trailer and repairs can be executed reasonably easily. Some chipping of the fibreglass near the front of the case can occur though from a sudden uncontrolled lowering....

Later C18s have a hydraulic system that uses a ram to raise the plate and offer controlled lowering of the plate, and the system is designed with a sacrificial pin that will shear if the lowered plate strikes a solid object.The ram is pumped by hand using a small lever in the cockpit.
No doubt owners of the newer hydraulic system will contribute more.

There is also evolution in the weight and thickness of the swing keel..the latest versions being a cast hydrodynamic shape, and considerably heavier than the older flat plates, and so demanding the hydraulic lifting system.....which is also used on C22s with their much heavier cast keel.
By now many owners have sought higher performance and modified the flat plates ... or to service the potentially rusty and jammed plate in its slot.. read the C18 history to see the evolution of the boats.

No doubt more advice will come your way and correct my ill informed statements.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby jamesw » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:05 am

Nearly right Fritz.

The original Mk1's had a 12mm steel plate which then went to 20mm (64kgs and 105kgs respectively). Both fit the standard slot which was always meant to be 25mm (but someone apparently built a 25mm wide keel only to find that the slot was 25mm but not consistently!). These are raised as Fritz says using block and tackle on the side of the keel case. Most 20mm keels are shaped (the Careel Bible has the engineering drawings) which brings them to about 85kgs apparently and Don and Trotts have padded their 12mm keels with ply (or other materials) to create a good shape.

The Mk2 had the 38mm wide cast keel which fitted the newly moulded hull with its wider keel slot. This WAS originally raised by a worm drive, I think in a little box at the front of the cockpit floor. From the one I've seen I'm not sure if the shape is best practice (even for the 1980's) but it's not just a slab. Several racers took to the Mk2 and fabricated stainless versions, Grabs is the most well known but last year there were two up for grabs ;-) - one is now back on the market (lil annie I think), the other went to Sydney somewhere (that was done by a guy who's an engineer and his Castle 650 looks fabulous so I can only imagine what his Mk2 looked like).

Then hydraulics were provided as an optional extra (even in the earlier Mk3's) and then became standard.

The ram doesn't hold the keel down, it just pumps it up so if you go aground it'll just lift up (in theory anyway).

Worst thing you can do with the ram is to not let the keel down onto the trailer when travelling (and the release valve off) because if up the keel will bounce against the ram. This leads to possibly the problem with them - they are quite pricey to fix - I've heard of $1000 bills to have fixed although the manufacturer in Brookvale is still apparently operating. They are reasonably common being used in Careel 22's and I have a mate with a Cole 19 with the same system.

That's what I've heard anyway.
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maxm
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby maxm » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:06 am

The MkIs had the pulley system. Simple and effective and fairly easy to use although my missus did struggle with ours when we had the 18. We had the heavier (100-odd kg) keel.

Yes, there was a worm drive winch pulling up the keel on the MkIIs and some MkIIIs. I've never used one but about the only disadvantage that I've ever heard is that they are a great lump on the cockpit floor just right for stubbing toes on.

The hydraulics are the same as used in the 22 and are fantastic. Mine needs a few pumps before it gets pressure and then it's about 40 pumps to raise the keel fully. The missus can handle it (with effort) on a 22 so I'd imagine that the 18 keel would be no trouble. Biggest problem is, as James says, they are expensive to fix when they go wrong. The two things that seem to go wrong with them are corrosion on the ram (which lives inside the keel case and so can get salt water splashing) and failures thanks to too much pressure as James described. They also take up some room in one of the bunk spaces under the cockpit seat so don't count on anyone larger than a smallish child being able to sleep in there.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby fritzelhund » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:54 pm

John,
Well there you go..corrected within 24 hours..aint this website a wonder !!!

Some good points there, namely the effort required to lift the plate...being 115 kg and less than spritely ...in fact rather more like a pear, the effort isn't daunting for me but does require a nice hand friendly fat rope. The same required force may be significant for you when starting or tilting a 2 stroke or 4 stroke outboard. I am assuming you are in the investigative stages before buying.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby John h » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:21 pm

There are a number of different boats with different systems on the market at the moment, so I'm getting a feel for each.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby pdandy » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:30 pm

459 had a worm drive pulling up the mk 3 (180+ kg) keel, in many ways I think it's the better option. As hydraulics get older you're looking at potentially expensive repairs- the C22 guys should be eble to fill in the gaps here?

