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post #21 of 30 Old 07-18-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
On my boat, an O'day 35 (22 years old at the time), the seven 304 stainless keel bolts were melted out, and replaced with 316 stainless bolts of a larger diameter. Every other year I pull all of the bolts (one or two at a time), inspect the threads, clean and polish the nuts and bolts, apply a light dab of Tef-Gel, and re-torque the bolts to as tight as I can get them with a 26" breaker bar (probably ~200ft/lbs). Here is a pic that I took in November 2018 of the third row of bolts while I had the nuts off but before polishing;
When you say every other year "pull all the bolts" you mean take off the nuts only yes?

That initial 316 swap for 304 did you do it yourself or send it to mars.

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post #22 of 30 Old 07-18-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

No allegations meant, brain fart had missed / forgotten the original cause was an accident, thought it was just the usual rusted keel bolts working loose scenario.

My apologies. . .
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post #23 of 30 Old 07-18-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

Any thoughts of encapsulating these bolt on lead keels with epoxy fiberglass? Seems it would solve the leaking problem.

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post #24 of 30 Old 07-18-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

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Any thoughts of encapsulating these bolt on lead keels with epoxy fiberglass? Seems it would solve the leaking problem.
We don't really know why this particular boat is leaking. Its easy to conjecture that it might be keel bolts, but it also could be damaged laminate in the area of the keel, or where the hull turns down into the bilge in the keel stub. (or it may be something else that is much more minor such as a sealant failure.)

But assuming the worst for the moment, non-structurally encapsulating the keel with glass and epoxy resin would stop the leaks until the keel dropped away. If you tried to build a structurally encapsulate the keel, the costs would far exceed the cost to do the repair properly with new keel bolts if those are the problem or rebuilding the bilge if its a laminate problem. And no matter what the problem, the keel should be dropped to make sure that the problem is properly diagnosed.

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post #25 of 30 Old 07-18-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

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When you say every other year "pull all the bolts" you mean take off the nuts only yes?
Sort of - I remove the nut, the lockwasher, and the backing plates (now two of them - one is stainless, the other is G10) from each keel bolt.
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That initial 316 swap for 304 did you do it yourself or send it to mars.
Neither - The keels for O'day (probably Pearson and Bristol too) were originaly made by I. Broomfield & Son, 14 Lehigh St, Providence, RI 02905 (401) 941-7361 (their website sux).

My keel was sent to them to have the bolts replaced.
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post #26 of 30 Old 07-18-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

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Any thoughts of encapsulating these bolt on lead keels with epoxy fiberglass? Seems it would solve the leaking problem.
While this may stop the leak, it would definitely preclude ever checking or retorquing the keel bolts. It would also promote pitting or crevice corrosion of the keel nuts and bolts because the fasteners would be encapsulated in a pocket of stagnant water with chloride ions present. Stainless steel will corrode when it is deprived of the oxygen that is needed to create the chromium oxide protective layer. Encapsulating the stainless will virtually guarantee that this will happen.


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post #27 of 30 Old 07-18-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

