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  #11  
Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

I would drop the keel if you are able to. The water that destroyed the bolts got there somehow and decades old bedding, even 5200, is well overdue for replacement.
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

My post from another thread;

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
(Ya, I know it's an old thread...)

I thought that I should share a couple of pictures that Illustrate this point.

One of the boats I was looking at had "some" moisture in the bilge (actually, most). The owner periodically pumped it out, or let the bilge pump handle it. I'll tell you now that I eventually bought this boat, and will live with the consequences.

When I went to look at the boat, with the intent of purchasing, here is what the bilge looked like (unfortunately it still looks a lot like this today):


and here are the keel bolts;



Not too bad - or so I thought...

I eventually made an offer on this boat, and when it went to survey here is what the keel looked like;
Pre powerwash;


Post powerwash;


Something struck me as odd about the keel, and the way that it sat in relation to the hull... After much insistence to the surveyor, and the broker, and the owner, and the yard manager, the surveyor checked it out...

Sure enough, the keel was loose, and the bottom would move about ¼" from side to side. Not a lot, but enough to kill the deal.

The owner faced with this prospect wisely decided to repair the problem and go from there. He had the keel dropped, and here is what we saw;








Four of the seven bolts were TOAST

The owner paid over $9500 to have this situation addressed by the yard.

The yard sent the keel out to I Broomfield & Son in Providence, RI. I asked them about their procedure, and this is what they said;
"When replacing keel bolts, we melt the lead around the bolt, remove the old
bolt (which is usually 304 SS), and replace it with a new bolt (316SS). The
lead is replaced and the keel is faired and painted around the area. The
cost is $450.00 per bolt. Depending upon the time of year, the number of
bolts that need replacing and how busy we are it usually takes about 4-6
weeks. This price does not include freight. The re-attaching of your keel
is usually taken care of at the boat yard, this is something that we are not
involved with at all."

The yard reattached the keel by first bedding it in 5200, and then lowering the boat onto the keel. Then they wrapped the keel in fiberglass & epoxy, and refaired the keel. Here is a pic AFTER the fix;


Wet bilge = BAD
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Getting back onto the water after undergoing knee surgery.
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  #13  
Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

The attached is an example of what was holding the keel on, on my Columbia 43 when I bought it and what I replaced it with. The bilge was dusty dry but obviously wasn't always that way. The fasteners were steel tapped into an iron keel so it was an easy fix. Other than the heavy equipment needed to remove & reinstall the keel, it only cost a few $hundred for the stainless pieces.

Lead keels are not better than iron keels in EVERY way.
Attached Thumbnails
Replacing lead Keel bolts-58.-actually-held-keel-.jpg   Replacing lead Keel bolts-63.-new-keel-hardware-3.jpg  
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Old 10-14-2012
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

Plus 1 for Gene T's idea. Windows in the keel allow for through-bolting - MUCH stronger than threading into lead (very soft - not much tensile strength). Hinckley attaches lead keel ballast that way.
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

Wowsa Eherlihy! What a surprise? How would you ever know there was a problem? Those bolts look fine!! I would have chalked that seem up to normal flexing!

I cut the 5200 away, the keel dropped a bit. See Pics. I am thinking that I will install 8 stainless 1/2-13 hanger bolts. Currently, there are six 1/2-13 studs. I was thinking maybe I should add two 5/8 window bolts in addition. Not really sure if that is necessary. Clamp force on these hangers is 9600 lbs.

It looks like the studs are in good shape up to the bilge. In the bilge is where the corrosion occured. This boat must have had a wet bilge most of its life.
Attached Thumbnails
Replacing lead Keel bolts-picture-014.jpg   Replacing lead Keel bolts-picture-018.jpg   Replacing lead Keel bolts-picture-017.jpg  

Last edited by cousineddy; 10-14-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

Just calculated the max torque for these hanger bolts in lead. 35 ft lbs. That equates to a 5700 clamp force. So, I think I will add some window bolts too. Maybe a couple 3/4 bolts.
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousineddy View Post
Wowsa Eherlihy! What a surprise? How would you ever know there was a problem? Those bolts look fine!! I would have chalked that seem up to normal flexing!