The worm drive unit was actually the same unit my noelex uses, although the NX pulls 270 kg keel straight up. It's pretty robust, but unfortunately on the c18's it was out in the cockpit so if the drain hole for the handle thingy filled up you get rust / eventually the handle doesn't fit properly- worth checking.

The biggest problem I had was snapping the line- you don't really have good feel for what the keel is doing, and if you're tired / distracted / stupid (all at once)you can overtighten and snap the line. 180 kg's of keel swinging into a case sounds REALLY nasty. I even managed to snap some spectra- same recipe- post marlay point overnight race, overtightening the keel......


It's probably slower for pulling up the keel than a pulley system, but I doubt you'd be able to pull up the later model keel with just pulleys? If that's an issue where you sail you can replace it with an electric whinch- push button keel rasing. I've seen it done on noelex's, and I've also seen an electric wheelchair motor directly driving the wormdrive. (it's 80 turns for the noelex- it was about 25 onthe careel from memory)


Don't read all this as careels having potential problems. Almomst all older boats have problems, is just that here you get open discussion and advice about how to fix / avoid problems. It's a really good reason to consider a careel.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby John h » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:41 pm

Any Ideas on what the lever does at the bottom centre of the picture? This is a MkII.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby maxnmarg » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:56 pm

To me, the worm drive is a clear winner,

there is a risk of breaking the cable, particularly if you are not aware of the possibility,
the box on the floor is not terrific, I have a timber cover on Gipsy.

However,

having owned a heavy keel Mk1, the worm is so much easier,

but best of all, the worm drive system is literally indestructable, by corosion or use or misuse,

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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby don47 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:52 pm

Buhawi has simply been fitted with an extra pulley or two on the side of the case to make the operation of lifting and lowering the CB quite effortless.
None of the extra fittings really take up much more area or room than the normal MK1 rope and pulley system.
I would recommend the replacement of the spectra strop yearly or the wire if you're still using it. I prefer the spectra and it probably takes an hour to do the total job, if you work really slow and costs the grand total of a dollar or two.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby maxm » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:38 am

John h wrote:Any Ideas on what the lever does at the bottom centre of the picture? This is a MkII.


None.

If I had to guess, I'd say either it is part of some home-grown gearing system for a keel winch OR else (more likely) it's an indicator to indicate the position of the keel. With the hydraulics it's not really possible to tell what the keel is doing and from what pdandy said, the worm drive has the same issue. I sailed on a 22 once which had a dial indicator under the companionway which indicated the ...ummm.... angle of the ... errr... dangle (as it were) of the keel. On my boat (and also Roobarb) we've done something similar, albeit much more crudely, just using a bit of string connected to the top of the keel that pokes out under the companionway. The string is marked to show precisely where the keel is positioned. They could have done the same thing here with some string (or wire), a lever and a spring.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby fritzelhund » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:28 pm

John I have just been surfing..google for SAILAWAY ( I used trailer sailer as a search window choice) ..they are brokers ( or were ??? ) and their website has a heap of C18 photos from all their previous sales...including a few specially tagged as hydraulic ... and not a one mentions the worm drive though one has a modified rope and pulley system using a small trailer winch attached to the c board case.
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby bowral » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:27 pm

I own C437 and it has the worm drive winch. I mark the fully up position on the cable with a red texta mark so I do not over wind. Lowering is easy, as is raising the keel although I wish the winch handle had a tighter fit. The winch has a wooden cover that is not an issue though if the winch is not covered there is the potential of getting grease on the main or other items if not careful. I rarely use my Careel but change the cable every second season. After doing it once it is really quite easy. I have little technical skill with tools!
On advice given last month I have launched my boat onto a dam and have the trailer in for repairs. As the temperature doesn't get into double figures in Bowral it is difficult using rust proofing paints etc.
Hoping to become more involved in the coming season.
Stephen

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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby John h » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:33 pm

don47 wrote:Buhawi has simply been fitted with an extra pulley or two on the side of the case to make the operation of lifting and lowering the CB quite effortless.
None of the extra fittings really take up much more area or room than the normal MK1 rope and pulley system.
I would recommend the replacement of the spectra strop yearly or the wire if you're still using it. I prefer the spectra and it probably takes an hour to do the total job, if you work really slow and costs the grand total of a dollar or two.


Hi Don,

Do you have a photo that shows the pulley system?
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byrdsworth
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Re: C18 Keel Raising - Pros/Cons?

Postby byrdsworth » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:01 pm

Hi John

Here is a few pic's of my pulley system

Image

Image

Image

I have since changed the whipping for a bluntline hitch

My centre board comes up really easy ... but it is the light weight one 12mm

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Byrds
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