Thank you for the Newsletter and well done for keeping things going. I am no longer a H23 owner having sold my boat (Shenanigans, No 88) to Bruce Hepburn. The boat was previously named ‘Francesca’, which I changed because I was sure the boat was named after another man’s wife! It is still at Pennant Nine Yacht Club, Vaal Marina along with about 5 others, and is regularly sailed. I sold my house and bought an Atlantis 36 which is also at PNYC, and will be moving to either Mossel Bay or Hout Bay in about 20 months. You are welcome to keep me on the mailing list as I have fond memories of my H23 days. I suggest that you put him on the list.
A word of experience for other owners. I bought the boat around 2003-it was in immaculate condition and it’s list included a recent keel box rebuild and galvanising of the keel itself. I lifted the keel a number of times, including for trailering. In 2007, when preparing to lift the keel, the pulley block attached to the top of the keel came loose completely-luckily (as the boat was in 15m of water!), the pin was still in! On removal and inspection, I found a stainless steel pulley block attached to the top of the now galvanised keel (painted over with anti-foul) with 4 broken (and evidently preferentially rusted cap screws) arranged so that screws were in tension. It was impossible to see the bolt material, but I moved, re-tapped and replaced with 5 X 12mm Grade 304 Stainless cap screws, sealed with epoxy in the holes. The whole arrangement is not ideal though, as the pulley block should be set into the side of the keel so that the cap screws are in shear, not in tension. For that, I would have had to machine a slot in the keel for clearance in the keelbox, a job which I could not get to. The moral here is check the condition of the rope, blocks and especially the holding bolts carefully annually and if on inland waters, check that the water quality does not preferentially attack zinc galvanising as is the case on Vaal Dam. Vaal Dam and galvanising do not go well together!
My yacht is Paxos – Sail no. 77. Based at Mykonos. I have been receiving your emails and getting the newsletters for the last couple of years. I originally registered with Gordon Fitzsimmons. I think the website is great and I look at it frequently. I am very glad that you have taken it over. You are doing a terrific job!
Despite owning the boat 3 years, I have been unable to raise and lower my keel. I got it up when I went on to the lift at Mykonos by them gently putting the boat down onto a trailer while I took up the slack on the winch, and reversing the procedure when I put it back in the water – but that is a very expensive exercise and I would not like to do it more than once every 2-3 years. There are no impediments such as barnacles etc but the pulley wheels at the top seem to be jammed (salt water, age oxidation of the alloy) and I don’t know how to sort this out as access is very limited. One suggestion was to take the mast and tabernacle off completely. I am interested in doing the Worlds at Easter but nervous about sailing around and consequently consider trailing the boat but I need to get the keel sorted out.
By the way for some historical perspective my Father – John Smeddle – was a keen sailor and won line honours in the 1979 South Atlantic race to Uruguay in a Ketch called Kwa Heri. (When Rio boycotted SA) He built Mainstay with sponsorship for the 1982 race but was not quite ready for the race and had to sell it to Momentum Life who came 2nd to Apple MacIntosh in 1985. By contrast I am an enthusiastic but careful day sailor but would like to spend some more time on the water and get more experience.
I transported my H23 to the worlds in 2006. When I raised my keel, the support strap inside the keel housing got jammed between the keel and the bulkhead. There was absolutely no way we could drop it. Eventually young Frankie Stuyk, Dean Korver and I had to drill a hole through the keel. We then put a bolt through the keel and attached a chain. Frankie had to use the crane to lift the boat while we attached the chain to a fixed bollard on the shore. The keel eventually came free.
Word of advise here. When raising the keel ALWAYS open the enclosure on the bulkhead holding the keel. This is the removable fibre glass unit inside the cabin. When raising the keel, someone should always make sure that the strap is free whilst raising. Brian Cole's suggestion is that the strap be replaced with a piece of chain the same length as the strap but thick enough not to be trapped.
Excellent advice and precautions. I sympathise with the problem. Quite frankly, I have no confidence in the ‘safety rope’ if one of the pulley block came adrift (like mine did!)-I think even miner free fall of the keel would snap the rope.
I sold my H23 a year ago. I dry-sailed her on the Vaal dam, and would regularly left and drop the keel every time I came back to the beach. The keel was stiff the very first time I launched her, but found with Q20 and with regular use, the keel always ran easily and trouble free. My rope strap never once jammed, I must have hoisted and dropped the keel well over a hundred times - myself on the winch and my young daughter ready with the securing pin.
Like lifting and dropping masts, I think it is one of those tasks that familiarity makes less daunting.