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Old 05-02-2003
jbarros jbarros is offline
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why keel bolts?

Hi,

I have a small sloop, with a fully encapsulated lead balast in the leading edge of my keel. The keel is an integral part of the hull. This seems to make sense to me.

I''ve noticed that almost every larger boat has a keel bolted on, and that eventualy, the keel bolts become an item of concern. Why dont they simply use encapsulated lead and build the keel as part of the hull?

At first I thought that the strain on the hull may be too great when the weight is 8,000 lbs rather than 800, but if it''s getting bolted on anyway, I think it would have to bear the load regardless (and spread out over a much smaller area with only the 2 bolts.)

Then I considered that Perhaps the bolts didnt connect to the hull, but to framing within. But then the question remains, why couldnt this have been done inside the hull, where it was easily acessable for inspection, and kept away from the ravages of sea water?

So I''m stumped. What am I missing?

Thanks.

-- James
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