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post #12 of Old 10-14-2012
Learning the HARD way...
eherlihy's Avatar
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

My post from another thread;

Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
(Ya, I know it's an old thread...)

I thought that I should share a couple of pictures that Illustrate this point.

One of the boats I was looking at had "some" moisture in the bilge (actually, most). The owner periodically pumped it out, or let the bilge pump handle it. I'll tell you now that I eventually bought this boat, and will live with the consequences.

When I went to look at the boat, with the intent of purchasing, here is what the bilge looked like (unfortunately it still looks a lot like this today):

and here are the keel bolts;

Not too bad - or so I thought...

I eventually made an offer on this boat, and when it went to survey here is what the keel looked like;
Pre powerwash;

Post powerwash;

Something struck me as odd about the keel, and the way that it sat in relation to the hull... After much insistence to the surveyor, and the broker, and the owner, and the yard manager, the surveyor checked it out...

Sure enough, the keel was loose, and the bottom would move about " from side to side. Not a lot, but enough to kill the deal.

The owner faced with this prospect wisely decided to repair the problem and go from there. He had the keel dropped, and here is what we saw;

Four of the seven bolts were TOAST

The owner paid over $9500 to have this situation addressed by the yard.

The yard sent the keel out to I Broomfield & Son in Providence, RI. I asked them about their procedure, and this is what they said;
"When replacing keel bolts, we melt the lead around the bolt, remove the old
bolt (which is usually 304 SS), and replace it with a new bolt (316SS). The
lead is replaced and the keel is faired and painted around the area. The
cost is $450.00 per bolt. Depending upon the time of year, the number of
bolts that need replacing and how busy we are it usually takes about 4-6
weeks. This price does not include freight. The re-attaching of your keel
is usually taken care of at the boat yard, this is something that we are not
involved with at all."

The yard reattached the keel by first bedding it in 5200, and then lowering the boat onto the keel. Then they wrapped the keel in fiberglass & epoxy, and refaired the keel. Here is a pic AFTER the fix;

Wet bilge = BAD

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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/118 Instructor - Also certified in Marine Electrical Systems

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