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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm a rank amateur when it comes boat purchases so please humor me for asking this...
These are pics of the keel bolts. I've noticed that there are some cracks around them. Aside from this the boat looks to be excellently cared for and well maintained. Yes, sailingdog, I looked at your thread to guide my thoughts for this purchase. ;)

bah i'm new at posting pics as well
boat pics 164 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
So is this a deal buster?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
bump...

I'm thinking about buying the boat today so if ANYONE can help me please post your comment whether or not this is a walk-away issue. THANKS a MILLION!
 

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There is some crushing of the glass but the bolts themselves look good.
You could rather easily add a stainless backing plate.

I'm not expert but I'm thinking that this could be OK if:
There is no evidence externally of the keel being a problem.
If these were the center bolts that would be ideal as that would indicate that the keel didn't move but maybe the nuts were torqued down too much.
If they are the forward bolts I would look very very carefully in the bilge, if you can get to it for signs of cracking just above where the keel connects to the boat both bow and stern side.
In a hard grounding a lot of damage can be done by the keel being forced back wards.

Does the bilge leak?
In short it could be OK but if you can find a knowledgeable person to look for you it would be great.
You are looking for subtleties that are hard to see.
Bad case would be a hard grounding that was patched on the outside with bondo that may look pretty good but the boat will leak shortly.
Good case is someone tightened up on the nuts too hard and a backing plate will fix it.

I can't figure out what the discoloration is?
Sorry the second photo I can't orient myself as to what I'm looking at.
 

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It doesn't look too serious. If the boat is on the hard right now and the KEEL IS PROPERLY SUPPORTED IN PLACE then you can undo the nuts from the bolts, pour a little thickened epoxy in the area to level with the bilge, then drop a couple of thick stainless backing plates on top. Let the epoxy set before you tighten the nuts on the bolts again. Do not use any metal other than stainless steel for the backing plates. This is the last place you want electrolysis.

OTOH you may find that you can sail the boat for years without any worry. If there is no sign of leaking anywhere - i.e.: no tracks or runnels on the outside of the keel, I would personally not place too much importance on this. Again, if the boat is on the hard, try filling the bilge up with water and looking to see if it leaks out anywhere underneath.

Others may differ...


Good Luck. :)
 

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It could also be that Hunter, like Catalina, may have used plywood or wood in the keel support structure, and if that is the case, the wood could be rotting and have caused the cracks without anyone touching the keel bolts, as the weight of the keel would crack the fiberglass. Without knowing more about the boat, it is hard to say whether this is a cosmetic or structural issue.
 

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With all due respect to the previous posters, I would suggest that this will require a more serious repair than has been previously suggested.

When I look at the photo there appear to be two tears in the fiberglass, one adjacent to the starboard bolt (assuming the photo is taken from aft looking forward) and one approximately a bolt diameter to port of the port bolt. Since the fiberglass in question does not appear to be a liner, then these are potentially tears in the hull itself. The pattern of the rusty water trail suggests that perhaps these bolts leak (although the starboard one looks like a more likely source of the water).

It seems to me that the only appropriate repair is to unbolt and drop the keel so that you have room to work. (This will also allow you to inspect all of the keelbolts since the typically fail where they pass through the fiberglass) Then grind away the damaged glass to the full depth of the damage, The edge if the area being ground away should be tapered minimally 12:1. I would also grind out an oval shaped flat area, ground down to the depth of several layers of cloth that extends perhaps an inch or so beyond the ground away damaged area. Then it is a matter of building up laminations of fiberglass cloth and epoxy to the bottom of the ground away area, and then laying in several layers of cloth and epoxy to create the bearing area for the bolts. Lastly I second the recommendation that a single thicker SS bearing plate be substituted for the pair of bearing washers.

I am not suggesting that you should not buy the boat based on this, but I would suggest that you try to negotiate an agreement with the owner upfront on how this will get handled (i.e. surveyor confirmation and recommended price adjustment, price reduction based on repair yard estimate, or simply an agreed upon dramatlcly lower price than the boat would be worth otherwise). If you can not get an agreement up front, I would walk away.

Jeff
 

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If you go with the stainless steel backing plate it may be advisable to place a non conductive washer between the plate and the bolts so as to limit the occurance of galvanic corrosion due to the dissimilar metals.
 

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Umm...if you're using a stainless steel backing plate, and the bolts are stainless steel, where is the galvanic corrosion going to occur??? A non-conductive washer would make sense in tehc case of an aluminum backing plate with stainless steel bolts, but does little in the case of stainless steel.
If you go with the stainless steel backing plate it may be advisable to place a non conductive washer between the plate and the bolts so as to limit the occurance of galvanic corrosion due to the dissimilar metals.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks ONE and ALL for your input. I'm buying the boat even with said defect. I'll remove the keel, inspect and repair as needed then use a ss backing plate. The boat wasn't free but was an excellent deal regardless. Besides, I know where the PO lives ;)
 

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Congrats on the new boat! What is going on does not look totally bad, but certainly, go into it with you r eys WIDE OPEN! Which it looks like youare doing, as it could be worst than you think.

BUT< if you like the boat, and if otherwise it is in good shape etc, in the end, I am sure you will enjoy her!

Marty
 
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