When I bought my Tartan 30 there was a derelict Tartan 30 in the same yard. The guy trying to sell it was dreaming big time about what it was worth. I did some investigating and made him what I thought was a reasonable offer for a boat in it's condition. I was literally buying a "parts boat". My wife thinks I'm nuts and I can't argue with her! I was interested in parts from the boat. I salvaged what I could and then took to dismantling the boat. It was a 1979 but had been on the hard for probably 5 years. We took off all the keel bolts (the most forward one is a real ***** to get to btw) and tried to get the keel to drop. In the travel lift slings we tried dropping it, laying it on its side, bouncing it...nothing was moving. The precursor to 5200 made by Thiokol was apparently what was holding it on. Out comes the grinder, the sawzall, and finally a steel log splitting wedge and sledge hammer to try to break it loose. After more sweat than I care to remember it finally started peeling off. Thankfully the yard was very accommodating with their equipment. Being in the construction business I had our demo subcontractor come and cut up the boat and haul it away in a dumpster. Heartbreaking to see a boat ignored to the point of being useless but that's what it was. Our demo guy actually paid me 600.00 for the job. The lead was worth that much more than his costs to cut up the boat. I made money on the deal when all was said and done but I'd never do that again. I learned my lesson. The point of my long winded story is be prepared to wrestle with the keel to actually get it to drop. The bolts in the keel did look fine under the threads but one of the nuts was virtually gone. Again, a totally neglected boat. Good luck and keep us posted!
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post #28 of 30 Old 07-18-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
While this may stop the leak, it would definitely preclude ever checking or retorquing the keel bolts. It would also promote pitting or crevice corrosion of the keel nuts and bolts because the fasteners would be encapsulated in a pocket of stagnant water with chloride ions present. Stainless steel will corrode when it is deprived of the oxygen that is needed to create the chromium oxide protective layer. Encapsulating the stainless will virtually guarantee that this will happen.
Our boat has an encapsulated lead keel. Yes she was built that way at the factory. I was thinking a few layers of S-glass and epoxy would keep the water out and keel on. Since you have those layers of glass holding the keel on why would you need bolts? Pretty sure one would have to remove the gelcoat around the hull were the keel attaches so one could bond to the glass.

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post #29 of 30 Old 07-19-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

The yard that I asked for a quote to replace my keel bolts refused to do so, without dropping the keel. They may have been concerned that any future leak could look like it was their work, but I really think they just wanted to do it their way. Jeanneau's own instructions say to pull the bolts and inspect, before dropping the keel.

The yard's plan was not to even try to remove the nuts and bolts, which was about half the labor we spent on this or approx 20 man hours. They were just going to take a sawzall to the keel joint and saw right through everything, damaging the keel, the hull and sawing the bolts in half. Then layup new glass and fair the keel to fix the inevitable damage and rebed the keel, with new bolts. I simply refused to allow them to do that kind of unnecessary damage.
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post #30 of 30 Old 07-19-2019
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Re: keel bolts leaking facing reality

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Originally Posted by Skipper Jer View Post
Our boat has an encapsulated lead keel. Yes she was built that way at the factory. I was thinking a few layers of S-glass and epoxy would keep the water out and keel on. Since you have those layers of glass holding the keel on why would you need bolts? Pretty sure one would have to remove the gelcoat around the hull were the keel attaches so one could bond to the glass.
With all due respect, its not that simple. To begin with, there are two ways this can be done. It can either be done as a non-structural sealer encapsulation or as a structural encapsulation. If you are talking about applying a few layers of S-glass and epoxy, in order to keep the water out, then that would be a sealer approach to encapsulation. It might stop the water but it would lack the structural strength to actually support the ballast keel. In that case, the boat would still be dependent on the keel bolts as the structural support for the ballast keel. That is why others have mentioned the issue of crevice corrosion of the keel bolts if the OP chose to simply apply a sealer encapsulation.

The second way to look at this would be to create the structural equivalent to the encapsulation envelope like yours and that might be found on a boat that was molded with an encapsulated keel. To do that the encapsulation would need to be a lot more than simply a few layers of S glass. It would by necessity need to be somewhere between 1/2" to 3/8" thick to develop the necessary strength to totally support the weight of the ballast keel on a boat of this size, with a leading, bottom, and trailing edge thickness closer to 3/4 to 1" thick. In order to form a structural bond the full thickness of glass would need to overlap the hull by 12 to 18 inches with the cloth tapering out over another foot or so. One thing that complicates that on this particular boat is that the propeller shaft exits through the back of the keel stub limiting the amount of overlap that can be gotten between the new and old glass.

To lay up that much glass efficiently, cost effectively, and reliably, ideally the boat would be placed in a rotating cradle so that would allow the boat to be rotated so that the keel on either side is nearly horizontal. That potentially means removing the rig and engine.

And whether the encapsulation is structural or simply a water seal, once the glass is laid up, the new glass on the hull and keel would need to be refaired and the fairing material sealed. In either case it is a huge job compared to simply replacing the keel bolts.

I hope that clarifies what is involved,
Jeff


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