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 Looking at a Swing Keel, need advice
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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USA
31 Posts

Initially Posted - 08/14/2018 :  08:34:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Finding the perfect boat is much like finding the perfect woman. After trolling this forum and researching info out there I think I found a decent '87 model. Problem is the guy has it sitting on a homemade trailer and it looks like the SK is carrying most of the load of the boat. Is this A; not a problem, B;could be a problem, or C; definitely a problem? Any other telltale issues I can see with the SK when its out of the water? I've looked at a few other boats that "lost" a SK and they tend to leak water through the cracked hull....

I've also read Don Caseys book front to back but there isn't anything specific about C25's.

dasreboot
Admiral

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731 Posts

Response Posted - 08/14/2018 :  09:51:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
is it in stafford, va? If so, its about 5 miles from me. Are you in the area?

Todd Lewis
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/14/2018 :  11:46:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That would probably be the one. I'm in NC and planning to drive up Friday to see it. Did you take a look at it already?
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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3303 Posts

Response Posted - 08/14/2018 :  15:48:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is there a particular reason you want a swing keel?

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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LakeFall
1st Mate

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31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/14/2018 :  16:10:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by islander

Is there a particular reason you want a swing keel?



I want to maintain some highway mobility with the boat. I also know that a wing keel offers more of a shoal draft and is still trailer-able but I havent come across many in my searches.
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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3303 Posts

Response Posted - 08/14/2018 :  18:04:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If mobility is a consideration then the home made trailer is a big factor. Is it safe,road Worthy. Would you feel comfortable towing it or would you have to replace it. Keep in mind that trailers for a C25 are hard to come by.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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dasreboot
Admiral

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731 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  03:49:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LakeFall

That would probably be the one. I'm in NC and planning to drive up Friday to see it. Did you take a look at it already?



I looked at it for different reasons other than to buy it. I was just curious as i had passed it on the road frequently. From the outside the boat looks clean. Its probably well worth the price. The trailer however looks a little iffy. the cradle the boat is on is made of plywood which has been outside for awhile. I may be overreacting, but i did not want to climb on it. for a trip to north carolina, I'd look at different transport. There is a marina about 10 miles away that could transfer the boat between trailers.

As to your question, i think the cradle is taking the hull's load. (at least for now)

I talked to the owner for a while and he seems to be a straight up honest fellow. I'm think he'll be honest with the shortcomings of his boat, except his misplaced trust in the trailer. And of course he has priced it to sell, and it is an 87.

Todd Lewis
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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USA
31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  05:32:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by islander

If mobility is a consideration then the home made trailer is a big factor. Is it safe,road Worthy. Would you feel comfortable towing it or would you have to replace it. Keep in mind that trailers for a C25 are hard to come by.



I have a like new trailer that was made for a Midship 26 (long story) that I think can be refitted for a C25 hull. I don't want to reignite the proper axle debate but it has tandem #3500 axles. There is a marina close by that's willing to swap the boat across trailers.
I've talked to the owner and he seems like a really nice guy, I hope this boat checks out well and I hope to finally become a C25 owner, I've been looking for over a year now.
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4094 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  05:38:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is it possible to see swing keel cable snap damage on the outside of the keel stub or do you have to remove the SK to inspect it? If you’re serious about purchasing this boat, IMHO it would be a worthwhile investment to hire a marine surveyor or at least a boatyard mechanic to check for issues like the SK, thru hulls and hoses, chainplates, mast, boom & tabernacle, all wiring, pintles and gudgeons, engine mount, lifelines and stanchions, anchor, winches — you know, the countless gotchas that can get you later on.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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USA
31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  06:53:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Voyager

Is it possible to see swing keel cable snap damage on the outside of the keel stub or do you have to remove the SK to inspect it? If you’re serious about purchasing this boat, IMHO it would be a worthwhile investment to hire a marine surveyor or at least a boatyard mechanic to check for issues like the SK, thru hulls and hoses, chainplates, mast, boom & tabernacle, all wiring, pintles and gudgeons, engine mount, lifelines and stanchions, anchor, winches — you know, the countless gotchas that can get you later on.



