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Old 13-06-2008, 13:24   #1
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Help with Keel / Hull Connection

Hi everyone,

New here and just getting back into sailing after a long time. I live in Sweden and am looking forward to an amazing time this summer, but I need a boat!

The boat we are looking at is a Swedish made Bellona 23 and it comes reccommended. But we noticed a space at the back of the keel where it connects to the hull (see pics) that worried us even though the owner reassured us that it was not a problem. The keel is attached with bolts to the hull and they are tight. Maybe it's just a little corrosion?

Would love to here from the experts on this forum so we can get out sailing! Your time and advice will be most appricciated.

Thanks, Ted
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:41   #2
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Quote:
But we noticed a space at the back of the keel where it connects to the hull (see pics) that worried us even though the owner reassured us that it was not a problem. The keel is attached with bolts to the hull and they are tight.
Well the owner may be honest and he had no pronblems but he isn't keeping the boat. I can see the space but it's hard to tell from just looking at the gap in a picture. I would be more wanting to look at the bilge and where the bolts come through as well as pole alng the edge near that area and others.

At this point I'm sure the bolts are tight. If they seemed loose then my guess is you would have jumped off the boat in hurry. You really are going to have to get someone to come and examine it closer. If that were the only issue then spending a little bit to get the real answer would give ytou peace of mind to persue the purchase. I have to think you like the boat and the pictures make it look nice.

It is not uncommon to see a slight crack around where the keel connects to the boat since the dissimilar materials can have some flex and expansion that causes paint to crack and make it look like it's falling off. The keel probably won't fall off but the question is if it has lossened and water is working on the bolts between the gap extended to where the bolts actually are. This is a good question on every boat with an attached keel. That will take a more close inspection. If you can examine all the bolts and look for signs of leaks or corrosion that would help tell the story.

Keel bolts can be replaced if required so what you need to find out if if they need to be replaced. Perhaps someone here is familiar with these boats and can help guide your examination.
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:41   #3
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If it was made that way, and not the result of some odd repair, I wouldn't worry much about it. Never seen or heard of leaving the aft bit of keel unattached like that, but I know Swedish Engineering comes up with odd concpets (like SAAB <G>) that sometimes work.<G>

Perhaps you can find other owners, or others of the sameboat, to compare it against. And if not, certainly ask the maker or a good surveyer who knows the brand.
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:43   #4
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Hmm, looking at the hull, are those blisters covered up with paint? The bottom looks awful rough. If you are serious about the boat get a surveyor to go over it very thoroughly.
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Old 13-06-2008, 14:13   #5
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Is the keel a lump of solid cast iron??
If the area you have shown is corrosion, then that corrosion would have pitted and worn the rest of the casting along the hull joint. If that is the case, I suggest the keel needs some new iron welded to it or the joint will not have the Keel/hull footprint required to give it a good stable connection to the hull.
If that area is the only part corroded, then you should be fine. I would imagine the hull anode was not replaced when it should have been.
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Old 13-06-2008, 14:35   #6
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Thanks so much for your informative answers. The keel is lead and there doesn't seem to be any corrosion near the bolts looking at the bilge. We have seen other Bellona 23s and they don't have this "problem", so it's not in the design.

I guess my question is: If the bolts are secure do I need to worry about a keel falling off because of a little gap at the back?

Thanks again.
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Old 13-06-2008, 16:27   #7
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I still suggest that you get a surveyor or someone who is very knowledgeable in this design to look at it. Are the keel bolts Stainless steel? There have been some recent disasters where the keel has fallen off. When this happen things change very quickly. Here is one example.

Rescue At Sea a True Story
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Old 13-06-2008, 16:32   #8
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Originally Posted by concept View Post
We have seen other Bellona 23s and they don't have this "problem", so it's not in the design.
If that is so I would walk away from the boat - is like buying a house, don't get emotionally involved by letting emotion overide any uncertainty you have, there are always plenty of others around to buy.
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Old 13-06-2008, 19:27   #9
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If its not normal on the other Bellona 23s, then assume the worst until it can be shown to be otherwise. Perhaps have the boat lifted so the keel is hanging free (rather than having the boat weight on it) and try moving the keel sideways. Not a definitive test but if it moves at all, walk away.
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Old 13-06-2008, 20:59   #10
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Aloha Concept,
That is strange. Could there have been an addition to the aft edge of the keel? Is it the same size as other Bellona 23 keels?
It is highly unusual to see a space there.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 14-06-2008, 00:16   #11
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My boat had the same issue when I bought it. There is nothing wrong with my boat and I doubt there is anything wrong with the one you are looking at. I had mine surveyed, inspected and tested with a comparative density measuring device.

The keels are cast in one mould, the boats are cast in a different mold. There has to be a certain amount of space there as the keel is not fitted onto a sump. Every hull is going to be slightly different in its contours, so the keel will have been cast in order to allow for any irregularities that it might have to fit over.

I believe that if you were to remove all of the filleting material on the keels of other Bellona 23's you would find them to be the same.

Good Luck !
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Old 14-06-2008, 02:29   #12
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There’s numerous Swedish references to “Bellona 23" on Google.
I don’t speak/read Swedish, so don’t know how helpful these Bellona 23 links will be:

Fotoalbum från Bellona 23
sailguide.com - Bellona 23
SEGEL OFFERT
Kipper.ee :: Vaata teemat - Esimene jaht
BåtNet - Annonsid: 64215 - Bellona 23
bellona 23 - AllaAnnonser.se
Bellona 23 - fendern.se/segla
Bellona 23 - fendern.se/segla
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Old 14-06-2008, 07:17   #13
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Thanks for the responses.

It seems that the keel is secure even with the space, however, I have a lot of respect for the sea and I don't want to chance anything. After reading some of the responses here, we are going to delay the purchase to look at some more boats, but may return to it if we don't find anything else.

If we buy it, I want to be damn sure that it's secure!

Thanks again
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:33   #14
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Hi everyone, Hi Concept,
are you finally bought this boat?
I am a fledgling owner of Bellona 23.
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