Waterwitch Keel bolts

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Joined: Sat July 7th, 2007, 2:24 pm
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Waterwitch Keel bolts

Postby exsumper » Sat July 7th, 2007, 2:48 pm

I Own a 1963 waterwitch, Meldrum and this winter I am intending to replace the keel bolts on her (as far as I know they have never been touched but the bolt heads are now almost non eistent and although she is water tight there are streaks of rust apparent where the keel joins the deadwood.)

She has been surveyed and her deadwood ,fastenings and hull are extremely sound (probably as aresult of being cascover sheathed when built.) Hartnells of Plymouth obviously did a superb job of sheathing her.

However to remove the keel she will need to be supported on the deadwood that extends to each end of the boat clear of the keel and the props removed from beneath the keel. Does anyone know whether the deadwood would be strong enough to support the weight of the boat before the keel is removed without props beneath the keel?

My intention is to 1)remove the existing keel bolts and install 4 lowering bolts with thrust bearings. 2)to lift the boat and put props under the deadwood clear of the keel 3)then remove the keel props and lower the keel clear using the lowering bolts.I would be grateful to receive an answer from somene who has done this, rather than have the advice of a "book expert".

mant thanks
alex gee

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Eventide Owners Group
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Removing bolts...

Postby Eventide Owners Group » Fri August 31st, 2007, 9:58 pm

Have done this with my E 24 and my current E27..

I supported the boat on it's bilge keels chocking up for and aft to prevent it tippimng, then removed all the bolts and lifted the hull clear on Jacks under the bilge keels.

I have seen people dig holes to remove bolts one by one, but that does not allow you to reseal with sikaflex or similar. Cast iron keel, use mild steel bolts, do not be tempted to go down the stainless route, see the Hinta and Tips page for pics of corroded S/S bolts.

Using the dead wood and the bilge plates and lowering the keel with jacks after the bolts are withdrawn should be feasable, but has to be done very carefully!

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