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-   -   Heritage One Ton - Replace Keel Bolts??? (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/89032-heritage-one-ton-replace-keel-bolts.html)

Windborn 06-25-2012 07:10 PM

Heritage One Ton - Replace Keel Bolts???
 
For a number of years, I've looked at the tops of the keel bolts in the shallow bilge of our old IOR warrior and quietly said to myself "don't got here". Well, I've decided that it is probably time to investigate how well the bolts have held up over the nearly 36+ years since they were socked home.

They have some corrosion, but I've seen a lot worse in some newer boats. There have been no signs of any movement in the keel / hull bond, and we couldn't seen any cracks along the hull / keel joint during the last haul out. Frankly, the only reason I'm thinking about this is that the boat is going on 40 years old and I'd like to keep sailing her for another decade or so (without any unnecessary excitement)

I know there are a number of SailNet folks who own Heritage One tonners, and I was hoping that someone might be able to share some of their experiences along these lines before I commit myself to one of Dante's rings.

One option I'm considering is to add pairs of sister bolts rather than trying to remove / inspect / replace the originals. Any thoughts, guidance, or warnings would be greatly appreciated.

Tom

SloopJonB 06-26-2012 02:37 AM

Re: Heritage One Ton - Replace Keel Bolts???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Windborn (Post 888939)
For a number of years, I've looked at the tops of the keel bolts in the shallow bilge of our old IOR warrior and quietly said to myself "don't got here". Well, I've decided that it is probably time to investigate how well the bolts have held up over the nearly 36+ years since they were socked home.

They have some corrosion, but I've seen a lot worse in some newer boats. There have been no signs of any movement in the keel / hull bond, and we couldn't seen any cracks along the hull / keel joint during the last haul out. Frankly, the only reason I'm thinking about this is that the boat is going on 40 years old and I'd like to keep sailing her for another decade or so (without any unnecessary excitement)

I know there are a number of SailNet folks who own Heritage One tonners, and I was hoping that someone might be able to share some of their experiences along these lines before I commit myself to one of Dante's rings.

One option I'm considering is to add pairs of sister bolts rather than trying to remove / inspect / replace the originals. Any thoughts, guidance, or warnings would be greatly appreciated.

Tom

You've got a lead keel so removing/replacing the originals is not a practical option. Sistering into lead is pretty iffy as well unless you use hanger bolts - lag screw thread on one end and SAE threads on the other. Even that is pretty mickey mouse, especially on a keel as heavy as yours.

You say the joint is good and the nuts etc. aren't scary bad? Pull the nuts one at a time and inspect the threads on the bolts. Brush them with a brass or stainless steel brush to clean them up. If they look O/K, put new washers & nuts on and torque them down.

mitiempo 06-26-2012 12:33 PM

Re: Heritage One Ton - Replace Keel Bolts???
 
3 Attachment(s)
Any corrosion of the keel bolts is likely to be in the section that is invisible. Stainless steel seldom corrodes in the open, but when damp and not exposed to air.
The only way to be really sure is to drop the keel.
In the pics below the corrosion was not visible until the keels were dropped.

Stumble 06-26-2012 03:08 PM

Re: Heritage One Ton - Replace Keel Bolts???
 
Tom,

Replacing or adding keel bolts is a pretty major undertaking. Because keel bolts are bent in a J before the final lead is poured, they are actually cast into the top layer of lead. This makes drilling holes for new ones a little problematic, since if you hit one the hole you just drilled is going to have to be filled and relocated.

Mars Keels has a service where they replace keel bolts, but it takes removing the keel and shipping it to them. I have never done it, but I would guess it is a pretty expensive undertaking. But they do have instructions online for how to do it. http://www.marskeel.com/fckeditor/us...cement_pdf.pdf

The first step in this process is the same regardless if you do it yourself or pay someone else too. You have to take the boat out of the water, then remove the mast from the boat. Once that's done you unbolt the keel, and have the hull moved to new stands in the yard. This allows you to inspect the keel bolts and determine which ones are candidates for replacement.

It is a scary process the first time through it, but it isn't really that bad. I got a lot of practice working for a racing boat that switched keels regularly. About every 3 months we would swap out the keel for a different one.

Personally if I did go this route, I would switch to titanium bolts (not my sig, this is a conflict of interest for me). Once replaced with titanium, things like crevice corrosion cease to be a concern for the life of the boat. They are a hit more expensive, but since it is a permanent fix, you will never have to do it again.

SloopJonB 06-26-2012 03:48 PM

Re: Heritage One Ton - Replace Keel Bolts???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stumble (Post 889357)
Tom,

Replacing or adding keel bolts is a pretty major undertaking. Because keel bolts are bent in a J before the final lead is poured, they are actually cast into the top layer of lead. This makes drilling holes for new ones a little problematic, since if you hit one the hole you just drilled is going to have to be filled and relocated.

Mars Keels has a service where they replace keel bolts, but it takes removing the keel and shipping it to them. I have never done it, but I would guess it is a pretty expensive undertaking. But they do have instructions online for how to do it. http://www.marskeel.com/fckeditor/us...cement_pdf.pdf

The first step in this process is the same regardless if you do it yourself or pay someone else too. You have to take the boat out of the water, then remove the mast from the boat. Once that's done you unbolt the keel, and have the hull moved to new stands in the yard. This allows you to inspect the keel bolts and determine which ones are candidates for replacement.

It is a scary process the first time through it, but it isn't really that bad. I got a lot of practice working for a racing boat that switched keels regularly. About every 3 months we would swap out the keel for a different one.

Personally if I did go this route, I would switch to titanium bolts (not my sig, this is a conflict of interest for me). Once replaced with titanium, things like crevice corrosion cease to be a concern for the life of the boat. They are a hit more expensive, but since it is a permanent fix, you will never have to do it again.

You don't need to ship it to Mars - any big foundry can do it. Pull the keel, dig a hole big enough to hold it, fill the hole around it with cement, pull the keel, make a template of the bolt pattern, melt the keel into the hole, using the template to hold the bolts in their original places and you're done.

There are a FEW details I haven't covered ;) but that's the basic process to recast the same shape. Obviously it is dangerous work so you want pro's to do it but small ones can be done with care by oneself.


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