All very good advice however, not all surveyors know the C25 common problem areas like you guys do. I was planning on removing the trunk cover and looking for signs of newer fiberglas, indicative of a dropped keel repair as well as looking for signs of water damage in the bilge. I've seen all kinds of deck and sole rot on these too- rusty bolts on chainplates and backings, water spots low on interior teak, etc. Crunchy foredecks, broken spars, silicone galore- I've seen a lot of things on other boats and I'm holding out hope that there is still a few good ones left out there.
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dasreboot
Admiral

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731 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  08:08:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LakeFall


There is a marina close by that's willing to swap the boat across trailers.




If the marina is Aquia Bay marina, you can see my '87 wing keel, Eowyn, there. I'd meet up with you, but this weekend I'll be on vacation in the western end of the state.

Todd Lewis
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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USA
31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  08:52:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dasreboot

quote:
Originally posted by LakeFall


There is a marina close by that's willing to swap the boat across trailers.




If the marina is Aquia Bay marina, you can see my '87 wing keel, Eowyn, there. I'd meet up with you, but this weekend I'll be on vacation in the western end of the state.



Any chance you are around Friday afternoon? If so, I'd love to take you up on your offer.
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HappyNow
1st Mate

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USA
50 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  08:53:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You might look under swap meet forum on this site. Someone in New York wants to give away their swing keel 1980 without a trailer, so it's a little further but might be what you're looking for.

Michael Levin
Sailin' on Sunshine
C250 #402 WK
Lake Tahoe
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dasreboot
Admiral

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731 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  09:27:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LakeFall

Any chance you are around Friday afternoon? If so, I'd love to take you up on your offer.



sorry leaving friday morning. will be around thursday and sunday afternoon.

Todd Lewis
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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USA
31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  09:28:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HappyNow

You might look under swap meet forum on this site. Someone in New York wants to give away their swing keel 1980 without a trailer, so it's a little further but might be what you're looking for.



There's no such thing as a free boat!

All kidding aside, I did see that and if I remember there is no engine. A newer outboard and the design improvements of a 87 vs 80 might be worth the $2k
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jerlim
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
1466 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  12:00:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LakeFall

Finding the perfect boat is much like finding the perfect woman.



If I may opine to another facet of consideration to the topic "Looking at a Swing Keel, need advice" ...what seems perfect now, may not be so perfect in the future...after 12 years w/ a swing keel, the amount of effort to operate each time you go out and the work necessary to maintain the lift system is getting a bit old (as am I coincidentally…).

There are times when it is great having the ability to nearly immediately change your draft from 5' - 3', and in the beginning I confess that I took advantage of this feature

But not everyone is capable of working the winch and it is just something to be considered...IMHO

Jerry
Whisper
C-25, #1672,'80, SR/SK
S. Jamesport, NY
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7943 Posts

Response Posted - 08/15/2018 :  13:56:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jerlim

[quote]Originally posted by LakeFall

...There are times when it is great having the ability to nearly immediately change your draft from 5' - 3'...
How about having 3' all the time. That's the C-25 WK. And from what I've witnessed, it sails better than I expected.

Regarding surveyors, they might not have experience specifically with the C-25 swinger, but they'll check things most of us aren't equipped or qualified for, such as moisture in the hull laminate and deck core, proper cooling of the motor, condition of the standing rigging (particularly the terminals), the electrical system (watching for amateur wiring jobs and proper fusing), etc. Some insurers (including mine when I bought) require a survey to cover a boat that old--you might as well benefit from it pre-purchase. You can attend, ask questions, and get some ideas for prioritizing projects and replacements. Just come condiderations.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Dave5041
Former Mainsheet Editor

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USA
3739 Posts

Response Posted - 08/16/2018 :  10:17:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Sails better than expected", but not like a swinger. I'm soon to be 74 and still consider my swinger to have been the right choice for me. I'll soon need gas struts for the pop top, but not an electric winch for the keel yet. Adjusting the trailer for a swing keel should be straight forward The hull takes all of the weight. Set the hull high enough to be able to lower the keel several inches onto a keel support after recovery Pearl sits high enough that I can get to the keel lifting cable for cable changes but still lower than on my old trailer due to the design. A little plug: Austin Machine Works, AMW, in Panama City, FL builds a beautiful aluminum trailer for a reasonable price.
p.s.
Taking the cover off the keel housing should reveal all you need to know about a keel drop. The aft end of the housing is loaded in compression in a drop, so obvious damage usually appears along the forward edge. A clean, professional looking repair is acceptable, lots of silicone or amateurish glass lay up is not.


