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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '14, 15:43 
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Hello everybody,
I'm fresh on this forum, and I already need your input, or whatever you can offer as of information...
I bought a Court 650 TS, 1980, under a good deal...at least it looked like that at the beginning...
It has a cast iron swing keel of 280kg...which rusted badly inside the hull...it took me a couple of day's effort just to swing it all the way down...


Now I need to drop it somehow, so I can get it sand blasted and anti-fouled...
There is absolutely no information, anywhere, about this kind of yachts...I don't know how the keel is fixed, how to access the bolts, where to cut'n smash the fiber-glass...
Does anyone have any info or advice about it? I'm all eyes and ears, plus my everlasting gratefulness and appreciation :-)
Thank you in advance, whoever you might be!
John


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File comment: The swing keel stuck in the hull casing
WP_20141015_004.jpg
WP_20141015_004.jpg [ 98.57 KiB | Viewed 3385 times ]

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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '14, 16:40 
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Hi mate Welcome

From the pic it looks like there may be a pivot bolt inside the boat through the keel case, it may be in the bilge is the boat has one.

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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '14, 18:21 
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Hi,
We have a Court 750 which is very similar to the 650. We have had the same issue with our keel. It became harder and harder to lower until eventually we couldn't shift it at all.
We had to get it removed. The pivot is glassed in so needs to be cut out from inside. They then lifted the boat off the keel (ours is 430kg). The keel pivot was serviced and then glassed back in. The boat yard (in WA) charged us $800 for the service. It has been fine ever since. We also had to have the same thing done to a RL24 some years earlier.

The Court 650 is a great boat and sails very well. My brother-in-law had one some years back so I have had some experience with it.

Hope this helps.

Terry
www.sandpiper.hinchy.org

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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '14, 00:40 
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This arvo I just got my hands on a good ol' hammer and a chisel... and for the first time, even without having my boat in the water...put a hole in the bottom...
After some reading and brain-picking in the marina where I've rented a hardstand, I've reached the clearly wrong conclusion that it might be one of those designs with a block plate with a couple of bolts, each side of pivoting point, that you chisel out from the outside...
I'll post a pic tomorrow of my findings...but nothing helpful...next stage is to drill the pop-rivets and remove the keel well from the inside...
I just can't believe that no-one in that bloody marina knew how to drop that big chunk of cast iron...
It is frustrating...I like this design so much...it is everything that I was looking for in a TS...but the keel is just...so demoralizing... after $500 spent only on lifting the boat on hard stand and keeping it there for some days still haven't solved the problem...what happened with giving a good advice, just for the sake of helping someone...not everybody is a millionaire...I have a TS not a bloody 50 footer with in mast furling...anyway, that's my frustration...and move far away from topic...

Thanks Terry, you just confirmed me what I was thinking to be the only other option...from inside... By any chance, do you have some pics from with various stages of the keel removal? It looks that is something that I won't be able to do it by myself, and the pics would be a great help in explaining to whoever will help me what needs to happen...

PS: fair winds on your journey, it's nice what and where you are sailing!

Thanking again,
John

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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '14, 07:13 
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The normal way of cutting the fibreglass away is to use an angle grinder and a dimon blade.

The dust is very difficult to control and it will irritate your skin. Use a face mask and goggles.

Older fibreglass boats often had asbestos in the fibreglass filler so be very careful cutting any filler away.

You should be able to cut the glass away from the pivot bolt and hopefully remove the pivot bolt,

Getting the keel to drop away will be challenging and you need some way of supporting the keel as you lower it. If it falls on you it will damage you. Portable scaffolding or similar might work.

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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '14, 07:15 
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viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7359&hilit=WAnton+Keel+restoration

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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '14, 07:42 
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I feel your pain, good advice from marinas can be hard to find and some throw $ figure amounts around as if we are all millionaires, when you find someone good stick to them like glue, there really are people out there that are in it for the love of boats not the love of money. My advice is take care of these people

A few boats suffer from exactly the same issues of cast iron or steel keels that over the years all the paint protection has come off and the rust expands them until they jam in the case so dont let that dishearten you, one method you might try that I know has been used on Sunmaids and has been very effective is they try and get a saw or the like between the keel and case and slowly work in in and out to break away the rust or even a high pressure hose to blast away the rust

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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '14, 10:21 
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Sorry, we dont have any pics of the job. We just left it to the boat yard. They seemed to indicate it was a common job. The hardest part was sawing through the old stainless pivot bolt.


