C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-30-2012 Thread Starter
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C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

My father is about to purchase a 1982 C&C 32. The boat is in excellent condition, with the exception of this crack:

OK, the photo will follow, having trouble posting it right now. But it's pretty simple, it's a crack in the bottom paint from the leading edge of the keel back about 1 foot along the keel stub/keel joint (where the glass meets the lead). As far as I can see, it is about 1/16 inch wide at the most, possibly even less. I can't tell how deep the crack goes without chipping many layers of old bottom paint.

I imagine that checking the keel bolt tension is in order, then maybe some caulking (4200 or life caulk?) at the crack, would fix this, it's not really a big fix. Am I right about that?

It's gonna go in the water in a few days, I was thinking to simply wait until the winter haulout to address this issue. The keel has been on there for 30 years, I can't imagine it will fall off now. I checked all the keel bolts inside, they are clean and rust free. Am I seriously risking a major structural failure by waiting for the end of the season to check the tension in the bolts and re-caulk?

I read Don Casey's article on keel re-bedding, and it seems a re-bed might eventually be in order, but being a lead keel this may be extremely difficult. He seems to say that, if it's really tough and there are no actual structural failures, it is often best to just leave well enough alone. Thoughts?
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

Not uncommon, and probably mostly cosmetic, but the precautions you mention make sense.

Your surveyor's comments on the item should be your guide.

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-30-2012
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

For some insight of how bad it could be, look here.


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post #4 of 16 Old 04-30-2012
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

For some more insight of how bad it could be, look here. This is an example of what was holding my 10,200 Lb. iron keel on. There were five pieces of channel and 10 bolts - all that bad. For some unaccountable reason it wasn't even leaking.
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58. This actually held the keel on!.jpg  

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

You guys are scaring me...

I have to say though, the keel bolts are almost completely corrosion free in the sump, unlike in most of the examples of corroded keel bolts that I found online
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-30-2012
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
You guys are scaring me...

I have to say though, the keel bolts are almost completely corrosion free in the sump, unlike in most of the examples of corroded keel bolts that I found online
Um...
Before dropping the keel;


Same bolt after dropping the keel;


I'm not trying to scare you. I just want you to know what you are potentially in for.
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-30-2012
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

Peter, we had a similar issue when we bought our '87 Cal a couple of years ago.

Herlihy's post/advice convinced me drop the keel this past off season and have it re-bed. Although the bolts ended up being fine, the peace of mind in knowing it's OK was more than worth the cost and effort. After 25+ years, it's a maintenance item that need's to be done regardless.

Walk around a yard when the boats are on the hard and you'll see all types of cracks at the keel to hull joint. It's normal, but shouldn't be taken for granted.
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
You guys are scaring me...

I have to say though, the keel bolts are almost completely corrosion free in the sump, unlike in most of the examples of corroded keel bolts that I found online
As Aherlihy points out, it's the part going through the hull where the problem usually occurs, not the exposed area and nuts.

FYI though, the smile is commonplace - it's routinely called the C&C smile and the Catalina smile - seldom a serious problem.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

I don't see any bonding wires on those bolts.
The keel bolts on my C&C 32 are attached to the boats bonding system and the studs and nuts and backing plates are still shiny and new in appearance.
I would guess that the studs in the picture were destroyed by electrolysis rather than corrosion.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: C&C "smile", crack at the stub/keel joint... problem?

I agree with Sloopjonb. This is an almost universal and usually cosmetic problem with C&Cs as well as other brands.
You MAY have keel bolt corrosion also but I'd say the two issues are no more linked than the fact that you may have a cracked swage fitting on your rigging.

Loosen keel bolts, clean out the crack, caulk and retorque. Or just caulk it and sail for this season.

Mark Smith
1977 C&C 30 Mk 1 hailing from Port Clinton, Ohio
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