View Full Version : Status check (and a watershed) - 17 March 02

Ed Harrow
03-17-2002, 07:38 PM

So, here you have it. With the help of The Lurker and Son, an impact driver, an impact
wrench (stainless steel machine screws into bronze floors), we got the thing out. And yes,
holding to Ed's rule #1, there was one more screw...

Look in the upper left corner and you can see daylight in the scarf. Look a little further to
the left and you realize there is a piece scarfed along the planking rabbet in the gripe. I
confess that was one item Paul called where I was really hoping he was a wee bit pessimistic,

So, now it looks like it's time to shift gears, but I'm not quite certain which gear I should
be in. I hesitate to begin laying out the keel with it on its side, esp with only the good side
exposed, and I'm equally hesitant to start cutting the existing keel free until I get some more
stands (hopefully they will be in any day now xxx), and even then I am less than certain
of how to approach this. Seems like there's two choices: 1. cut the remaining floor to keel
bolts, and the few frames that are socketed into the keel, and raise the boat up, or 2. do
essentially all of the above, but move the keel assembly (over 7000 pounds).

So, advice (besideds marshmellows) anyone? Thanks in advance..

[ 03-17-2002, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: Ed Harrow ]

Roger Stouff
03-17-2002, 08:37 PM
It's not much to offer, Ed, because I don't know pecan about what you're asking, but for what it's worth, hang in there, you're doing a heckuva job. The solution will present itself!

03-17-2002, 10:34 PM
Ed, you're in uncharted territory here buddy ;) I wouldn't dare try to offer any suggestions to someone so gallient. :D Thanks for the update!

Rich VanValkenburg
03-17-2002, 10:58 PM
I'm not sure if this helps, but do you have to move the ballast out of the way? When I did this to Sonja some 20 years ago, we supported the ballast on each side(tightly, so no movement at all) and slid the new keel in right on top of the ballast, then used the old floors to set up the jig for drilling the holes in the new keel and floors. We managed to hit the original holes in the ballast dead on.

The support came from the 2x4 braces built into the I-beam cradle, and a good support in front. (we only had 2200 lbs to deal with, though). I don't remember if you said if Phoenix' ballast was iron or lead, but lead was definitely easier for us to deal with.

[ 03-17-2002, 11:07 PM: Message edited by: Rich VanValkenburg ]

ken mcclure
03-18-2002, 07:41 AM
Arrr. Beware, there be sharkes here!

As for gears, I guess it's too late to find a "reverse?"

Ed Harrow
03-18-2002, 12:38 PM
Way, way to late for reverse...

Rich, that's sort of one of my ideas, thinking that if I need a bit of manuvering room I can get it by raising the boat some on the stands. Not being the world's best engineer I tend to overbuild, you can bet I'm not doing that with 2x4s, LOL. Phoenix does have an iron keel, you note that Sonja's, being lead, made things easier. How so? Also, did you remove keel/ballast/deadwood as an assembly, or separately?

Also, one party has sent me some picts off line of the interesting contraption he made to remove/transport? the ballast from a similar size boat. Hopefully he'll see fit to post it here.

Rich VanValkenburg
03-18-2002, 01:02 PM
As to easier, excavating the keelbolt heads and getting 'em out was a breeze. I wanted them out in one piece. I figured if I just cut them off I'd be in a world of hurt to get the remains out of the lead. Also, I drove lag screws into the lead through the braces to help keep it from moving.

Not knowing how your keelbolts are attached, I guess I'm not really qualified to do anything but shoot my mouth off here. In our case I wanted to have a short 'worry list' and moving the ballast would have made for a big worry. It's a weird shape and even though we had access to a forklift, I still don't know how we would have grabbed ahold of it.

It came apart puzzle style, one piece at a time.

btw, how solid is the ground you're on?


[ 03-18-2002, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: Rich VanValkenburg ]

Matt J.
03-18-2002, 01:53 PM
Hiya, Ed.

A fellow also sent me a nice pic for a contraption he used to drop an iron keel from a 34' sailboat. I wonder if they're the same.

Sounds like you're really worried about how Pheonix will react to having her backbone removed. Zat right? And you're wondering how to get the backbone off without undue stress to her? And you're wondering if there's a miracle keel remover?

Being no expert, I'll offer my opinion for the fring squad.

I still think she'll be fine once the ballast is removed. You've gotta get that off first, well second, after you support her properly - stands, braces, whatever else you come up with until you feel like she's being cradled right. Once those 1000's of pounds are off, she's gotta be more stable. That ballast is a big huge weight hanging from her belly. I sa no problems upon removal of ours.

I do note that you mentioned cutting the keel bolts? If you can avoid it, do so. We cut ours, and now must find a means of driving them out with no head to start.

Ed, sounds like you know the answer, but are a bit gun shy. Gotta sometimes go for it to get anything done, yes?

Good luck, Ed.
Gotta run for cover now. smile.gif

03-18-2002, 07:59 PM
How long are the Keel bolts, or... how far would you have to (I hesitate to say drop),,lower the ballast to clear the area and give enough room to work ? I would think a pitandcradlelowerlifeter would work fine.

