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Plan for sealing keel bolts -- Comments?
When I bought it two years ago, my '79 San Juan 28 had seawater seeping in around a few of its keel bolts. (Fiberglass hull, exposed lead keel with (8) five-eighths-inch stainless keel bolts through ~2-inch-square backing plates under stainless nuts.)
I staunched the flow with neoprene o-rings under backup stainless fender washers.
Now I'm on the hard, and want to seal whatever spaces there are hidden in there. The boat's supported by its keel and boat stands, and I'm ruling out totally taking off and re-bedding the keel.
I'm thinking that, over the next couple of months, I should:
- one-by-one, pull off the original nut, backing plate, & any additional o-ring & fender washer;
- replace each nut with a castellated nut, upside down on a 3/4-inch washer, to allow passage of fluids;
- flush first with distilled water, to carry out whatever salt I can, & let dry;
- flush next with acetone, to help dry out the moisture;
- run in some penetrating epoxy to fill the voids, until it won't take any more;
- reinstall the original nuts, plates, etc., & torque 'em down.
(BTW, externally I'm replacing the gelcoat with a barrier coat below the water line -- the boat has a serious case of the pox.)
Am I off in the weeds, or on the right track? Thanks for any impressions you might share.
Last edited by broggerp; 01-05-2009 at 02:19 AM.
Reason: additional info