Interesting detail: when the locker covers are in their proper place, the finger holes are at the wrong side. My old 'Piper had that problem too. I fixed it by drilling a new hand slot along the inboard edge of the plywood cover. Isn't that curious?
If the keel doesn't get any easier or doesn't stop sticking, let it dry for a couple weeks after the end of sailing season and try again. If it's now easier and not sticking, you may have a small problem with the keel swelling when it's wet.
I had that a little bit (even after removing the marine growth mentioned in the other keel thread), and when I was able to jack up the trailer and let the keel descend fully, I found that the front and back seams on the keel skin were opening in places. I epoxied up the seams where I could get at them, and the keel hasn't had any binding since.
Thanks for the compliment Ken. I ended up painting all the teak wood white as it was in bad shape and weathered. I must admit it looked a lot better than I thought it would. I also replaced the teak rub rail with rubber which looks O.K. I ended up installing a black rubber track with a small white insert. When I look at it now I wish I used a black insert. One mistake I did make was I did not pull and stretch rubber track enough when installing and there is a bit of ripple where each screw is located. I had somebody pulling the rubber track when I fastened in place but don't think it was stretched nearly enough. You really have to pull and have your full weight into it . You need to soak rail in very warm water for 20 mins to make it more pliable. I think I might have been a bit slow in the whole process making it more difficult. Also when fastening screws with drill in some spots tiny pieces of rubber came away. If I had the black insert you would not even notice but with the white insert it stands out a bit more. Should have greased up drill bit and screw driver bit before installing the screws. But overall I am definitely happy with the outcome and I would do it again. I will post some close up pictures of rub rail shortly.
I am definitely going to lift boat off trailer this fall so I can pull trailer forward a few inches so I can lower keel. The keel was in great shape and I was easily able to get it up and down except for after I painted it with antifouling paint. Stupid me let paint try for a couple days raised keel up and then took boat off cradle back onto trailer as I was so excited to go sailing. Never thought in a million years paint would stick enough so heavy keel would not fall. When I come to think of it I also patched a few deep scratched and imperfections so maybe they are grabbing as well even though I did a good sanding job. Goods news is keel goes down with enough knocking of the keel box so all is not lost. I did notice after sail keel went up very smoothly with greased screw and new bearing kit.