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post #1 of 15 Old 05-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

I'm a new owner of a '89 PCS 37 Hull #206. It is going to be a lot of fun / work...

Like most new owners I started by doing something foolish. Asking a lot of questions I might not want to know the answer to like "Whats in the bilge?" So as part of an effort to clean the boat up and learn her hidden secrets I cleaned out the bilge and wiped out all the old crud and gunk down there.

What I found were the keel bolts, but there were some stress cracks around them. You can see from the pictures there doesn't seem to be any rust / corrosion (should be stainless and there isn't much oxygen in the area)

Has anyone else seen this? I'm not overly worried the keel is going to fall off tomorrow, but I want to be planning a fix for winter? Any ideas or experiences?

As always, thank you for your help!!!!
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bilge pic #1.jpg   bilge pic #2.jpg  

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1989 PCS 37 Hull #206

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post #2 of 15 Old 05-26-2013
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

Looks pretty daggoned nice for an "old" boat...what you are seeing is some "filler" or thickened paint/epoxy that has been placed around them to pretty up the bilge. I would chip it and see if it is fiberglass or some sort of caulking (as it appears..in the photos). But that is me, curiosity killed the cat. Now that it is cleaned, you can just leave it and monitor it easy for any change in color texture and condition.

Were there problems, you would see a lot of flaking off of said stuff, as well as rust stains/trails

My guess is that you could chip/scrape this off and find fairly pristine nuts on those keel bolts.

Cleaning the bilge was not foolish, actually the opposite. You need to know what is there and remove in crud/stuff/coins/tools/etc that lives there. The switches and pumps will thank you and the smell of that stuff can be annoying.

You are good to go, enjoy the holiday.
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-26-2013
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

I think you do want to get whatever it is off the nuts and bolts at a minimum. Stainless steel is only stainless when it has access to oxygen and those nuts don't seem to.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

Congratulations on the new boat. I also have an 89. I apologize for this late response; I have been pretty busy trying to get my boat back in the water. What you are seeing is a protective layer of gelcoat over the bolts that was applied at the factory. When PSC gets a boat in to repair, they remove the old bolt gelcoat, inspect and reapply. This is what Thumper told me when I asked him the same question. He did not recommend trying to check the torque on the bolts, but I will tweak them a little to make sure they are not loose. He also recommended taking pictures of the cleaned bolts for future reference. I am getting ready to do this inspection this weekend before I install the new fuel tank. Something else to watch out for in the bilge is peeling gelcoat. I plan to scrap the loose stuff out of the bilge and go back with three coats of epoxy hull barrier coating.

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PS 37
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-19-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

Radcat,

Thanks for the info, take some pictures if you get into it this weekend. I'd be interested in seeing how it comes out and what another boat looks like. I have a new fuel tank on the radar as well. Mine was repaired with a weld, but I'm thinking replacing it should be on my longer term project list.

Ken

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post #6 of 15 Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner/ slight drift

Anyone know if 34 and 37 use the same fuel tank?
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-25-2013
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

There is a long lead time on fuel tanks so I would order well in advance. I got the gelcoat off of a few of the bolts. As Thumper predicted they looked fine. I took these shots right after I scrapped them. I still have a lot of work to do in that bilge. As you can see, there is a fair amount of delaminated glass and gelcoat that has to be replaced. If you remove the tank and find the same thing, be careful when removing the glass mat so you don't damage the copper SSB counterpoise. I would also remove all the stuff from the bottom once you get started. Some of it looked ok but was actually wet underneath.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

It looks to me that the delaminated layers were installed by previous owner when he added the copper for the ssb. I will remove all this staff, clean it and use a kiss cable instead. there is nothing to repair.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

The Pacific Seacraft installed SSB counterpoise works really well.

As it is already installed I would keep it.

Marc Hall
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Keel Bolt Questions from new owner

I'll keep the copper, but the half inch of gelcoat/5200 under the bilge pump won't go back. The pump suction was so high that the bilge area under the tank never drained. Check out the pic. There has to be a better way to mount the pump.
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