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  #21  
Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

I think this is little more than a false sense of security. Is there any engineering that suggests an epoxy filled hole with a bolt in it will provide any additional strength? Will the epoxy take the twisting load, along with the vertical?

I'm just cautioning against drilling additional holes in one's boat without a really good reason and firm engineering.

What conditions do you sail your boat in that give you concern?
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I think this is little more than a false sense of security. Is there any engineering that suggests an epoxy filled hole with a bolt in it will provide any additional strength? Will the epoxy take the twisting load, along with the vertical?

I'm just cautioning against drilling additional holes in one's boat without a really good reason and firm engineering.

What conditions do you sail your boat in that give you concern?
In conversations with Mars Keel about the "lag bolt" fix, sold to many Catalina owners, there is also no data. Lead is very, very soft...

The opinion of the "experts" on the subject is that this is a feel good measure only and while it may provide some additional support it would not stand up to the engineering the keel was originally designed for.. Still, this does not stop companies from selling the products....

If lags or drilling and epoxying worked builders would do it as it is less expensive than installing J bent SS or bronze fasteners into the lead when poured...
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  #23  
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I think this is little more than a false sense of security. Is there any engineering that suggests an epoxy filled hole with a bolt in it will provide any additional strength? Will the epoxy take the twisting load, along with the vertical?

I'm just cautioning against drilling additional holes in one's boat without a really good reason and firm engineering.

What conditions do you sail your boat in that give you concern?
I am not depending on the epoxy to "hold" the load. It's taking up space around the bolt. The load is held by the plate and nut placed via the window. I wouldn't expect that the holding power of, say, a half inch thick plate and nut or two would be substantial enough to hold the load. This approach has been taken before. A G-Flex epoxy would allow for any flexing required.

Last edited by Ajay73; 02-06-2013 at 09:08 AM.
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post

If lags or drilling and epoxying worked builders would do it as it is less expensive than installing J bent SS or bronze fasteners into the lead when poured...
How did you come to that conclusion? When a boat builder is getting a new keel for a new boat, to me, it wouldn't be cheaper too have the boat builder drilling holes and windows in the keel. To me it would be far easier to cast in place the J bolts when the keel is poured.
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by Ajay73 View Post
How did you come to that conclusion? When a boat builder is getting a new keel for a new boat, to me, it wouldn't be cheaper too have the boat builder drilling holes and windows in the keel. To me it would be far easier to cast in place the J bolts when the keel is poured.

Sorry I thought you were drilling & tapping or just drilling and relying on the epoxy.

I used the "barrel bolt" method when I re-did our C-30 keel and keel stub. I used 1.5" bronze solid rod drilled & tapped to take the SS bolts. A forstner but was used to drill the hole in the side of the keel slightly larger than the 1.5" diameter of the bronze rod stock. This is a MUCH stronger method than drilling & tapping or just drilling and pouring epoxy around it.

It was however a PITA for leaks. No matter what we tried water got into the barrel bolt holes every year. Every year I would excavate the area dry and and try again. I finally dried it all out. sealed it and wrapped the keel with bi-axial and epoxy...

If I ever had to do that job again my keel would be on a truck to Broomfield or Mars in a heart beat...
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Re: Keel Bolts

[QUOTE=Minnewaska;986459]

I'm just cautioning against drilling additional holes in one's boat without a really good reason and firm engineering.

The reason would be to spread the keel load. I would think that's a pretty good reason.
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by tap View Post
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.
Take a look at this discussion.

Keel Bolt Repairs

"By drilling it up". I'm not planning just to drill willy-nilly all over the keel. The idead behind this is to spread the keel load. The Cynthia Woods case may have benefited if the load was more adequately spread. This was a race boat at the limits of engineering as I have read. Catalina Yachts also suggests the window method as an alternative to lag bolts. See post #13. In conversations with Kent Nelson of Catalina Yachts about adding additional bolts he felt it was a good idea to give additional load carrying.

Last edited by Ajay73; 02-06-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post

It was however a PITA for leaks. No matter what we tried water got into the barrel bolt holes every year. Every year I would excavate the area dry and and try again. I finally dried it all out. sealed it and wrapped the keel with bi-axial and epoxy...

If I ever had to do that job again my keel would be on a truck to Broomfield or Mars in a heart beat...
It's amazing that you had the leaks. Were the barrel bolts not filled with epoxy originally or were the barrel bolts so close to the outside of the keel that there was only a thin layer of epoxy?
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by Ajay73 View Post
It's amazing that you had the leaks. Were the barrel bolts not filled with epoxy originally or were the barrel bolts so close to the outside of the keel that there was only a thin layer of epoxy?
Yep holes filled with epoxy, barrel bolt set in about 1/8" from edge of keel, torqued correctly, no plywood left in bilge.... It was always the very forward one on both sides that had weeps. After haul out there would be a faint wet ring and by spring a decent crack around the hole edges.... I suspect when you put lead, bronze and epoxy all with differing expansion traits, plus the movement of a keel and the loads it makes it hard for the epoxy to survive.. I even thickened it with milled fibers and cabosil on one attempt....
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Re: Keel Bolts

I have been enjoying this conversation from the security of my encapsulated lead keel...
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