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Old 02-04-2013
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Keel Bolts

I have a 1980 Catalina 27 and am going to put in two additional keel bolts just for good measure. The current pattern of the bolts is 1-2-2-1. The bolts are 5/8" stainless. I'm planning on putting them right in between the center two sets of two bolts and will place them side by side. The bolts will be windowed(as opposed to lagged) at the bottom end and will have dowel nuts, if I can find them, or, I will stack a few stainless fender washers and use stainless hex nuts.

I have read elsewhere that because of using the window method I should stagger the depth of the bolts or slightly stagger the fore/aft placement of them. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

In drilling the vertical holes, I am planning to slightly oversize the first 3/4 of the total depth in the lead and then drill a 5/8" diameter hole the last quarter. I would then fill the hole with thickened epoxy and also fill the window with thickened epoxy.

I am planning on 12" bolts which would allow 9" into the lead.

As far as the existing bolts go I'm planning on inspecting a couple of them by drilling a small diameter hole parallel with and tangent to an existing bolt, down to the lead. I should be able to see the condition of the threads with this inspection boring.

Just FYI this is a catalina that had the 1 1/2" of plywood in the keel stub. I have eliminated that and epoxied in 6 layers of 1708 glass. When I ripped out all the plywood the existing bolts were in perfect condition down to the bottom.

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

Thanks for any input.
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Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

With the plywood removed and the original bolts in good condition there should not be a need for new bolts. As long as there is not a "Catalina smile" showing a sagging keel I doubt they are necessary.
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Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by Ajay73 View Post
...drilling a small diameter hole parallel with and tangent to an existing bolt, down to the lead...
I hope you meant to write 'iron' here. I'm not the expert, but I believe that the lead keels cannot have additional keel bolts added. They have 'J' bolts that are put in when the keel is poured.

I agree with the comment that this should not be done 'just in case', if there is no "Catalina Smile" there is no reason to sister the bolts.

My C25 has a small crack at the hull/keel join. I call it a "Mona Lisa Catalina Smile".

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Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Keel Bolts

There's no point in opening up the keel proper to inspect the bolts there - they will be perfect. The only place they deteriorate is above the keel, either where they go through the hull (most common) or where they are visible in the bilge (obvious).

If you cleaned out the ply and replaced it with solid glass and saw no signs of deterioration, I agree with the others - don't bother putting new ones in.

If you still want to do it, your plan is good but I'd go even deeper into the lead if possible - 9" is pretty shallow in a lead keel.
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Re: Keel Bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonSink62 View Post
I hope you meant to write 'iron' here. I'm not the expert, but I believe that the lead keels cannot have additional keel bolts added. They have 'J' bolts that are put in when the keel is poured.

I agree with the comment that this should not be done 'just in case', if there is no "Catalina Smile" there is no reason to sister the bolts.

My C25 has a small crack at the hull/keel join. I call it a "Mona Lisa Catalina Smile".

Ken
Ken, maybe I'm not clear. This "inspection" hole would be drilled shoulder to shoulder, so to speak, with an existing bolt but only down to the where the lead starts. I'm not talking about this boring being where I put the additional keel bolts. In this inspection hole I should be able to see a tiny bit of thread and determine if there is any crevice corrosion occuring in the area where the bolt goes through the laminate.
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Re: Keel Bolts

[QUOTE=SloopJonB;985683] The only place they deteriorate is above the keel, either where they go through the hull (most common) or where they are visible in the bilge (obvious).

But that's why I need to inspection boring. Where they go through the hull is where I can't see whats going on. I could only see what the bolt looked like down to where it went started to go through the bottom.

Do you think 12" into the lead would be sufficient?
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Re: Keel Bolts

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.
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Re: Keel Bolts

[quote=Ajay73;985725]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
The only place they deteriorate is above the keel, either where they go through the hull (most common) or where they are visible in the bilge (obvious).

But that's why I need to inspection boring. Where they go through the hull is where I can't see whats going on. I could only see what the bolt looked like down to where it went started to go through the bottom.

Do you think 12" into the lead would be sufficient?
Yeah, but don't do it.
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Re: Keel Bolts

This specific topic for this specific boat comes up on a fairly regular basis. The advice I would give is usually the same. Catalina built over 6000 of these over the years, and that's a lot of sailboats. I have searched quite a bit over time and have been unable to find one single documented case of a keel falling off a Catalina 27. Thia includes all those boats which sit in salt water year round and have received absolutely zero maintenance for the past several decades. I really don't think that this is something to worry about. I know I don't. If you want the peace of mind that a fix will give you, look at Catalina Direct's lag screw kit. They have done the calculating and part buying for you. But it is your boat, after all, so do what you want.
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Re: Keel Bolts

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Originally Posted by jgeissinger View Post
This specific topic for this specific boat comes up on a fairly regular basis. The advice I would give is usually the same. Catalina built over 6000 of these over the years, and that's a lot of sailboats. I have searched quite a bit over time and have been unable to find one single documented case of a keel falling off a Catalina 27. Thia includes all those boats which sit in salt water year round and have received absolutely zero maintenance for the past several decades. I really don't think that this is something to worry about. I know I don't. If you want the peace of mind that a fix will give you, look at Catalina Direct's lag screw kit. They have done the calculating and part buying for you. But it is your boat, after all, so do what you want.
Yeah, I know it comes up regularly. But all this talk of this crevice corrosion and that we should be dropping our keels get me severely anxious about this. I figure that adding the additional bolts an inspection boring will give me peace of mind. As far as lag bolts go I figure if I have to drill down for the lag bolts I might as well drill out a window and get far more holding power.

Last edited by Ajay73; 02-04-2013 at 09:10 PM.
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