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Old 09-06-2014, 23:23   #16
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

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Terra Nova ... due to the arrangement of the main bulkhead and bilge tank sistering the keel bolts would be a tremendous amount of work. Yes, that was one of the options but I abandon it early on.



Can you explain this? If you can get to the nuts, you should be able to sister the bolts. Read Mars' numbers on sistering with lags, the amount of bury required is surprisingly low. It's called "Nevin's Rule"- one square inch of bolt section for every 1500 lbs of ballast.
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Old 09-06-2014, 23:23   #17
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

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Thanks for that. The $8,000.00 doesn't sound to bad at all but over 10,000 including removal and installation i would suppose. Probably budget $12,000. to be on the safe side.
Well, removal and installation ... awww ... ME
I would still have the expense of a crane at both start and finish. Figure probably $1000.
I'm kind of leaning toward doing the MarsKeel type repair right where it sits. Raise the boat on the stands to clear the keel about 6 inches.
Oh well, I've got enough to keep me busy this month and next. I'll worry more about it in August. No way am I abandoning this project just because the solutions are difficult to put together.
Oh, I inspected the bolt I took out today ... it's bronze. I'll try and get a good picture of the broken end tomorrow. Don't know if my camera does macro.
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Old 09-06-2014, 23:29   #18
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

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Well, removal and installation ... awww ... ME
I would still have the expense of a crane at both start and finish. Figure probably $1000.
I'm kind of leaning toward doing the MarsKeel type repair right where it sits. Raise the boat on the stands to clear the keel about 6 inches.
Oh well, I've got enough to keep me busy this month and next. I'll worry more about it in August. No way am I abandoning this project just because the solutions are difficult to put together.
Oh, I inspected the bolt I took out today ... it's bronze. I'll try and get a good picture of the broken end tomorrow. Don't know if my camera does macro.


Silicon bronze bolts that are shot? Stray current!
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Old 10-06-2014, 00:03   #19
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Had a yard do this in Florida last year. Looked into sending it to Mars, but decided to fly a guy into do it from California. Just before I scheduled and paid for his airfare, the yard one over from us said they could do it without a problem. They melted the channel to get the bolt out, installed new bolts, then dammed-up and poured the old lead to fill the channels up. They said the hardest part was "welding" the old lead to new. Whatever that means.

Call Oasis Marina in St Augustine FL and ask for John (the owner and the guy that did my keel). He's a great guy and will explain how he did it to you...none of the proprietary stuff like Mars.

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Old 10-06-2014, 09:33   #20
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Minaret - Lag bolts - the for bolt pattern at the aft end would be no problem except I don't really want to drill a hole in the bottom of the boat and don't really want to use a lag bolt. Then the keel goes under the diesel tank, which I put in a false bottom so I didn't have a fwd and aft bilge. The front of that tank extends over the next 4 bolt pattern as does the sanitary tank. They have tapered ends near the bottom so I can get a socket with 36" extention so I can reach the keel nuts. The single, fwd nut is the some what the same. It's between the main bulkhead and the fwd water tank. Access only through a deep hole.
I had planned all along on removing the keel for inspection.

Stray current ??? Hmmm ... I supppose that's a possibility. Maybe they corroded 25 years ago when the boat was still in the water. I'll buy that idea. All the fittings were bonded but not the keel bolts.

funjohnson - Welding the new and old lead has to do with the fact you can't pour hot lead next to cold lead. It won't melt it and bond. The surface has to be hot enough so they fuse during the pour. How it's done I have yet to find out. I'll call your guy and talk with him. Thanks for the connection.

Well, another cool, cloudy morning ... I can get in an hour of good sanding on the bottom. It's going well and after 4 days my arms are getting used to it.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:00   #21
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

No kidding, fiberglass the whole thing to the hull and make it encapsulated?? if the hull is thick enough??
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:07   #22
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

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No kidding, fiberglass the whole thing to the hull and make it encapsulated?? if the hull is thick enough??
I've thought about that idea, too. ... but 8000 lbs ???? I'd want to consult with a designer on that one. I still want to know the condition of the remaining 7 bolts.
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:07   #23
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