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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '14, 12:06 
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I have a different boat (RL28) but had to remove my keel bolt to fix a leak. Anyway I spent a fair bit of time prodding and poking around looking at things from various angles, running my hand over things and used a cheap usb inspection camera to try and work out where/how to access the bolt. I also found others with similar boat online and emailed and asked for guidance. Anyway I got as much info together as I could and then got the necessary tools (grinder and dremel clone) and the necessary safety gear including a proper filtered dust mask not just those cheapies that you see around. You only have one set of lungs. After all this careful planning and organisation I just hacked into it and found the bolt ends and nut.

The position of the bolt was pretty obvious as it was fibreglassed over so there was a bulge. Mine was forward of the compression post and just above the bilge area (I have a false floor in this location. which has a cutout in it). I had a cover over the keel case that I had to cut away and I had to be careful not to cut through the actual keel case.

a link to my efforts/attempt

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10032&start=75#p123984

What I am trying to say is get as much info as you can, go slowly and be careful.

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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '14, 14:18 
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Another suggestion regarding dust management when cutting the glass.

Get a cheap industrial vacuum from Bunnings and set it up to remove most of the dust as you do the cutting. It won't get all the dust but removing a large percentage of the dust as you cut will keep it away from the rest of the inside of the yacht.

Then after finishing the cutting, clean all the dust you can from the inside of the yacht to reduce it getting back in you as you keep working.

ITs probably worth removing everything from inside the yacht before starting the work because it will all get dusty and need washing after you do the cutting.

I did the cutting with a dimond saw in the past, there may be less dust if you use a multitool with a diamond cutting tool, others might know more about using a multitool on fibreglass.

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PostPosted: Oct 27th, '14, 10:09 
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As an update, I haven't managed yet to drop the keel, but a very helpful guy, from the marina, who has a shipwright business there, promised me that they will drop the keel for me, sometimes these days.
In the meanwhile, after sanding, I finally applied first coat of Interprotect, and then some Epifill around the hull, where was needed. While paint cures, new wiring and LED lights are going in...
I finally feel that I'm doing some progress, after 2 weeks...
Thank you all who dropped a few words here...they were really helpful. Cheers!
John


Attachments:
File comment: some more on other side...
prima vopsea1.jpg
prima vopsea1.jpg [ 105.72 KiB | Viewed 3283 times ]
File comment: First coat and some fix-ups...
prima vopsea si ceva reparatii.jpg
prima vopsea si ceva reparatii.jpg [ 115.06 KiB | Viewed 3283 times ]

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PostPosted: Oct 30th, '14, 15:12 
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Latest update: I've got some professional help, from the marina, to drop the keel. At this stage, just to find the bolt / pin / whatever is supporting the keel.
So, in the following pics, you cans see the stove support cut out, to have access under the sink. On the starboard side, access it's easier, just cut back the glass to the bilge.
Unfortunately, all we discovered was a plate, on both sides...no freaking bolt to yet...frustrating...
Anyway, the cry for help is still here, so if you have any opinions after seeing the latest pics...please don't hold back.


Attachments:
File comment: on starboard side
WP_20141028_23_08_04_Pro.jpg
WP_20141028_23_08_04_Pro.jpg [ 116.56 KiB | Viewed 3231 times ]
File comment: Under the galley, on the port side
WP_20141029_20_50_52_Pro.jpg
WP_20141029_20_50_52_Pro.jpg [ 109.25 KiB | Viewed 3231 times ]
WP_20141028_23_07_46_Pro.jpg
WP_20141028_23_07_46_Pro.jpg [ 111.76 KiB | Viewed 3231 times ]

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PostPosted: Nov 20th, '14, 17:40 
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My previous trailer sailer was a Court 650. I removed the keel and did a complete rebuild on the cheek plates etc. so I feel your pain. The Courts have a inner and an outer centerboard case, my boat was leaking between the two cases as it was only a sealant join.
I removed the outer case, cut through the pin (reciprocating saw), removed the centerboard out through the top with the poptop removed.
I cut the top off the galley, cut a slot in the floor & the bunk on the opposite side.
Removed the cheek plates and the curved steel supports as all this was mild steel.
I replaced all the steelwork with stainless , had a HDPE bush put in the centerboard.
I found the Gougeon Brothers guide to repairing fiberglass boats with epoxy invaluable.
This is a big job to do properly but the Court is a great boat so it is worth the trouble.
Sorry I did not take any photos it was 12 years ago.

