Tightening Keel Bolts - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 34 Old 02-28-2007
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Hey pigslo...I'm glad you switched back to your old avatar... seems you're a bit touchy about me calling your boat slow...

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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #22 of 34 Old 02-28-2007
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You can call me stupid or ugly, even say I dress like Cam, but to say my boat is slow....
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post #23 of 34 Old 02-28-2007
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Ok... you're stupid, ugly and dress like Cam...and look like Giulietta... and have a slow boat on top of all that...

Actually, boat speed is all relative... compared to my little 28' boat, which is a trimaran, your boat is kinda slow...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #24 of 34 Old 02-28-2007
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sailaway21 yes keel bolts should be retourqued after the boat is put in the water and after a few days so the hull can take it's normal shape. when it does this it can cause the bolts to have less tension on them or for that matter more depending on the change in hull shape. if you think it only happens to wood hulls not so. a fibre glass hull will actually pull up at the ends because of stay tension.
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post #25 of 34 Old 02-28-2007
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Thanks for the info, Mike
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post #26 of 34 Old 03-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike dryver
sailaway21 yes keel bolts should be retourqued after the boat is put in the water and after a few days so the hull can take it's normal shape. when it does this it can cause the bolts to have less tension on them or for that matter more depending on the change in hull shape. if you think it only happens to wood hulls not so. a fibre glass hull will actually pull up at the ends because of stay tension.
How interesting Mike, are you talking about any boats in particular? The only times I have had to tamper with keel bolts on a fiberglass boat were after re-bedding the keel or at the request of the manufacturer. It was not standard practice in my shop to do anything with them other then that.

Yes, fiberglass is very flexible and on some boats when you picked them up with a lift the hull would flex quite a bit and sometimes the hull keel joint would open up at the ends. The area in the way of the bolts did not move and I canít remember ever needing to tighten up the bolts because of the flex. I think itís a crushing of the glass that would have an effect on the bolts not the flexing of the hull.

The only times I needed to re-bed a keel was after dropping it to do fiberglass repair work or to change keels on a racing boat or to set a keel after shipping a boat. We would usually replace nuts and even keel bolts with the keel in place on a fiberglass boat.

We did work for Pearson, Catalina, J Boats, Hunter, etc and keel bolts were pretty much trouble free.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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post #27 of 34 Old 03-01-2007 Thread Starter
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Tightening Keel Bolts.

Are you suggesting that I shouldn't do this while the boat is on the hard...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike dryver
sailaway21 yes keel bolts should be retourqued after the boat is put in the water and after a few days so the hull can take it's normal shape. when it does this it can cause the bolts to have less tension on them or for that matter more depending on the change in hull shape. if you think it only happens to wood hulls not so. a fibre glass hull will actually pull up at the ends because of stay tension.
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post #28 of 34 Old 03-02-2007
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I think what he is saying is that it shouldn't have to be done at all, unless something bad has happened between where the nut is and where the bolt emerges from the keel. If your nuts are loose, they either have backed off or your hull is thinner than it used to be, or the bolts have stretched.
That would seem to go with my original suspicion, but I would not trust my judgement over other's in the matter.
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post #29 of 34 Old 03-02-2007
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Sailaway21 raises a good question. Why are you looking at the keel bolts? Unless you have a reason it may be best to adopt the attitude of ďif itís not broken donít fix it.Ē

If you do need to do anything with the bolts I think its best to do it while the boat is on the hard with the weight of the boat resting on the keel. If the bolts are loose, with the boat in the water you will be working against the law of gravity trying to pull the keel up and you will also be trying to change the shape of the hull if the ballast is pulled away from the keel stub at the ends. All of that will change the amount of force you need to put on the end of the wrench and that will change the torque reading.

Of course I can only speak from my own experience and its possible there is a boat out there where the manufacturer recommends doing this while the boat is in the water. But I havenít run across that yet.
Good luck and all the best,
Robert Gainer
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post #30 of 34 Old 03-02-2007
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One thing that flexes a sailing boat even more than on-hard vs. in-water is mast-on and mast-off. The forestay and backstay tension help drive the mast down and lift the bow and stern (same thing with the shrouds laterally). The hull tensions like a bow and the keel is a lot less flexible. This particularly stresses the forward and aft keel bolts, and their surrounding structure significantly.
Why mess with keel bolts? Well, one piece of advice often seen in yachting magazines is to check the status of keel bolts regularly. I've seen one article recommending pulling one bolt per year in turn. That's not my advice. But it depends on the keel, its bolts and the surrounding structure, I suppose.
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