Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Callao, VA
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner
Looks pretty daggoned nice for an "old" boat...what you are seeing is some "filler" or thickened paint/epoxy that has been placed around them to pretty up the bilge. I would chip it and see if it is fiberglass or some sort of caulking (as it appears..in the photos). But that is me, curiosity killed the cat. Now that it is cleaned, you can just leave it and monitor it easy for any change in color texture and condition.
Were there problems, you would see a lot of flaking off of said stuff, as well as rust stains/trails
My guess is that you could chip/scrape this off and find fairly pristine nuts on those keel bolts.
Cleaning the bilge was not foolish, actually the opposite. You need to know what is there and remove in crud/stuff/coins/tools/etc that lives there. The switches and pumps will thank you and the smell of that stuff can be annoying.
You are good to go, enjoy the holiday.