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Old 10-06-2016, 06:23   #46
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

Last vendee race JP Dick sailed 2650nm after he lost his keel, bringing the boat back to port. I think this may be the record for distance after dropping a keel. Great seamanship. https://www.virbac.com/home/press/ne...ncredible.html
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:22   #47
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
Holy crap! Way to stay calm under pressure. I want to know if there is any bit of laws of physics that can explain why she didn't turn turtle.

Great write up Chuck!
In a sail boat you want the centre of gravity to be below the centre of buoyancy so that capsize and inversion are recovered from at extreme angles of heel hence ballasted keels. However it is quiet common for vessels to have the centre of gravity above the centre of buoyancy and maintain stability, for example sailing cats or a dumb barge with a large deck load. You will find an explanation in text books on fluid mechanics.

Obviously the guy either knew a bit about ship stability or when the boat did not immediately capsize when the keel fell off intuitively understood that if he could drive the vessel with a small amount of sail which would not excessively heel the vessel he could still sail it to somewhere.

A good piece of work either way.
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Old 10-06-2016, 13:13   #48
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

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In a sail boat you want the centre of gravity to be below the centre of buoyancy so that capsize and inversion are recovered from at extreme angles of heel hence ballasted keels. However it is quiet common for vessels to have the centre of gravity above the centre of buoyancy and maintain stability, for example sailing cats or a dumb barge with a large deck load. You will find an explanation in text books on fluid mechanics.

Obviously the guy either knew a bit about ship stability or when the boat did not immediately capsize when the keel fell off intuitively understood that if he could drive the vessel with a small amount of sail which would not excessively heel the vessel he could still sail it to somewhere.

A good piece of work either way.
It probably had some GM left so he probably didn't try to put up much sail?
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Old 10-06-2016, 13:25   #49
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

^^ Charley was motored home (by chuck). They had fuel because were planning to go in close to the pacific high for the shortest path back to san francisco.

JP Dick sailed his 2650 miles back without keel. He did not have the fuel to motor that range. But his boat did have water ballast tanks.
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Old 10-06-2016, 13:27   #50
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
No I am not "afraid" of keel bolts, I just don't like what I can't inspect/see.
Can you inspect/see the laminate layup in an integrated keel? Or the welding on a steel boat?
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:40   #51
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

Hi. I've enjoyed a keel boat for years. Recently removed it to clean and paint. I was pleasantly surprised how clean it was between the fiberglass hull and cast iron keel. Stainless steel through bolts came right out and with a few smacks with a large wood 4 x 4. The keel dropped out. I think there was some 5200 between them too. My point is if your fixed keel was installed like mine, you should have no problems. Remember, the hulls were designed for this setup.
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:04   #52
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

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It probably had some GM left so he probably didn't try to put up much sail?
The metacentre must be fairly high on some of the very beamy racing boats they are building these days.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:26   #53
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

I'm considering purchasing a 1976 Catalina, On a brief inspection I noticed the Keel bolts and nuts were severely corroded. So much so that I doubt I could get a socked on them to torque them down. There is faint 10" "Catalina smile" about 10" below the bottom of the hull. What's the best course of action at this point other than walking away. Is this something than can be put off for a short time or needs to be done ASAP .
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:42   #54
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

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I'm considering purchasing a 1976 Catalina, On a brief inspection I noticed the Keel bolts and nuts were severely corroded. So much so that I doubt I could get a socked on them to torque them down. There is faint 10" "Catalina smile" about 10" below the bottom of the hull. What's the best course of action at this point other than walking away. Is this something than can be put off for a short time or needs to be done ASAP .
If you see corrosion then the question arises what cant you see.

You might like to read the MAIB report on the Cheeky Rafiki which suffered a catastrophic failure of the bolted keel joint.

From an enginwering point of view I personally consider bolt on keels to lack durability and they also lack a graceful failure mode. This implies regular inspection, non destructive testing and placing a finite life on the components. Fine for a well financed vessel but not for a cruising yacht IMHO.

If in doubt check it out. Or accept the risk. Your choice.

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Old 08-08-2016, 09:24   #55
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Re: Irrational fear / keel bolts

I have both a Cat 27 and 30. Between the two models 13,000 boats were produced (the most for ANY sailboat). I'm sure there might be some exceptions somewhere, but I have not heard of a Catalina losing its keel. You could query the Catalina forums, but other than swing keel pivot issues on the smaller boats (22/25), I have not heard of anything beyond the smile. :-)

My 76' 27 has rusty keel bolts (nuts), but no smile. My 77' 30 also does not have a smile, but the PO took the precaution of drilling and threading some new holes and installing oversize (stainless?) bolts. They look like new. I would suggest this solution for you. Then if you want to attempt removing (or tightening) the old nuts and they break off, no real harm done. Just reseal those holes.

Lots of people continue to sail with the smile. Probably ok unless the keel swings side to side. You should read up on the repair. Seems fairly easy to do and is very common on Catalinas. Couldn't be that much of an issue. They are still the some of the most common sailboats at the marina and continue to enjoy a loyal following.

I can attest that Catalinas are a great compromise of interior room and cockpit vs length. The tall rigs in particular are good sailing boats and the larger and more forward headsail pretty much corrects the rounding issue of the standard model while providing more sail area for speed. From all accounts, the standard keel on the 30 and 11' wide beam make for a fairly steady ride. I think you would enjoy owning the boat if you buy her.
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