I've been mulling adding this one to the list for some time. All of the keel horror stories that have popped up of late have made me decide to add the following to the list.
If you are looking at an older (10+years) boat with a bolt on keel, I strongly suggest that you add language to support the following to the offer to purchase. IF the deal should get to the point of a survey, that as part of the survey that you remove and re-torque at least three of the keel bolts.
Here is why;
When I went to look at my current boat, with the intent of purchasing, here is what the bilge looked like
and here are the keel bolts;
Note the manual pump in the above picture... There was a "little" water in the bilge, and this pump was right here when I looked at the boat on its mooring.
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;
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 ¼" 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 only way that this would have been caught, if I didn't make such a fuss, would be to remove, and re-torque several of the keel bolts.
The owner paid over $9500 to have this situation addressed by the yard. Better on his dime than mine, or yours!