||01-09-2007 12:07 PM
For sure any possibility of a hard grounding needs to be checked carefully, and repaired properly. But aside from that possibility, so many boats seem to have issues with the keel/hull joint (e.g. the C&C "smile"), that this issue merits further exploration. The Ericson website had a post showing pictures of keel bolts that had corroded badly--developed a significant "waist" to about half their thickness. With the cost of dropping and rebedding the keel, many owners will ignore this possibility. While one rarely hears of boats losing their keels while underway, I am guessing there must be quite a few older boats with questionable keelbolts. :confused:
So far, I haven't heard of any good way of determining keelbolt condition, or good indications of a potential problem, other than x-ray (not possible with a lead keel) or proactively dropping/rebedding the keel. I have wondered at times if it wouldn't make sense, and maybe be cost-effective, to simply add 2 - 3 new keel bolts on any 20 year old boat; I guess the key question here would be where to add these new bolts from a structural point of view, to be able to take the stress and provide good support if needed. Any further comments welcome....