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Thread: RC Canting Keel Mechanism

  1. #1
    lorsail Guest

    Default RC Canting Keel Mechanism

    This topic was inspired by a comment Ryan made regarding the fact that I had not detailed the mechanical system of a canting keel boat; this is only a begining and will be enhanced as time goes by.
    Grunta Mckinnon of Wind Warrior is building the production Ultimate Warrior ,the first production canting keel boat, and has contributed to this forum in a couple of places notably under the topic of "Sailing a Canting Keel Boat". John Beavis has posted pictures of his mechanical setup for his new boat. Since I haven't seen either of those up close I can only speak of my past and future designs.
    Before you get into the mechanical part of a canting keel design you should read the other material posted in this section,under New Classes and under the articles section on CBTF and the other forms of lateral resistance that can be used-YOU MUST USE ADDITIONAL LATERAL RESISTANCE with a canting keel boat . You need to decide this first because it may impact the design of your mechanical system
    The first thing I have considered is the method needed to make a canting keel move thru the hull without leaking. I can't post pictures or illustrations but will send anyone a hand drawn illustration of anything that is not clear.
    On my first boats a module is used, machined out of aluminum ,that takes the keel(retained by a removable pin) and a lever that actually moves the keel side toside. The module has reduced diameter ends that run in a set of brass tubes: one fixed to the module and one fixed to the boat.There are two brass tubes-very close fitting- at each end. The two ends are about 5/8"(16mm) in diameter with the center section that holds the keel about 1" in dia.(25mm). The center section is about half again as long as the diameter; the forward end is equal in length to the smaller diameter and the aft end is 1.25" long(32mm). The aft end is longer because it takes the inside pivot lever.
    In installing this unit in a production boat a carbon cover is used for the raised center section and teflon washers at each end of the center section then the entire moudule is greasesd and the unit plus cover set in the hull mold. During layup the whole thing is glassed in except for the part of the aft end that takes the inside lever. When the hull/deck are pulled the unit comes out ready to take the keel and have the lever installed.It is 100% watertite and free turning. Again, I can send anyone that wishes an illustration of this system as well as an actual module at cost or for you to use to machine your own and then return the original.
    The newest design of this system
    is still under development and is somewhat different and less than half the weight; it will be detailed in a future posting.
    On the first several prototypes I tested the overriding design goal was to have the keel cant 55 degrees or more to at least match the full size high performance canting keel systems. Additionally, the target is to have the keel move from zero degrees to 55 degrees in one second. The beam of my last prototype and the beam of the F100CBTF are so narrow that the best way I've found so far to accomplish moving the keel is to use a block and tackle system(2/1) coupled with a fairly long inside lever and a small drum on a Guyatt 380HD winch. The line I use is spectra and I use it exclusively on my spinnaker systems so I know it's characteristics inside and out. Spectra line under load tends to creep which is like stretching but it doesn't spring back; when the line is thru creeping it behaves like wire with virtually no stretch. So in the canting keel application before I install the line I "pre-creep" it by tying it between two posts for a week--using a turnbuckle to keep tension on it.
    The entire block system including the winch is attached to an easily removable carbon structure that simply drops into the boat--no rigging down in the hull.
    The setup includes two turnbuckles and two spring loaded blocks so that tension is on the line at all times. This system allows a 55 degree canting keel in a 6" wide hull and works very well and is quite simple to build for anyone I would think. No critical alignment ; easy to work on and allows the absolute maximum angle to the keel permitted by the hull. As far as radio setup my recommendation is to put the canting keel on the same stick as the sails only moving side to side-more on this elsewhere.("Sailing a Canting Keel Boat",this section)
    This system is fast reliable ,watertite and easy to make ; if you would like a sketch just ask.....

    Doug Lord
    --High Technology Sailing/Racing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Hey Doug,

    A picture is worth a thousand words. From your 1000 words, I have a pretty good picture, but boy would I like to see it.

    I know that your WebTV setup does not let you post pictures. How about adding some pictures to your MicroSail site and posting the link here.

    - Will

    Will Gorgen

  3. #3
    lorsail Guest


    Pix are a pain since I have no digital camera;I'll get someone who does to help out after the holidays....

    Doug Lord
    --High Technology Sailing/Racing

  4. #4


    Anyone else here have a scanner to help Doug out? Most Kinko's and Office Max type places like that either have do it yourself stations or will scan photos very cheaply.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom


    I have a scanner and a digi camera that i could lend to Doug, Just a shame theres a very very big bit of rough water in the way of getting it to him!

    If its not blowing it sucks!

  6. #6
    lorsail Guest


    You guys are great: send that camera! And scanner and a real computer while you're at it!
    Just kidding, mostly.
    At any rate I'm sure I can get pix after the holidays as the lowest of priorities. I could mail the module to anyone that wants to see it as well as the carbon winch structure for the aeroSKIFF which is similar to the new one. Of course, you could come down here and take your own pictures.....

    Doug Lord
    --High Technology Sailing/Racing

  7. #7


    Here is one of the pictures of the module. There will be more on the way I just got the camera figured out. You do have to use a little imagination and replace the balsa with a beautiful carbon fin and replace that paintbrush handle with a carbon rod capped off with a pekabe 2/1 block. Sorry I didn't have that stuff on hand I ran fresh out just yesterday

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] canting small.jpg

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] Canting Mechanism s.jpg

  8. #8
    lorsail Guest


    Thanks Dave! But wheres the battery?

    Doug Lord
    --High Technology Sailing/Racing

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    New Zealand


    Hi all here's some photos of the canting keel mechanism in my F100

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] 05.JPG

    These are the mouldings to house the pivot the one with the slot in is the bottom unit which holds the front and rear bushes.

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] 06.JPG

    This shows the main pivot front and rear bushes and the rough control lever, the rear bush has an "o" ring fittted in it.

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] 08.JPG

    The pivot assembly fitted in hull.

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] 15.JPG

    The internal moving parts the control lever gear quadrant , 380hd guyatt winch and round key.

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] 18.JPG

    Gear quadrant fitted in hull.

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] DSC00626.JPG

    Temperary keel and rudders fitted, the keel with be carbon fibre to match the rest of the boat.

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] DSC00630.JPG

    Looking at inside of boat.

    Download Attachment: [img]images/icon_paperclip.gif[/img] DSC00639.JPG

    Close up of drive system.

    I hope that the photos have attached to posting, enjoy!!!!!!!

    I am working on the rig when time premits so it should be hitting the water in about 4 weeks if I don't get sidetracked in building fences, painting the house, triming the hedge and gaining brownie points!!!!!!

    John Beavis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    New Zealand


    Just an additon note I have full Autocad drawings of the mechanism if anyone is interested.

    Joihn B

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