1. Lower the tongue of the trailer to the
2. Put a little slack in the keel cable.
3. On a hard surface (driveway, half-sheet of 3/4" plywood) build a
stack of cement blocks under the stern of the boat. Interlace the blocks
for more stability) Fill the gap with boards or pieces of plywood. Use
wedges to prevent any rolling of the boat on the stern support.
4. Tie the axle of the trailer to the frame of the trailer near both
wheels so the springs don't expand as boat weight is removed from them.
5. Jack the tongue of the trailer up so that the trailer begins to
rotate around the axle. As it does so, the transom will rest on the
stack and the rear trailer bunks will separate from the bottom of the
boat. The keel will lower away from the boat (if you remembered to slack
the cable). Keep going until the keel eye bolt is exposed enough to get
at the clevis pin.
6. Insert blocks of wood between the boat and the bunks above the rear
bunk supports to steady any tendency for the boat to roll on the
7. Insure the keel weight is fully supported by the trailer.
8. Remove the cotter pin and clevis pin from the keel cable. (Fit
check the new cable fork, to ensure it fits the keel eye bolt. Fit check
the clevis pin as well.
9. Remove the panel covering the winch (remove the keel winch handle
10. Remove the winch drum from the winch (a 3/8" bolt serves as
the axle for the winch drum.) NOTE: The bolt goes thru a sleeve in the
hub of the winch drum. If the sleeve is corroded to the bolt, you will
have to remove the whole winch.
11. With a helper pulling from below the boat, unwind the cable
from the drum to the point where the cable is free of the drum except
for the place where it is woven and bolted to the drum.
12. Make a drawing or take some photos on how the end of the cable
is attached to the drum. Also make note of which direction the cable
wraps around the drum. (It looks simple, but you would be surprised how
easy it is to get it wrong with the new cable.)
13. Remove the end of the cable from the drum and tape a 5-foot
piece of stout string to it act as a pull for the new cable.
14. Pull the end of the cable out of the boat making sure to keep
the other end of the string inside the boat. (Tie it to something.)
15. If you are replacing or inspecting the turning ball, remove
the hose from the top of the "volcano" by loosening the two hose clamps
(if you don't have two, go get another one to add on -- you need to have
two when you reassemble) and carefully twisting and pulling on the hose,
until it separates from the boat.
16. With the turning ball exposed, note which side (should be aft)
the pull string passes the ball. If the ball is worn or shows evidence
of not turning, replace it. It is held in place by a pin inserted thru
the sides of the ring that the hose slides over. The pin may be corroded
to the ball. Be careful not to damage the ring when removing it.
17. After the ball has been inspected or replaced, make sure the
pull string is on the correct side of the ball (aft side).
18. Reinstall the hose over the ring. I recommend a good (but
removable) sealer like 3M 4200 be used on the ring/hose joint.
19. Reinstall the two hose clamps.
20. Attach the end of the new cable to the stout string with just
enough thin tape to allow a firm pull on the cable up into the boat.
There is not much clearance thru the turning ball. DO NOT try to pull
hard on the string if the connection meets resistance going thru the
21. Pull the end of the cable up into the boat and attach it to
the winch drum, using the drawing or photos as a guide. Make sure the
cable is wound onto the drum in the same direction as the old one.
22. Remount the drum onto the winch body. (Or winch to the boat.)
23. With a helper applying firm tension on the cable from below,
wind the cable onto the winch as if you were raising the keel. (Note
that it will not be as tight as if the full weight of the keel were
pulling on it.)
24. Attach the fork on the end of the cable to the eye bolt on the
keel and make sure the cotter pin in the clevis pin is opened and spread
so that it will not inadvertently come adrift. I wrap the ends around
the pin to help prevent anything snagging on the cotter pin.
25. Crank the keel up. The new cable is installed!
26. Raise the tongue of the trailer slightly to remove the
stabilizing blocks from the trailer.
27. Lower the tongue of the trailer enough to remove the stern
support and raise it to its connect-to-the-vehicle position.
28. Untie the springs.
29. When you launch the boat, raise and lower the keel a few times
to reset the wraps and tension of the new cable.