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Old 10-10-2010
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C&C 121 Keel Bolts

This is a heads up about the keel bolts on the C&C 121, or at least on hulls made around 2000. I have hull #9. We had water coming into the bilge through the bolt holes, and a growing crack between the keel and the hull. After 10 years of pounding around San Francisco Bay, this wasn't too alarming - it was just something to be dealt with. I had the boat hauled at Nelson's Marine in Alameda, to have the join cleaned and resealed, and the bolts tightened. They did a great job, but only after figuring out that there are 2 hidden bolts.

In my hull, there are 2 removable panels in the cabin sole for access to two separate bilge sections. There's a thick structural bulkhead between the two sections, with a drain hole between the two. There are structural bulkheads at the fore and aft ends of the 2 sections, with similar drain holes. The two bilge sections on the other sides of these bulkheads are inaccessible - there's fiberglass and a wooden cabin sole covering them. You can see the aft hidden bilge section by poking around under the galley sink, but you can't get mechanical access to it that way. The fore hidden bilge section is simply inaccessible.

It turns out that there are are 2 keel bolts in these hidden sections - 1 in the fore section, and one in the aft section. To loosen the nuts (to drop the keel to clean and reseal the join to the hull stub) and tighten them again required cutting new access holes through the cabin sole. The hidden bolts were about 4 inches past the structural bulkhead, about 8 inches from the accessible side.

If you need to do work on the keel bolts, and your hull is similar to mine, you'll need to find these bolts and get access to them. I don't know whether all 121 hulls are the same. It's possible to find the bolts with one of those portable construction cameras with a mini lens on the end of a flex antenna.

I hope this is helpful for other 121 owners.

For what it's worth, apparently C&C isn't the only manufacturer who has hidden keel bolts.
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