Feel free to give me a call and I am happy to talk you through what I did
0419566123
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Dave



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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '14, 08:34 
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I had a few more thoughts regarding the repair I did on the Court.
Dust Control was a big one, I removed everything I could from the inside and duct taped plastic sheets up to try and shield the everywhere except where I was working.
Disposable overalls, gloves, glasses and a proper respirator.
Once I removed the mast compression post I found it was badly rusted so I made a new one out of 3/4 SS pipe medium wall thickness and plate
I chose to replace the curved steel centre board supports that are glassed into the boat as they were rusty also.
When refitting the centre board I placed thin wooden strips between the board and the boat to ensure it was straight and central to the boat (these were removed after the board was set)
I assembled the cheek plates curved steel supports centre board pin, then securely welded everything together prior to applying heaps of epoxy glue then glassed over it all with quite a few layers. to seal and hold it all in place.
When I was rebuilding the interior furniture I beveled all the joins along all of the grinder cuts, used small aluminium plates and pop rivets to hold every thing in place while it was setting. (the pop rivets disappeared under the newly applied glass). Applied 3 layers of glass, heaps of filler then paint. In the end you could not see where I had been but it took a lot of work to get to that stage. The only part I could not match perfectly was the anti skid pattern on the cabin floor. (That was carpeted anyway)
I modified the outer centre board case, by glassing I to the inner case and making it one structure and getting away from the sealant join.

My thoughts on the cause of all this work is that the original centre board pin seizes in the board then the pin starts to turn rather than the board turning on the pin. At this point saltwater gets into the mild steel cheek plates and the curved steel supports and it all ends in tears.

Dave



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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '14, 10:30 
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Wow, that's a lot of work that you put in for the keel! I bet the end-result was great, and extended the yacht's life with another 20 years!
As for my case, having budgeted an initial repair cost of around $1000 (based on net articles and broker's opinion), when "threatened" with $3000 costs for hardstands, removal, refitting and repairs, I said Thank you, but no thank you.
So, while on hardstands, and anti-fouling process underway, I've grinded the keel with a wire-brush fixed to a professional grinder, and then, grinded more with a disk for metal that is used by boiler-makers to make flush the welds. Right after that, in a matter of tens of minutes, I've applied a rust converter all over the keel. The next day the sight was unbelievable: the entire keel turned from rusty red-grayish iron crap to glossy solid gray keel!
To make sure of the results achieved, I took a hammer, and gave it a good pounding to see if anything breaks away from the keel...to my surprise, it was rock hard!
Then I've applied 2 coats of Interprotect, undiluted, and then 2 coats of hard anti-foul.
In the meantime, I've cut additional 2 big round holes in the keel casing, where I fitted to vising ports with clear lids. That gave me access to the rest of the keel, where I've applied the same painting system.
One thing that I haven't touched, was the joint between the inner and outer keel casings...which I'll have to re-seal somehow, for my own piece of mind...haven't noticed any leaks so far, but then again, haven't sailed it yet, just cruised under motor power for good 6 hours...
Anyway...I have now a much better understanding of the various swing keel systems, and one thing I've learned is that I'm never gonna jump head first into something like this! :-)
Thank you Dave, and all of yous who threw in some very good information!
Cheers, John

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PostPosted: Nov 21st, '14, 13:23 
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With what you are proposing sounds like you get out sailing again shortly, if you want to complete the full rebuild at a later date then it is a good winter project.
I did the whole job with the boat sitting on the trailer, removed the mast & poptop. When I needed to remove & replace the keel I towed the boat to an engineering shop that had a gantry crane and removed the keel out through the top.

We had a lot of fun with the Court did a lot of overnighting and cruising in Tasmania with my wife and two small girls.
I found the Court to be a good safe sailing boat even when pushed hard.

Good Luck and Great Sailing
Dave


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