Keel Bolt replacement

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Paul_Usher
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue October 31st, 2006, 5:57 pm
Location: Hungerford

Keel Bolt replacement

Postby Paul_Usher » Tue November 7th, 2006, 10:21 am

I have water coming in the bilge through, I suspect, the keel bolts. Having restored FRAM over the last 3 years but not touched the keel/bolts ( as advised by a non evenitde owner) and launched her in August 06, I expected some takeup to happen, FRAM having been out of the water for over 7 years. Unfortuneately, after 3 months the water is still coming in and is currently managed by 115AH battery, solar panel, auto switch and pump. This works fine but....
I want to lift out, drop the keel and change the bolts as they are probably 35 years old. So the question is can someone advise me on the best procedure for this activity and what sort of bolts I should expect to be replacing and what mastick/sealant should be used. Currently I have a nut, washer and mild steel plate capturing a half inch bolt through the hog and floors but do not know how this is fixed in the keel although I did notice what looked like a plugs under the keel. I suspect the nuts will not willingly spin off the bolts either (rust) even after liberal application of plus-gas. So anticipate angle grinding these off to the free the keel. I can get lifted out for a week during the next 4 weeks so a swift response would be appreciated if possible. Many thanks

Any advice greatfully received

Rgds Paul

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Fiddler's Green
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed March 1st, 2006, 12:58 pm
Location: Essex
Contact:

Keel bolts!

Postby Fiddler's Green » Tue November 7th, 2006, 8:34 pm

Hi Paul, here is a reply I just sent out to another member, in NZ!

Removing the bolts from the bilge keels should be relatively easy, they are normally dome headed coach bolts and provide they are not badly rusted away, a good clout from the inside should have them out.

I take it you are going to have the bilge keels either remade or re galvanised.. either way when refitting use a good boat mastic, I recommend SikaFlex, and I would coat the keel and the bolts in Epoxy to prevent water getting at them and provide an insulator for the copper based anti foul we use. This will prevent electrolyse between the different metals.

The main keel might be more difficult, only because the bolts go through a deeper, thicker timber section. rusting on the bolts will cause them to jam.

I had tapped some bolts and they have shot out the underside, others I have bashed for hours! Bear in mind the boat needs to be high enough off the ground and the bolt heads not obstructed with chocks! Spent hours once bashing a bolt against the trailer it was sat on! shuffled the boat 2 " and the bolt fell out!

If they stick and you are drifting them out with a bronze or Stainless bar, ( often a bit of old prop shaft!) The top end of the old keel bolt might open up... To get round this I have centre punched a mark in the middle of the end of the old bolt, then drilled a 6 mm hole down the middle of it for an inch or so 25mm. This allows the keel bolt to collapse on itself, rather than swell out.

The bolts should have a clearance round them in the timber, filled with mastic.. If they have they will come out OK.

I had one set that had no clearance and the slightest rusting caused them to stick! Took me months to 'persuade' them out. Made a puller to fit round the other end eventually... once I had bashed them far enough to see the other end!

When refitting do not be tempted to use Stainless. It will rot twice as fast as cast iron if it gets wet!

No, with a cast iron keel used galvanised steel, with a lead keel either Monel, (if you could afford it) or more commonly bronze.

If you are removing bolts use it as an opportunity to increase the ballast. The E24 should have a minimum of 1020lb, the E26 1660lb, but 2000lb is more like it! Bear in mind bilge keels (Side keels) will also have to be slightly deepened to allow the boat to sit approx upright ..

Bilge keels should be about 2" shallower than main keel. This allows weight to be always taken by main keel.

To add extras keel weight, Steel plate 25mm thick, flame cut to shape, slightly undersize so it can be faired off with epoxy putty, is the easiest way these days.

Can I just add Paul, that there will be timber blocks beneath the keel in the recesses in the cast iron, these can be prised out or they will simply come out as you start to drive the bolts dow,.

As it is leaking and 35 years have elapsed, I would expect at least one to be rusty. They should be 5/8th bolts in 3/4 inch holes, if they are you have a chance! my first set were 3/4 in 3/4 holes, what a pain!

Those are the ones that some had to be fought every mm of the way, with a special made puller at the end, turning 4 threaded bolts in a flat plate, pushing up against the bottom of the keel, to remove them. In some respects I was lucky, as there was a nut on the underside I could remove to get my plate in....

Needless to say when I refitted the bolts I made then 5/8th as per the plan, in those 3/4 holes! To my knowledge they are still there, mild steel galvanised, sealed in Sikaflex! no leaks!

Hope this helps,

Regards,
John
Proud owner and builder of 'Fiddler's Green'

LynnJefferson
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri November 29th, 2013, 11:27 am
Location: california

Re: Keel Bolt replacement

Postby LynnJefferson » Wed December 4th, 2013, 10:03 am

Paul_Usher wrote:I have water coming in the bilge through, I suspect, the keel bolts. Having restored FRAM over the last 3 years but not touched the keel/bolts ( as advised by a non evenitde owner) and launched her in August 06, I expected some takeup to happen, FRAM having been out of the water for over 7 years. Unfortuneately, after 3 months the water is still coming in and is currently managed by 115AH battery, solar panels, auto switch and pump. This works fine but....
I want to lift out, drop the keel and change the bolts as they are probably 35 years old. So the question is can someone advise me on the best procedure for this activity and what sort of bolts I should expect to be replacing and what mastick/sealant should be used. Currently I have a nut, washer and mild steel plate capturing a half inch bolt through the hog and floors but do not know how this is fixed in the keel although I did notice what looked like a plugs under the keel. I suspect the nuts will not willingly spin off the bolts either (rust) even after liberal application of plus-gas. So anticipate angle grinding these off to the free the keel. I can get lifted out for a week during the next 4 weeks so a swift response would be appreciated if possible. Many thanks


Any advice greatfully received

Rgds Paul

hello friend I know thread is very old but were you able to find the right activity? I do have similar requirements so can you help me out? Waiting for reply thanks in advance:)
Last edited by LynnJefferson on Thu December 5th, 2013, 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eventide Owners Group
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed March 1st, 2006, 1:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Keel Bolt replacement

Postby Eventide Owners Group » Wed December 4th, 2013, 11:18 am

Hello Lynn,

the answer was actually in the preceeding message.

Eventides have a cast iron keel, as do most of our boats and should have mild steel galvanised bolts. these should be checked periodically. I draw one bolt, a different one, every 5 years, just to check. did one this time last year, still all good. 25 years on.

You will have to get the boat into a position where you dan hammer the keelbolt out, so that normally means over a pit or raising the boat very high, not normally recommended!

some yards have special places with pits where a keel can have all the bolts withdrawn. The keel rests on substancial timbers across the pit and timbers are carefully positioned so to miss the wooden plugs on the unnderside of the keel, that cover the heads....

Hope this helps.
john Williams
Website Coordinator
Web site Coordinator


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