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When you own a swing-keeled boat long enough, there’ll come a time when you’ll want to take a look at the condition of the pivot bolt, and the keel’s integrity where the bolt passes through.
Those concerns have both been put to rest, for now.

I backed the boat and trailer down to my woodshop, and with a little direction from Joe, practically into the shop. This allowed us a smooth surface upon which to operate the floor jack and Mark’s engine hoist.

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We built a crib for the small bottle jack to stand firm, and cranked it up, supporting the keel at its pivot point. As Joe took up the weight of the keel, I was inside the boat, removing the big ‘ol pivot bolt.

It looks great, with no corrosion worth worrying about.

Hooking up a come-along to the woodshop’s center supporting column and extending a strap around the keel’s forward area, we then supported the keel with some old lumber and floor jacks and began hauling away.

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It was not without some consternation, but Joe, Mark and I were able to finagle the 625-pound hunk of cast iron out and onto the shop floor.

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The cast iron where the pivot bolt passes through is in excellent shape, with plenty of meat to set my mind at ease.

I’d sure hate to lose all that ballast to the briny deep. Not sure how she’d handle if that ever happened, but for now, that’s unlikely.

Next up is to wire wheel all the rust away, fill ‘n fair with some type of epoxy, then get her primed and painted up nicely before any rust has a chance to reappear.

That, and figuring out a quick and easy way to stick the thing back onto the boat.

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