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New S2 6.7 Owner - Lifting Keel Maintenance

Apr 11, 2018
3
S2 6.7 Holland, MI
Hello,
I recently became the new owner of a 1980 S2 6.7. I hope someone here might be able to point me to some recommended maintenance procedures. The manual I have found online and the information that came with the boat does not say much about how to keep the systems unique to this boat working properly.

Specifically I would like to know what I should do with the lifting keel to ensure that I am always able to lift it. Having something break and being unable to get the boat on the trailer could be a serious issue. I am also looking for recommendations on how to make sure the hull stays solid. I am familiar with looking for soft spots on a cored deck near hardware as other through deck fittings. I am not sure what I should do to make sure the laminated hull does not turn to mush and fail. The light weight sold me on this design, but I have to imagine part of the price is making sure the balsa all stays completely dry.

Thanks in advance for any advice or links to information.
 
Jun 29, 2014
336
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
First of all, welcome to SBO! You will find you get some great advice here. You may want to ask these questions in "ask all sailers" because there are many sailboats that use a lifting keel and cored hulls.

I have a 1979 S2 7.3 - a completely different boat from the same manufacturer.
I can't help with your lifting keel concerns but I have a few questions: Are you leaving the boat in the water for extended periods of time or is it put on a trailer after every sail? Are there Zebra mussels in your body of water? Will you be sailing in shallow water or is lifting the keel only a concern for trailering?

For the cored hull, it is similar to inspecting a cored deck. Look at through hull fittings and make sure they are sealed. Look for soft areas on the hull by tapping from the outside. Inspect the fiberglass on inside of the hull for cracks or holes that can let water in to the core. Inspect the lowest areas for standing water, etc.

Good to see another S2 owner!
 
Apr 11, 2018
3
S2 6.7 Holland, MI
Hi FDL,

Thank you for the response. I will take your advice and post in the 'Ask All Sailers' area. From what I understand the lifting keels on the S2s are somewhat unique. I thought it would be best to try to find some other S2 6.7 or 6.9 owners first.

Thank you for the advice on the cored hull. It seems I need to develop an ear for tapping on good fiberglass vs wet or de-laminated fiberglass. I never had much luck 'hearing' problems with a deck but when walking on deck I have found soft spots by 'feel' a number of times.

Here are the answers to your direct questions:

Are you leaving the boat in the water for extended periods of time or is it put on a trailer after every sail?
At the moment the idea is to work on the boat in the driveway and trailer the boat to the launch every time I want to sail. We will see how long that lasts. The slip prices might look like a better deal after I put the rig up and take it down a few times. Even I if do stick with the trailer sailing I will still plan to do some short cruising or at least anchor our over night at the local harbor. In this case I expect to leave to boat in the water for no more than 1 week at a time during Summer 2019.

Are there Zebra mussels in your body of water?

Yes! I am amazed at how they manage to grow inside places with such small openings to the water. Zebra mussels love it here on Lake Michigan. Are you suggesting that they can set up shop inside the keel trunk and foul it so badly that the keel no longer moves?

Will you be sailing in shallow water or is lifting the keel only a concern for trailering?
I settled on a lifting keel for trailering purposes. I like the 6.7 in particular due to the claimed 10" draft with the keel up. Since I now have an ultra-shoal sailboat I plan to trailer sail and also get setup to anchor out in what ever shallow gunk holes I can find far away from other boats. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I will be motoring and anchoring in shallow water but I expect to have the keel all the way down when actually sailing.

Thanks again.
 
  • Like
Likes: FDL S2
Jun 29, 2014
336
S2 7.3 Fond du Lac
Hi FDL,

Thank you for the response. I will take your advice and post in the 'Ask All Sailers' area. From what I understand the lifting keels on the S2s are somewhat unique. I thought it would be best to try to find some other S2 6.7 or 6.9 owners first.

Thank you for the advice on the cored hull. It seems I need to develop an ear for tapping on good fiberglass vs wet or de-laminated fiberglass. I never had much luck 'hearing' problems with a deck but when walking on deck I have found soft spots by 'feel' a number of times.

Here are the answers to your direct questions:

Are you leaving the boat in the water for extended periods of time or is it put on a trailer after every sail?
At the moment the idea is to work on the boat in the driveway and trailer the boat to the launch every time I want to sail. We will see how long that lasts. The slip prices might look like a better deal after I put the rig up and take it down a few times. Even I if do stick with the trailer sailing I will still plan to do some short cruising or at least anchor our over night at the local harbor. In this case I expect to leave to boat in the water for no more than 1 week at a time during Summer 2019.

Are there Zebra mussels in your body of water?

Yes! I am amazed at how they manage to grow inside places with such small openings to the water. Zebra mussels love it here on Lake Michigan. Are you suggesting that they can set up shop inside the keel trunk and foul it so badly that the keel no longer moves?

Will you be sailing in shallow water or is lifting the keel only a concern for trailering?
I settled on a lifting keel for trailering purposes. I like the 6.7 in particular due to the claimed 10" draft with the keel up. Since I now have an ultra-shoal sailboat I plan to trailer sail and also get setup to anchor out in what ever shallow gunk holes I can find far away from other boats. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I will be motoring and anchoring in shallow water but I expect to have the keel all the way down when actually sailing.

Thanks again.
I'm in Wisconsin on Lake Winnebago, but I have sailed Lake Michigan and I know all about Zebra mussels from both those bodies of water. I was thinking about them gunking up your trunk and making it hard to lift the keel.
My other questions were geared toward how much use it will be getting. Things that get used often tend to get better maintenance. So if the previous owner used it a lot they probably kept it operating smoothly, also you will be inclined to keep it that way. Is it a cable on a winch? Do you have any pictures?
 
Jul 20, 2009
4
2 6.9 Bloomington Indiana
Hello Fourth Coast,
I have a 1984 6.7 In beautiful condition (for sale only to a loving home :). I used mine in similar ways that you describe. It has spent most of its life in a garage or barn, but when season and time allowed, sailing we went. One time I landed on a sand bar in the middle of Tampa Bay. When I began to hoist the keel; the line snapped. It was probably the only line, I had not replaced, on the boat. We were able to thread a temp line to finish the sail, but I would recommend checking and probably replacing said keel lift line. Pretty easy job on the trailer.
Good luck and have fun.
Tim
 
Apr 11, 2018
3
S2 6.7 Holland, MI
Thanks for the response, henke. I will be sure to replace the cable. It seems like some sort of back up line or at least a messenger line to help jury a keel lift would be a good idea as well.

Do you think the bracket or whatever attaches the cable to the keel would ever need to be replaced? I imagine you got a good look at it when you replaced the cable.

I am not clear -- to you have an S2 6.7 or a 6.9? I looked and looked for a 6.9 and eventually gave up and went for the 6.7. In the drawings the S2 6.9 interior looks really sweet. If you have a 6.9 for sale I am going to kick myself for picking up the 6.7 just a few months ago.