As you may have realised I have stopped mithering about engine wells and started thinking about keels.
Centaurs are excellent boats but they were built with a fault – the keels sometimes get a bit wobbly because the bit at the top, where they are bolted to the hull, was not as strong as it could be. Many of them have been strengthened.Some have not.
I am told that when they fail they tend to go slowly and progressively – although a couple have sunk on their moorings – but I assume it is slow weep over time during a period of neglect rather than a sudden falling away.
I am hoping to find a Centaur that has been put ashore because the engine is broken –
so there is a good chance that the keels will be reasonably well attached to the hull. Of course the keels could be wobbly and the engine broken, but I am hoping that no sailor would be that unlucky.
I expect that the centaur will be found lurking somewhere in the Solent – hopefully Chichester Harbour. I will run a pressure washer over her, check the standing rigging and then get her lifted and put on the water.
I hope that when she is lifted the keels will not start to wobble. If they do I have lost whatever I paid for the boat – £1500.
if the keels do not wobble then I will get her put on the water and hope that she does not leak. If it is a little leak I can live with it. If it is a big leak via the keels – then I will have to live with that and try to stop them from leaking. I will not have the time or the money to remove them and re-fit them. If it is a really terrible leak then I will have lost whatever I paid for the boat.
I will then take her around to a yard where she can be put ashore where there is power. I can use a tender and the 6hp Tohatsu to get her around to somewhere like Thornham marina.
Then I can get her put ashore
Big day 1 removing the engine – I need to cajole a couple of strong blokes to help remove the engine. It is possible to do this job in a day – so I am told.
I will then prefabricate the box for the well, the false transom and the structural cupboard where the old engine used to be
I will then be ready for Big day 2 – This involves cutting the hole in the cockpit floor (easy) and cutting the hole in the hull between the prop housing and the rudder (harder). I will dry bolt this and the cupboard into position.
Big Day 3 is when the man from Wessex resins will come to stick it all together
If I have a serious keel problem that shows itself the first time I lift the boat – or when I I launch her then I will fall back on plan B
the only trouble is… there is no plan B… How can I get rid of a Centaur with a jiggered negine and with jiggered keels – ebay I guess – reserve price – 99p
all suggestions gratefully received.
these are the keel heads on Roger’s boat – as you can see he has exposed them – they are right buggers to get at when all the furniture is in place – particularly with the A layout with the dinette I understand.
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