I have finally after 5 months of rust abuse released my keel…. Unfortunately the pin was snapped (not by us) which was jamming on the plate, so I now need 2 replace it. I am thinking of using a length of prop shaft. Has anyone else replaced theirs or have any ideas on what is best to use.
Thanks Tom V
Have you seen this page?
Yes I have, but thanks for reminding me of it. Its a good idea but unfortunately getting this done in Jersey will cost a bomb. So if I do uss this method, which is probably the best one I might have to do some favours to knock that price down. At the moment I think I will now use a piece of brase (which I can probably get for free), just for a year to get me going then look into a more permenant pin.
A couple of years ago I made a new keel pin out of PET plastic rod – it fitted without a problem and should be good for years as there wasn’t a lot of wear on the old nylon pin.
I started off with 1 inch rod and turned it down a bit in a lathe, but ended up filing one end to a taper to get it to fit. I just hammered it in, cut off the excess and filled the ends with stiffened epoxy to hold it in place and it still seems fine after a couple of years (mostly out of the water).
I think this is how they were done originally, except that PET is better than Nylon – I suppose if you leave the boat on a mooring with the keel down it might wear the pin significantly, but assuming its only down when sailing, which is normal as otherwise it clunks, then PET should last for many years. I guess if you are worried about it coming loose you could put a big washer and bolt into each end, but I don’t think its necessary. The PET doesn’t absorb water like Nylon does, so it won’t shrink and swell as it gets wet.
I think the stainless version is probably overkill, and mild steel is sacrificial to stainless, so it may tend to enlarge the holes in the keel – as an engineer I try to avoid such over complicated and expensive solutions! The plastic version makes sure the keel castings don’t wear.
I have some of the rod and a lathe, so I am happy to make you one for the cost of the materials and postage – say £10. I can’t remember what diameter I turned the rod down to, or how long I made it, but I’m happy to make one for anyone who needs a replacement if they let me know the dimensions – the lengths of the various parts, and the diameters – or maybe send the old one.
email me at email@example.com.