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  #11  
Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
If the bolts had deteriorated it would certainly have been visible when you removed the plywood, which was likely at least damp. If they looked good where they were buried in the plywood they will be good lower as well. You are over-thinking this. Adding extra bolts will not add much anyway as they will not have as solid of an attachment as the originals nor hold as much load as the originals.
The wood was damp throughout but there was no "puddling" of water around the bolts, just dampness. Maybe there is water laying in around the laminate and next to the bolts.
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Re: Keel Bolts

I will probably wait until I inspect a couple bolts to decide on adding others. But I have drilled through lead before and it really isn't a bad or difficult job. I would think using, say three fender washers and a nut would have tremendous holding power.
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Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

Catalina 27 factory drawings before they decided to use lag bolts . this is a standard type of repair used on many boats
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Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

I've been down the keel bolt replacement road, and I have some concerns that I would address before drilling holes in the bottom of my boat.

The keel on my boat was made by I Broomfield & Sons. The keel bolts are set in - for lack of a better word - pedestals in the lead, with islands of foam between them... Here is a pic that should explain what I mean;

That brown stuff is polyisocyanurate... It's not really very strong stuff, especially with a tensile force applied. The white stuff is 5200, and you can see why the keel was dropped by looking at the bolt in the background.

I believe that simply drilling a hole without KNOWING what you are drilling into will be akin to this;
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Last edited by eherlihy; 02-04-2013 at 09:30 PM.
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Re: Keel Bolts

Eherly, thanks for the vote of confidence. If I drill in and don't find lead, I won't put the keel bolt in the hole. I may even stop drilling before I get to far. How far down does that foam go in your keel?

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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

I'm not being critical of you. I am simply stating that I would not drill holes in the bottom of my boat unless I knew exactly where to drill, and what I was getting into. I believe that the only way to find this information out, is to drop the keel. My decision is based on my experience.

However, we are discussing your boat boat, do what you will...

I believe that the foam goes down about 4" into the keel, but I don't know exactly, because the repair work (new bolts) was done by I Broomfeild & Sons in Providence, RI.
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Re: Keel Bolts

Eherlihy, I can find that information from Catalina Yachts. And one of their fixes is to drill new holes and install lag bolts. To me that is not a good option. As long as you are drilling the long hole you might as well drill out the window. As far as dropping the keel I'm not about to spend $4-5000 dollars to have a repair done "correctly" when I can achieve the same effect with a few hundred dollars of material. The cost/benefit of sending the keel to Broomfield just isn't there when I can drill and window in four new keel bolts and have double the strength of when it was new. Windowing has been done on Catalina 27's and other boats before and is totally an acceptable procedure. See Judy B. Maybe, in your case, windowing was not an alternative because of the way your keel was constructed with those pockets. And as I said in my OP my bolts were perfect down to what I could see and are most likely OK. I'm doing this just as an additional measure. After my inspection I may not even add them. I don't think my case is anywhere near what yours was. And I'm in fresh, cool water unlike you with salty, warm water. My post was about the positioning of the bolts and windows not about repairing an obvious problem area.

Last edited by Ajay73; 02-05-2013 at 08:38 AM.
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Re: Keel Bolts

How are you planning on drilling 12" down straight? Seems like that would be pretty hard to do while it is still mounted in the boat.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

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How are you planning on drilling 12" down straight? Seems like that would be pretty hard to do while it is still mounted in the boat.
I think the bit most use is an augar bit and drilling straight shouldn't be much of an issue if you go slow. Sorry, but not getting what you mean by "it is still mounted in the boat". If you are talking about the keel mounted in the boat I'm not sure what that would have to do with drilling holes straight.

Last edited by Ajay73; 02-06-2013 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

It would be hard to use a jig to drill straight with the keel still on the boat. I suppose telling what is straight w.r.t. the keel from inside will be harder too. I do not think you can trust that your cabin floor is perfectly square to the keel.

I think I'd drop the keel and fully inspect the bolts and only add new ones if there truly is a problem. If there is a problem, wouldn't you rather know than hope the extra bolts you added are enough? You are weakening your keel stub by drilling it up, maybe you will just make things worse?

Isn't that what happened to the Cynthia Woods? Poor repairs to the keel stub after a grounding and maybe a design weakness resulted in the keel bolts ripping out of the boat. The bolts didn't break or come out of the keel, it was the boat that broke.
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