Cal 21 Keel and Repair Questions

Sep 13, 2014
Cal 21 ft myers
I'm new here so first off hello everyone :)

I just got a 1970 Cal 21 for a next to nothing. I knew that some things would need fixing because of "repairs" done by the previous owner but the boat as a whole looked solid.

Upon closer inspection of the keel I have a few questions as to how it is supposed to look and what someone in the past my have done to it. First off the keel winch has been replaced with a trailer winch bolted to a board with the strap going to an eye bolt in the keel bulb. I know this is not going to work but I'm unsure of what method for lifting the keel I want to use instead as the original method seems like a pain.

Now one of my primary concerns is upon closer inspection of the swing keel bolt. As I have had a hard time finding pictures of what this is supposed to look like so I was hoping someone could tell me if someone has done drastic alterations to this. The boat is on a trailer, and the keel came up easily enough but obviously I can't drop it down very far. These should be the pics below of the keel bolt.

The following concern is it looks like there is some damage to the keel itself, and possibly a small amount of separation between the keel and the keel bulb... These pics should be below as well, but please contact me if you can't see them or if you would like a more detailed picture. Does anyone know the construction of the keel and how repairable these things are? Any advice or experience is greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance.


Jun 18, 2011
Hunter 22 Low Country

Welcome. I'm a Cal 21 owner, first time, and rebuilding my Cal. I have some pictures on the forum with a title of Cal 21 Up and Out or something like that. If you look closely at the pictures you can see the swing keel housing in the cabin and the winch in the cockpit under a lot of debris. I have pictures on the Sailnet website also. My winch is connected to an eye bolt on the end of the keel. I don't think that is uncommon. has a lot of information on our boats.

BTW, as a teenager (early 1970's) I lived on Pine Island and used to be a member of the Sea Explorers Ship #01 at the Ft. Myers Yacht Basin. I guess Sea Explorers has become the Sea Scouts. Only had 2 bridges, then. The old two lane bridge (Edison Bridge, I think) and the "new bridge" on Hwy 41.