Jacks ?

03-18-2002, 09:03 PM
Ed -

We will be removing the 7,800# of cast iron and the dead wood from Sarah in about two weeks. We have been planning this, but due to other commitments it keeps getting put off.

Last fall I had fitted up two heavy-duty channel iron jack beams. Each beam is made up of 2 6" x 7' pieces of channel iron spaced 8" apart with 8" channel iron welded between them. On each end is a heavy- duty piece of square tubing welded across the top of the beams. This is where the railroad jacks will be placed on each end of the lifting beams. Just inboard of the square tubing on each end is a heavy-duty 2" pipe coupling welded in the center of the beam. This will take a 2' heavy wall pipe with a jack stand head mounted on top and braced to the other side with chain.

One jacking beam is placed under the deadwood just forward of the rudder. The other will be placed just forward of the iron ballast on the keel. Wedges and blocks will be used under the ballast to help support the ballast on the way up. Also, all the jack stands will have pressure as we go up. Sarah will be raised about 20" to allow for the two small size railroad rails and a iron dolly. The cast iron ballast will be supported on the dolly and temporary braces will be welded to the dolly to keep it in the upright position. The keel bolts will be cut using a Sawsall, the wedges will de driven out to lower the ballast on to the dolly approx. 1/2", and the ballast will be moved out of the way on the tracks. After the ballast is moved the dead wood will be removed. This will be easy as the forklift can handle that weight. The keel will be supported and on with the floor replacement.

- Dave

P.S. The jacking bars are a cross between a work of art and an engineering masterpiece. I'll run down in the morning and get some pictures. (I promise...)

[ 03-18-2002, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: Concordia..41 ]

Rich VanValkenburg
03-18-2002, 10:47 PM

Do you have WB #49 and #50 from Nov/Dec '82-Jan/Feb '83? There's a 2-parter about doing exactly what you, and Margo & Dave, are going to do. If not I can scan the thing for you. Brooklin boatyard did the work.

Dave has a cool idea, but cutting the bolts off gives you more work to do unless they're bad anyway.


Ed Harrow
03-19-2002, 12:32 PM
Lets see if I can answer all the questions - on line and off.

Firmness of ground - with Oblivion, the mole, still hard at work, it ain't concrete.

Keel bolts:

Ballast keel (iron) is held on with new bronze bolts, most of which end in pockets a few inches down from the top. There is one bolt that goes all the way thru, and off course one of the supporting blocks is under that one... These bolts do not pass through the floors.

Most of the floor to keel bolts are broken or not worth a hoot. They are probably carriage bolts driven up from under the wood keel. I suspect removing one (floor or bolt) would have little to no affect on the structure.

Most of the frame heels between the stern knee and mast step have been "repaired" in some manner or another. I suspect that the garboard took most of the strain, LOL. Way aft there are a few (de)laminating sisiters. There are a few longer (not full length) sisters that are socketed into the keel here and there between the stern knee and mast step. There's a scary number where the new "frame heel" isn't attached to much of anything - a few planks and what's left of the floor.

With respect to heavy stuff - I have done a few sills in my life (a few too many, LOL) and I still (amazing as it may seem) have a couple of friends with lots of that kind of experience.

There will be deck work required, but I'm not certain how extensive. There is localized rot under the starboard side of the cockpit, winch base, etc. I'd like to avoid removing the house, if possible, tho it does have some issues related to iron fastenings to the carlin and bad canvas on top...

Rich, I do have that article, I think. The boat's name is Tarn, or something like that?

There, I think I've answered all your questions, but for the unspoken one, of course.

Bob Cleek
03-19-2002, 02:30 PM
At times like this, Ed, you have to just remind yourself, "There's nothing on a wooden boat that can't be fixed!" LOL Actually, it ain't funny, McGee! You've got yourself a major-league problem here. Concordia seems to have a handle on one way to deal with it. You have two choices, obviously, either raise the boat or lower the keel. The answer lies in which is easier. Will the hull hold her shape? That is going to be a function of how well she is supported. You will have to do a bunch of cradling to make sure, if it can be done at all. (The frame and clamp condition is going to be a big factor.) I'd opt for moving the hull less and minimizing the risk that way.

As for the keel, you CAN dig down and lower it, perhaps. Lots of work, but hey... ain't it fun? Basically, you need to move the keel out of the way. Since you have to get those bronze bolts out of the iron keel and replace with iron anyway, that may be a lot easier to do if you can get the ballast out from under the keel where you can swing a big sledge. Ballast keels are fairly easy to move on pipe rollers. (I've heard filling iron pipe with cement makes good rollers.) You just have to drop it enough to clear and then roll it to the side perhaps.

Good luck. You will have to think "low tech" doing this at home. I don't think you will have cranes and forklifts and such laying around the house. Or... maybe you might want to get the plans from Sparkman and Stephens and roll the keel aside and start building a whole new boat next to the old, recycling what you can... as Clint says, "A man's gotta know his limitations." Glad I'm not facing the task, but "go for it!"

03-19-2002, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by Bob Cleek:

Concordia seems to have a handle on one way to deal with it. If that's not suitable for framing, I don't know what is :D