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I have a 1981 C&C 30, Mark 1, which we keep in on Lake Ontario and would appreciate advice on the purchase of a suitable torque wrench for the keel bolts. What size do I need and ft-pounds?
 

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Can't help you with the specs, but for a one time need for a inch lbs torque wrench, you can get a free loner at Autozone.
 

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You'll need a ft-lbs and you won't be able to find too many that can go up as high as you need it to. Most will only go to 180-190, you'll need industrial strength after that.

What size are your bolts?
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Keel bolts are typically torqued in the range of 80-120 foot pounds. A torque wrench that goes up to 150 foot pounds would be your best bet.
 

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You can a torque wrench from any number of sources, Sears being a good one. However, be aware that whatever torque values you find for your size keels bolts and nuts is for Clean and Lubricated fasteners. Just tightening them as they are, in a generally semi-corrosive environment, where they have likely been untouched for years, will not give you anything like an accurate reading.
 

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You can buy a beam style torque wrench with a half-inch square drive and 150 lb. capacity for 20 bucks. I'd recommend a hardened (black) hex socket and the shortest extension possible that will allow you to swing the wrench above the sole. The wrench won't need to turn much but the beam will bend if the numbers are high. If specs are above 150 pounds you'll need a truck sized wrench.
-CH
 

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This one will measure up to 300 foot lbs.

3/4" Torque Wrench

They get consistently good ratings and this one is only $80. The 1/2 size is $10. You will want to make sure you get the correct size socket and an extension as 3/4 is not a common size.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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I don't know about the access to the keel bolts on the C&C, but if it is anything like the bilge in my boat, you want a "click-type" as Miatapaul suggests above. The "deflection-beam" type, while cheaper, will not allow you to access, or torque, the bolts.

Put another way;
BAD:


GOOD:


(these are generic images, and not recommendations of these specific models)

I have one of each - and they are Craftsman brand.
 

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Master Mariner
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As this is a tool you will rarely use and can be damaged if it gets wet, I would suggest just renting or borrowing one from a yard for the day. Even hiring someone with one to come in and do the torquing, might be a better way. I have a whole tool box filled with specialized tools which need cleaning and lubing, much more often that I use any of them.
 

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You can a torque wrench from any number of sources, Sears being a good one. However, be aware that whatever torque values you find for your size keels bolts and nuts is for Clean and Lubricated fasteners. Just tightening them as they are, in a generally semi-corrosive environment, where they have likely been untouched for years, will not give you anything like an accurate reading.
Would it be a good idea to remove all of the nuts or remove them one at a time to clean the threads before torquing to insure an accurate reading?
 

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One at a time - you can do that in the water.

This is an instance where a cheapo torque wrench will be plenty good enough. Many, many keels have been tightened with nothing but a wrench and a long piece of pipe "until the suckers screamed".

Keel bolts aren't a situation like the main bearings on an engine where very precise torque is critical. A cheap wrench will give EVEN torque on the bolts, even if it isn't accurate to the Ft. Lb.

On the other hand, this is also a perfect situation for rented tools. :D
 
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I did this job several years ago to fix the c&c smile. I bought a torque multiplier on ebay for the purpose. The correct torque is 300 ft lb. that's a lot of torque and you'll either need a torque multiplier or a BIG torque wrench. you'll need a deep well 1-1/2" socket on an extension. You'll either need 3/4" drive socket, extension and torque wrench, or, as I did torque multiplier on 1/2" torque wrench with 3/4" components elsewhere. You can do it in the water as suggested above, but if you can do it on the hard you can do a really complete job-
Loosen the nuts with the keel well-blocked, clean out the hull- keel joint and recaulk, then working one nut at a time, remove a nut and washer, clean out undre the washer, checking visible portion of bolts for integrity, and fill/caulk under, then replace washer and nut, loosely torque. After all nuts have been done, torque all together in steps like you would a cylinder head.
Not as good as dropping the keel, but a lot less work, and as my boat was fresh water it's whole life, everything was still sound.
 

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Best to torque on the hard if possible with the keel supported. You want to measure only torque/twist/resistance on the keel bolts without the weight of the keel pulling against the nuts and washers. I suppose if you torque, re-torque and re-torque while lifting a loose keel in the water the readings may get more accurate as a keel is lifted into position. This may be too picky of a method as the keel should not be flopping like a flag under the boat. My boatyard says do it on the hard.
-CH
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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One at a time - you can do that in the water.

This is an instance where a cheapo torque wrench will be plenty good enough. Many, many keels have been tightened with nothing but a wrench and a long piece of pipe "until the suckers screamed".

Keel bolts aren't a situation like the main bearings on an engine where very precise torque is critical. A cheap wrench will give EVEN torque on the bolts, even if it isn't accurate to the Ft. Lb.

On the other hand, this is also a perfect situation for rented tools. :D
Yep. A cheapie will do just fine, actually better than the expensive clicker which will be more easily affected by corrosion. It is actually a tool you should have aboard if you ever have to do engine work. As in torquing any set of bolts, take 'em up little by little, alternating as you go. Agree that being corroded will not allow a good torque reading so get some PBS Blaster and free them up if possible before tightening.
 
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