C Walter Merkie
Some great tips for lifting and getting access to the 235 keel in the forum.Thanks to all.

Can anyone who has previously removed the keel, elucidate further on the likely damage and deterioration expected or maintenance that is required to a keel once out? What are the likely repairs that will be needed? Mention is made of re-seating fibreglass panels and missing rivets. Explanation ? Suggestions as to the paint or other finishes to be applied to the keel, before antifouling also appreciated. All information useful.
John Edwards
Hi Walter,

I didn’t find your name on the membership list, but if you are considering a 235 – a great boat.

Lots of very useful info on this site.

Although there are one or two negatives, I think the lifting keel is one of its strongest points. I sail mainly in and out of Poole Harbour, which can be very shallow in places, so the lifting keel enables me to increase the sailing area and gets me out of trouble – which I need quite often.

Never quite sure what should be done with the keel but this is what I have done/tend to do. I changed the eye bolts when I bought the boat (8 years ago) and check every them year when it is out of the water.

Mine is one of the older boats and perhaps to date I have been rather fortunate. Each year the boatyard are really helpful and raise the boat on strops and drop the keel. The only downside is that they can only do it when they are not busy, so invariable means it has to be done on a miserable, cold day.

Once down I tend to wire brush off any debris, sand-down then apply 2 coasts of self-eroding antifoul. A couple of hours to dry then the keel can be winched back up. As it goes back up, I apply marine grease to the front and rear of the keel, but even this is considered a little bit controversial by some owners.

So who knows! So far I have been lucky (touch wood) and have had little trouble – but it may all change in at the start of next season!!

Anyway, good luck and Happy Christmas.

235/07 Diamond
Peter Scrivens
Hi John and Walter. It is true that in the early years Parker did recommend greasing the keel box but now the thinking is that the grease dries out and also can attract sand and grit which makes it harder to raise the keel. Now I use silicone dry lubricant, the sort stocked by builders merchants to assist with the assembly of plastic drainage pipes, and I spray this down the keel box. Maybe the spray which has dry PTFE might be better?

Regarding the rollers, again Parker recommend brushing ample amounts of grease on the lower roller. Once more I am not sure if this is good practice as when drying out I wonder if sand and mud can be picked up in the grease. Providing the roller turns freely on the spindle the nylon should not require lubricating. Immersed in the water will wash out any sand and help with lubrication. The same applies to the top roller although a spray with the dry silicone wouldn't do any harm. Care should be taken to avoid silicone sprays which contain grease, as while these are useful in lots of areas it defeats the idea here.

This seems to be working on my P235 but I would be interested to hear if anyone has other ideas

James Hamilton
I check the eye bolts every couple of years, and replace (three times so far after 15 years). I have also put a stainless eye bolt in the non critical hole (for the hang off strop). So far it appears to be doing fine (after two years). There have been some fine black grains ('spalling'?) but no obvious corrosion in the threads. I put them in with silicone as a sealant.

The only other thing I have had to replace is a top block, which I think I overtightened once.

I have fitted an aluminium pole with spinnaker ends to the 'non critical' eye which serves as a hold down if we are flattened (tied off to the mast foot) and an indicator as to how far the keel is down.

I am afraid I have not lubricated the keel at all, however it doesn't appear to have suffered, and still comes up with approximately the same amount of effort. However we do dry sail the boat which might be the reason.

We don't antifoul the boat and I have noticed some light corrosion on the blocking plates (the keel is not solid all the way down, the weight is concentrated in the bottom with a self draining void in the middle covered by two steel plates welded to the casting). Intend to spray galvanise them this spring.

Jim Hamilton (Sandy Lady)
James Hamilton
Peter Scriven tells me the plates on the keel are actually fibre glass, the bit of corrosion I saw must then be at the edge of the casting.
Jim Hamilton
C Walter Merkie

Many thanks to fellow Parker sailors for their experience and insights as above. Of particular interest is the comment from James regarding the void in the keel and the drainage hole, or holes. Would you be so kind to expand on this James? I believe I've identified one on the port side of the keel, is there one to starboard? How big should they be?

As regards lubricating the keel movement, has anyone tried using washing-up liquid? E.g. very slippery soap which won't collect mud or sand. I have used successfully over very many years on launching trailer rollers. Have not dared yet on the Parker keel.
I found the void in my keel full of water and corrosion around the edge of the void. I therefore had the keel removed and, on the yard’s advice the panels glued back on (without rivets which, because aluminium, will not last long on the presence of salt water and iron). The problem of course is that only the first panel can be glued back on properly (when one has access to the inside of the void) and to cut a long story short the second panel fell off, probably on a hot day on when the air trapped in the cavity expanded beyond what the glue could hold. We therefore designed a second repair wherein the cavity was filled with a foam block which was then glassed in, and the keel surface filled, faired and painted. This seems to me to be a much better solution (no air cavity). So far so good.
Mike Ball
P235 No 36 "Juicy Blue"