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Bill Z 06-22-2006 12:31 PM

Ericson 35-3 hull to keel joint
I'm looking to purchase a 1988 35-3. The boat is in very good condition except i noticed a gap on the trailing edge of the keel to hull joint. I can see light between the two and it extends about 5 inches in from the trailing edge.
Any thoughts???

egregerson 06-29-2006 11:06 PM

Have it surveyed; or other 'expert' opinion/advice. An ounce of caution....

CaptDaveB 01-05-2007 11:28 PM

My 35-3 has the same small gap on the trailing edge. I tightened the keel bolt nuts; still a small gap. I don't think it is a problem if the rest of the keel is flush with the hull and the nuts are tight.

FrankLanger 01-08-2007 02:18 PM

Would you not be concerned about the possibility of seawater getting at the keel bolts and causing corrosion over time? :confused:

CaptDaveB 01-08-2007 07:42 PM

not necessarily
Bill Z & Frank

My line of thought on this matter:

The trailing edge of the keel tapers and is very narrow. I think the caulking washes out over time. The keel studs are located further forward and the caulking there remains intact, thus sealing the bolts. If the keel stud nuts are tight and water is leaking into the bilge, there is a problem.

Perhaps some other owners might speak up regarding this. There is no way to know to know for sure unless you were to haul the boat, drop and rebed the keel. I took the gamble, but I also got a good deal on my boat.

One thing I would look for is stress cracks in the fiberglass near the aft part of the keel to hull joint, inside and out, indicating a hard grounding. Particularly if you have the deep draft model.


FrankLanger 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....

sailingdeac 06-13-2010 02:10 PM

My 87 E34 has a similar fine opening. Bolts would not tighten further. I think the comment on the forward placement of the bolts is valid. So I very much doubt this is a problem

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