Hunter 216 Keel Eye Repair

Aug 2, 2015
5
Hunter 216 Amherstburg, Ontario
About midway through the sailing season last year the keel eye on my rudder gave out leaving me scratching my head as how I would raise the keel once it came time to haul out in the fall. I know a few other 216 owners have experienced this issue so I thought I would share my experience.

I built a small frame with 4x4 and 2x6 lumber and mounted a winch to the frame. With a little bit of patience and a good old Canadian hockey stick I was able to loop a a lifting strap around the bottom of the keel. Once I the strap around the keel I used the winch to raise the keel. Once the keel was up I was able to get the boat on trailer and back home.

I spoke to the keel manufacturer and they said that in their opinion the keel could not be repaired and suggested they could install a new keel. I bought this Hunter as salvage boat and I had no intention of forking out almost as much as I paid for the boat to have a new keel installed. After exploring a number of different options I decided to keep it simple. I used my frame and winch to raise the entire keel assembly out of the keel trunk. Once I had the keel in a position that I could access the area I needed I braced the keel assembly with 4x4's.

I used (2) 10" steel mending straps to fabricate a new mount to receive the cable and shackle. I drilled (3) 3/8" holes through the keel and inserted 3/8" bronze bushings. I then attached the mending straps to either side of the keel with 1/4" stainless steel bolts. I drilled a 15/32" hole in the end of the mending plate to receive the shackle. I made my own cable and doubled up on the fasteners as a precaution. I launched the boat on the weekend and my makeshift repair seems to be performing well. I have raised and lowered the keel a number of times and it seems to be working just as well as before. The total cost was under $100 for my keel repair including the lumber for the frame, the winch, and the parts to fabricate my new keel eye.

Cheers, Scott
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Jun 8, 2004
8,885
-na -NA Anywhere USA
N omad;

thank you posting. Great Job. Just a suggestion to cut the bolt threads off until even with the nut and sand smooth. Just thinking of addl. clearance inside the housing. It was good using three bolts but always watch it. I would also put some seizing red to the threads to help lock the nuts in place even when using lock washers.

As for lifting, when one is on a trip without use of a shop, I use to take a tie down or yellow strap over the cockpit and down the sides cushioned with towels, rags or what ever you could find so that the strap itself was not in touch with the boat and the winch part off on the side.

As for repairing lead on site, difficult but not sure if there is anything unless someone has come up with a good suggestion.
 

drandw

.
Jul 1, 2016
1
Hunter 216 Lake Geneva, WI
Great Job! Where are you located? I have the same problem on my Hunter 216 at Lake Geneva, WI. Looking for some assistance to solve this problem.
 
Jan 22, 2008
1
Hunter 216 Peachland, British Columbia Ot
Hi DR....this has just happened to my boat too. It is on a mooring and during a storm yesterday, the shackle ripped off the keel.
Have you repaired yours?
Jim
 
Mar 2, 2011
489
Compac 14 Charleston, SC
Was the hole no reinforced or just a hole drilled/cast in lead? It's amazing that the factory design failed on such a relatively new boat!
I like the repairs you made and interested how it holds up long term.
 
Aug 2, 2015
5
Hunter 216 Amherstburg, Ontario
I believe the original keel eye was part of the casting design. It did not appear to be drilled. I have to accept blame for the failure, I got a little over zealous with the Hydraulic lift. I have raised and lowered the keel dozens of times an it is holding up well. The way the straps are attached now those bolts would have to tear through a significant amount of lead before it would give out again.

Cheers, Scott
 
Aug 2, 2015
5
Hunter 216 Amherstburg, Ontario
N omad;

thank you posting. Great Job. Just a suggestion to cut the bolt threads off until even with the nut and sand smooth. Just thinking of addl. clearance inside the housing. It was good using three bolts but always watch it. I would also put some seizing red to the threads to help lock the nuts in place even when using lock washers.

As for lifting, when one is on a trip without use of a shop, I use to take a tie down or yellow strap over the cockpit and down the sides cushioned with towels, rags or what ever you could find so that the strap itself was not in touch with the boat and the winch part off on the side.

As for repairing lead on site, difficult but not sure if there is anything unless someone has come up with a good suggestion.
Dave, I like the way you think. I already have some waterproof Loctite on standby. I was a little skittish about trimming and seizing the bolts until I had sufficient time to assess the repair . I will post an update at the end of the season just to confirm that the repair is performing well.
 
Apr 27, 2010
1,157
Hunter 23 Lake Wallenpaupack
If you use red Loctite and later have to remove the nuts, heating with a propane torch should work.