Dave B. aboard Pearl
1982 TR/SK/Trad. #3399
Lake Erie/Florida Panhandle
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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USA
31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/17/2018 :  18:52:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looked at the boat today, I wish I could post pictures but there was some type of gray putty on the aft side of the keel trunk and standing water in the bilge so I think I'm going to pass on this one. The decks however looked solid and the best I've seen so far.
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GaryB
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3989 Posts

Response Posted - 08/18/2018 :  06:54:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds like a wise decision.


Association Member

GaryB
Andiamo
'89 SR/WK #5862
Kemah,TX
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7943 Posts

Response Posted - 08/19/2018 :  20:30:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll just say an '89-91 wing is worth traveling for and shipping home. It's the pick of the C-25 litter, and I've repeatedly called that vintage the best value in a 25' transportable cruising sailboat ever made by anyone. My opinion... (Not that earlier vintages aren't good--I had one and was very pleased. But they got better, particularly starting in '89.)

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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USA
31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/20/2018 :  05:58:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stinkpotter

I'll just say an '89-91 wing is worth traveling for and shipping home. It's the pick of the C-25 litter, and I've repeatedly called that vintage the best value in a 25' transportable cruising sailboat ever made by anyone. My opinion... (Not that earlier vintages aren't good--I had one and was very pleased. But they got better, particularly starting in '89.)



Agree, there were incremental improvements along the way as is the case of most vehicle models as well.

Hydrodynamics aside, has anyone considered cutting off the top of the keel casting that would puncture the hull during a drop? You wont lose that much counterbalance weight and the weight you do lose is high in the keel, not low where you really want it.
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jduck00
Captain

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USA
311 Posts

Response Posted - 08/20/2018 :  14:18:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LakeFall

Looked at the boat today, I wish I could post pictures but there was some type of gray putty on the aft side of the keel trunk and standing water in the bilge so I think I'm going to pass on this one. The decks however looked solid and the best I've seen so far.



While working on mine, it looks like Catalina used a low density but hard filler when mating the interiors with the hull. I've found it in every area I've had to repair. Its gray and looks like it could be foam, but has noticeable hardness.

Jeremy Duck
The Lucky Duck
1980 SKSR Hull # 1850
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jduck00
Captain

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USA
311 Posts

Response Posted - 08/20/2018 :  14:25:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Take a look at this post. If you scroll down you will some of that gray stuff on top of the trunk. It was bonded to well, so I smoothed and glassed over it. Its common throughout the boat.

http://www.catalina-capri-25s.org/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=29405&SearchTerms=keel,trunk

Jeremy Duck
The Lucky Duck
1980 SKSR Hull # 1850
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LakeFall
1st Mate

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USA
31 Posts

Response Posted - 08/23/2018 :  18:36:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, different boat but same gray putty aft of the keel trunk. Maybe that was a factory deal?
https://www.atwoodlakeboats.com/default.asp?page=xPreOwnedInventoryDetail&id=5857183&p=1&at=boat%7Csailboat%7Cpersonal%20watercraft&ac=Cruiser%7CHouseboat%7CLake%20Sport%7CSailboat%7CSloop%7Crunabout%7C3-passenger&s=Year&d=D&fr=xPreOwnedInventory
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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5145 Posts

Response Posted - 08/24/2018 :  10:37:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The gray stuff on the keel is probably either barrier coat paint, applied by the owner to protect the cast iron keel from moisture, or fairing material used to smooth the surface of the keel. Neither is a cause for concern. Ask the owner what it is. If you assume it's bad, you might pass up a good boat.

The water in the bilge could be from a leaky cockpit drain or a leaky rudder gudgeon or similar fitting that simply needs caulk, or it could be that the companionway hatch was left ajar during a rain. My solution was to put an 8 X 10 silver tarp over the coach roof whenever I left the boat unattended for a few days. It protected the boat from a multitude of possible leaks and kept my bilge dry.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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