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  #1  
Old 01-08-2012
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Rusty Keel Bolts

Hi all,

The keel bolts on my Pearson 26 are pretty rusted. Especially the aft most keel bolt; however, the is no delamination in the sole and it is solid. Since the boat is hauled for the winter i'm thinking about taking out the bolts and inspecting them. What do you all think? What would be the best way to go about this, checking them one by one? What is the best method for removing the rusted nut off the top of the bolts?

Pictures here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/1165138...OuB1beg3-3Z5QE

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2012
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they look like steel and not ss,i would take out the worse one first if its not that bad just leave the rest,if you can't loosen the nut try heating it with a torch,propane doen't get hot quick enough,or use a sharp cold chisel and hammer,pick a spot on one of the nut flats[where its thinest] its amazing how easy it will cut.btw take care you don't over heat the fiberglass
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Old 01-08-2012
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You need to find out what technique Pearson used to install their keelbolts. Many builders cast 'J' bolts into the keel, which, of course, cannot simply be 'removed'.

Edit... seen this? http://dan.pfeiffer.net/p26/keel.htm

Pearson keel bolts are just that, bolts put through the outer edges of the keel casting and the heads faired in.. this is a great site specific to your boat.
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Last edited by Faster; 01-08-2012 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 01-08-2012
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I had a P26 and the bilge was always dry - the bolts were not corroded like yours. I am wondering why your bolts are corroded in the first place.

With an outboard and a deck stepped mast, you really should not have water in the P26 bilge.

Are you having to pump water out of the bilge regularly?
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Old 01-08-2012
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James, the water never gets to the level of the bolts but there always seems to be some water in the bilge behind the aft most keel bolt (which is the lowest point in the bilge). A hard or long sail often leads to increased water in the bilge also.
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Old 01-09-2012
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Something is leaking...
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Old 01-09-2012
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Yea i've figured as much. Although, I read somewhere that one guy eventually found out that the water getting in his bilge was comming from a leak in the fresh water tank (I hope thats the case). When the boat was in the water I never noticed any water around the keel bolts which leads me to believe its somewhere else. Since I dried out the bilge when I hauled the boat for the winter I guess I'll know for sure if its the keel bolts for something else next time I go out there in which case, ironically, water in the bilge will mean something on the deck or the port lights are leaking and no water in the bilge will mean its the keel bolts . Thoughts?

Also, any idea what one should use for the filler over the filler over the bolts shown here:
http://dan.pfeiffer.net/p26/keelxsec.gif
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For a permanent cover, I would guess epoxy thickened with colloidal silica to the consistency of peanut butter, as recommended by Don Casey for filling small cavities in the hull.

For a temporary cover, I would guess marine sealant that you could dig out in the future if need be.
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Old 01-10-2012
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You have a deck leak some place, I own a Ranger 26, (almost identical keel configuration) which was suspect to the same issue. When I first purchased the boat I replaced all the keel bolts which is not bad to do on these boats since its a flannged keel.

I had to fix leaks in the port lights and toe rail. The worst part is the manual effort needed to clean out the bilge since it doesnt have a true bilge sump. Look at T-9 to protect the bolts. Boeshield T-9® | Corrosion Protection and Waterproof Lubrication licensed by Boeing.
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Forgot to mention to use rust free first RustFree | Boeshield T-9®
, then T-9 to protect.
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