Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Wally Riddle's Keel-Centering Trailer Bracket

I saw Wally's concept as a solution to a problem that I -- no, that we -- just experienced hauling out Chip Ahoy. I think he's onto something. I'll tell you better after Monday, when we pull out his Carpe Diem.

In 2002 I bought a new Load Rite trailer for my 1980 Catalina 22. Unlike the old trailer which had a "V" berth for the swing keel, the new trailer had only a two foot long, carpeted, piece of 2 X 6, running fore and aft, mounted on the trailers center cross member. On two occasions the keel slipped off of the six inch wide board causing the keel to cant to one side. I would then lower the keel, resting it on the trailer frame. 

Last spring I purchased and installed a new keel winch, cable, and turning ball. The cable lasted less than one season and broke. My thought was that the insecure bed for the keel may be contributory to my cable problem. I went to a Load Rite dealer with my problem and my desire for a "V" berth or something very much like one. They had no accessories that would fit the bill so they suggested just putting something on each side of the board to keep the keel more stationary.

My design is a 24" piece of 1 X 6 pressure treated. On each side, an angled cut piece of 2 X 4 pressure treated, leaving a 2" wide space in the center for the keel edge. For the guiding ears, I bought a 4' long piece of 1 1/2" galvanized metal strapping, cut it in half, hammering and bending it into shape. I doubled up the ears themselves for strength. I then covered each ear with 2" PVC pipe, drilled out to accommodate a plastic zip strap to hold the PVC in place. I mounted the new keel holder on the original mounting which held the flat carpeted board. My design is yet untested but appears promising.

Wally Riddle
C-22 "Carpe Diem"
Nahant, MA

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