I cut the 5200 away, the keel dropped a bit. See Pics. I am thinking that I will install 8 stainless 1/2-13 hanger bolts. Currently, there are six 1/2-13 studs. I was thinking maybe I should add two 5/8 window bolts in addition. Not really sure if that is necessary. Clamp force on these hangers is 9600 lbs.

It looks like the studs are in good shape up to the bilge. In the bilge is where the corrosion occured. This boat must have had a wet bilge most of its life.
Those pics are from September 2010.

When she was hauled for survey, I looked at the boat from directly off the bow. IIRC the boat was not perfectly level in the slings, but the keel pointed straight down. Regardless of my failing memory, I do recall that the keel did not appear symmetrical with the hull. It was not off a lot, perhaps ½ to 2º. The yard manager, and the broker, felt that the boat came off the production line like that. The surveyor was quiet.

I kept expressing my concern, because it just didn't look right to me. Finally, the surveyor crawled under the hull, and looked up at the joint. As he was crawling under the keel, he pulled on the keel, and it moved. He quickly got up from under the hull, and told me that I was right, and the keel was loose. The keel would flex about ¼" port to starboard at the bottom of the keel.

Here is a pic taken immediately after the keel was repaired. You can see that the keel and the hull appear symmetrical.

(I forgot how bad her gelcoat looked when I first bought her... Sheeesh!)

Left unchecked, this would have only become worse as the boat was tacked. I don't get what you mean by "normal flexing."

I had the hull sodablasted and barrier coated this year. Here is what the keel joint looked like after it was stripped in April, 2012;

(Thanks to Maine Sail for his tips on Compounding and Waxing. This boat was not compounded or waxed this year before the pics were taken, or at all this year, because I could not get clear access to work on the boat in the yard that I stored her last winter. The hull was last compounded by me 1 year before this pic was taken. She will look better next year.)





THERE SHOULD BE NO MOVEMENT OF THE KEEL - PERIOD.

Last edited by eherlihy; 10-14-2012 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 10-15-2012
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

So, you say your boat won't point well? My Hunter 27 pointing ability was very poor, then the keel nearly fell off, came down about 2" when they lifted her to go in the water the next season! I fixed it, and the difference in pointing ability was astonishing. Apparently you DO need a keel to sail upwind!

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Old 10-17-2012
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

While probably most boats are made with "j" bolts for their keel bolts, there are plenty that used the pocket method, mine included. Here is what they looked like when we dropped the keel and replaced them all with silicon bronze.

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Old 10-17-2012
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Re: Replacing lead Keel bolts

Sweet! I have been thinking about this.

I dont think I will be able to drill perpindicular, intersecting holes precise enough to do the window method. I will end up with over sized holes to get my studs to thread into dowel nuts.

There are currently six 1/2-13 studs casted into the keel which weighs 1400 lbs about.

The largest hanger studs I can find are 1/2-13, 6 in long, with the lag portion 3 inches long. According to my calcs, the pullout strength in pure lead is about 6000 lbs. With the boat at a 90 degree heel, the tensile load on the 2 out board bolts is about 7000 lbs. That ignores the fore and aft single bolts. So thats 3500 per bolt. If you want the preload to be higher than the joint separation load, we exceed the pull out strength in lead (conservsative).

So, I am going to use six 3/4 dia by 6" stainless Lag bolts. Pull out strength on each one is 13700 lbs in pure lead with 4 inches of thread engagement. This will allow my preload to be 2x the joint sep load and still have a large margin of safety. I will torque these to 100 ft lb, and use Bellville spring washers under the head that flatten out at 5100 lb of preload, so I have a visual indication of adequate preload.

These will also be easy to install. So, I think this is the best approach. Catalina should have hired me.
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