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post #41 of 54 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

Kindred spirit! I just did this job! (Well almost.)

On my 27, when I chiseled out the keel stub plywood, I was looking directly at the top of the lead keel!

Good news that I could see the entirety of each keep bolt, and they were all in great shape! (I had planned on doing the windowing/sistering job, but with great looking bolts didn't see the point.)

But it left me wondering, what was holding the 2500# keel on all these years? Bolts through plywood attached to what and how?

So I replaced the plywood with the 6 layers of glass/epoxy coming up into the stump, and torqued it down, (Warren at Catalina called in response to my email query, and advised 70-75 ft-lb for a 3/4" bolt so I went for 65 ft-lb, for the 5/8" bolts, for what it's worth.)

Boat's still on the hard so hasn't sunk yet...

But I'd say that if you're looking at good-to-great looking bolts at the top of the keel, why sister? And since the glass/epoxy goes right to the top of the lead keel, and all that forms a solid and close seal around the bolts, there really shouldn't be any water ingress around the bolts. (I think the epoxy without the keel bolts might hold the keel on without the bolts, and I think it's near impossible to remove this keel now.)
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post #42 of 54 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

Hey, EVERYBODY CHECK YOUR KEELS!!! Are following the Vendee Globe??? Keels are breaking or falling off every other day!!!.

Very little to loose on Ajay's proposition. Can't hurt and it's entertainment for the weekend.

Good luck and heel hard,

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post #43 of 54 Old 02-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by donlofland View Post
Kindred spirit! I just did this job! (Well almost.)

On my 27, when I chiseled out the keel stub plywood, I was looking directly at the top of the lead keel!

Good news that I could see the entirety of each keep bolt, and they were all in great shape! (I had planned on doing the windowing/sistering job, but with great looking bolts didn't see the point.)

But it left me wondering, what was holding the 2500# keel on all these years? Bolts through plywood attached to what and how?

So I replaced the plywood with the 6 layers of glass/epoxy coming up into the stump, and torqued it down, (Warren at Catalina called in response to my email query, and advised 70-75 ft-lb for a 3/4" bolt so I went for 65 ft-lb, for the 5/8" bolts, for what it's worth.)


Boat's still on the hard so hasn't sunk yet...

But I'd say that if you're looking at good-to-great looking bolts at the top of the keel, why sister? And since the glass/epoxy goes right to the top of the lead keel, and all that forms a solid and close seal around the bolts, there really shouldn't be any water ingress around the bolts. (I think the epoxy without the keel bolts might hold the keel on without the bolts, and I think it's near impossible to remove this keel now.)
Don, don't understand that you were looking at the top of the lead keel. You should have been looking at the top of the fiberglass which should be about 3/4" thick. Under that glass is the keel. Do you mean you could see the lead just a little bit around the bolts?

Those torque numbers are the same ones I got. I think the torque numbers correspond to the size of the bolt. I'm not getting water in from below as when it's really dry and hasn't rained my bilge is dry.
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post #44 of 54 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

No kidding-I chiseled the wood off the gray lead keel! Isn't that what yours looked like? What did your fiberglass look like?

And I thunked it with my hammer and it was solid-I couldn't believe I wasn't looking at fiberglass...I took some Pics I can post later-

Last edited by donlofland; 02-06-2013 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Addendum
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post #45 of 54 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

here's a chart for bolt torque values by material. 75 Ft/Lbs is very light for a 3/4" bolt. If you look up the S/S chart attached you will see it calls for 130 Ft/Lbs. 5/8" should be at 110 Ft/Lbs.

Steel Bolt Torque Specifications Table - Engineer's Handbook

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post #46 of 54 Old 02-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by donlofland View Post
No kidding-I chiseled the wood off the gray lead keel! Isn't that what yours looked like? What did your fiberglass look like?

And I thunked it with my hammer and it was solid-I couldn't believe I wasn't looking at fiberglass...I took some Pics I can post later-
When I took out all the wood there was an epoxy-like(hard as a rock) bedding compound(my description) that the plywood was set in, I presume. I never saw the lead, per se. I think I would have recognized the lead. If I would have hit it with a hammer it probably would have sounded like lead though because at that point everything is really well bonded together.
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Re: Keel Bolts

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When I took out all the wood there was an epoxy-like(hard as a rock) bedding compound(my description) that the plywood was set in, I presume. I never saw the lead, per se. I think I would have recognized the lead. If I would have hit it with a hammer it probably would have sounded like lead though because at that point everything is really well bonded together.
Hit it with a cold chisel - fresh lead is very bright, silvery looking. It sounds more like it was thickened resin that the plywood was set it.

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 #48 of 54 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

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....Anyone see any concerns or have anything to add that would help?

Thanks for any input.
Your original post seemed a little more generic than just asking how to accomplish your mission.

No more lecturing. Knock yourself out on the mod.


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post #49 of 54 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

There was no lecture. If you feel "lectured" and chastised, perhaps you are beginning to think you were wrong and the chorus right.

You asked a question in a web forum, you can expect to get opinions that differ from your own. When you don't mention that you had a repair professionally done, you can also expect that folks will take you at your word, i.e. that YOU made the repair.

When you find anybody who thinks your keel needs more bolts, anybody at all, just let the rest of us horrid lecturers know how wrong we all are. And of course, all the folks who say your standing rigging would be a priority (insurers among them) must just be out to sell you something.
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post #50 of 54 Old 02-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Your original post seemed a little more generic than just asking how to accomplish your mission.

No more lecturing. Knock yourself out on the mod.
I asked about staggering the bolts versus side by side; how far down into the lead to go. The concerns were about the way I was doing it not that I should do it.
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