The removal and replacement of the bolts is the correct way to do it, whether at a foundry or in place.
Doing it in place saves the shipping cost but presents issues of it's own, it's actually easier to make a cradle for the keel, pick the boat up with the yard lift and set it on a cradle or blocks while doing the keel bolt work.
Just paying a qualified technician to do the bolt replacement and replacing the lead properly is the best bet for a successful job, getting lead to bond properly is all in the prep work, if done correctly you'll never know it was ever disturbed.
As for fairing the keel? It's not rocket science, just labor intensive, I did this to one of my boats that had a custom keel on it, I got hold of a copy of the original blueprints, made plywood patterns from them and then used them as templates to check the shape of the keel side to side, used fairing compound (kind of like marine body filler) and cheese grated and sanded it to shape. Followed by fiberglass to fair it into the hull and barrier coat.
WHen done the keel was symetrical and properly shaped as originally designed. If you can't get prints just pick the best side of the keel and make patterns from it about every foot down the trunk of the keel.
Since then I've noted a number of performance production boats that did not have symetrical keels, one brand in particular seemed to have the most non-symetrical keels percentage wise, this is most likely due to their mass production methods. Apparently the keels are cast in a mold lying on their side, then when being faired are just faired to make a smooth surface and cover the small voids that are common on castings of that type.
Ever wonder why some boats seem to sail much better on one tack than the other when going upwind? I've seen this mostly on the price point production boats, not so much on the better quality fin keelers.
THe original designs for most fin keels are made to have a certain amount of hydrodynamic lift and the proper shape going through the water to reduce drag, if they aren't properly shaped they will never perform to their design potential.
One boat I crewed on, in fact, from the same model line of one that recently lost it's keel, was so out of shape side to side you could see just walking by the boat it was also slightly twisted to one side when shot down the boat centerline, not from keel bolt shift but from it's original casting shape. The owner decided to bite the bullet and make templates to properly fair the keel and found the difference significant when it was sailed the following season.
Sooo, this might be a blessing in disguise, if you go ahead and properly replace the keel bolts by channeling the keel and putting in new J bolts, which I feel is the only way to go, make sure to get the bolt pattern right and take the time to properly fair the keel once it's reattached to the boat, you won't regret the extra work, the results are worth it.
Even though I was once a journeyman millwright with good fabrication and welding skills who's pored his own babbit bearings I left it to a qualified tech who'd done lead work when I had to do it to one of my boats, if you don't do it every day your not going to be as proficient. If you can do the rest of the work you will save the most significant costs involved.
You really don't want to even think about melting and re-poring a new keel just to replace the bolts, the thought of the amount of work involved just makes me cringe. The poring part is easy, it's all the finish work after that sucks. It's a last resort choice.
Good luck, from what I gather it's a bit harder to find people on the left coast these days that can do this, I live in an area where there is still a significant boat building/servicing industry so it's a little easier here.
Cheers
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Old 10-06-2014, 14:04   #24
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

lifeofreilly57 - Thanks for your story, and for your advice. I really don't have the experience to even pour sinkers, let alone torch out and replace keel bolts. I'm not in a yard so using the yard crane or travellift if out of the question. I'm not ready to do the job yet, anyway, but if I don't start looking for people now I'll be that much farther behind when I'm ready. I'll start looking for a qualified tech to do it in place on site. ... I'll up date when I have more information.
Thanks to all for all the comments and suggestions.
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Old 10-06-2014, 17:10   #25
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Rather than removing the keel, I would explore other ways around this, like sistering the existing bolts by cutting small "window pockets" in the keel, for accessing nuts and washers.

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Old 10-06-2014, 18:19   #26
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

One possible option which is semi KISS.
- Remove the keel, & have a "thin" spacer (say 4" thick) made out of metal, G10, or fiberglass (preferably with epoxy & not polyester resin). It'll need to be made to match up to both the shape of the top of your keel, as well as where the keel meets the hull.
- Install bolts through the underside of the spacer which mate up with the current hole pattern in your hull.
- Cut off the tops of the old bolts in your keel.
- Have new bolts put into the top of your keel in new locations from the old ones.
- Drill the spacer to fit the pattern for these new bolts in the keel.
- Bolt the spacer onto the top of the keel, post-bedding of course.
So now in essence you have a slightly deeper keel, with brand new bolts matching the old hole pattern in your hull, via the spacer.
- Bed & bolt the assembled Keel/Spacer combo onto the hull, & fair the whole thing into place.
For bedding, as well as filling in slightly oversized bolt holes, epoxy mixed with milled fibers works pretty well, knock on wood. It's stronger than "neat" epoxy by far, & cheap to boot.

That of course is an abridged version of how to do it, but it avoids some of the headaches mentioned earlier in the thread. And yes, you'll be paying for some machining time in order to get things bored & lined up just right. So it would be smart to run this scheme by both a Naval Architect & a GOOD Shipwright.
They can also go over the pros & cons of the various materials candidates for this project with you. If Carl Eichenlaub (RIP) were still with us, I'd tell you to go & talk to him.

Also, if you're going to the trouble of having new bolts made, look into Monel K-500 MatWeb - The Online Materials Information Resource
And Nitronic-50 (Aquamet). The latter is what rod rigging is made of, & it's also used for propeller shafts. MatWeb - The Online Materials Information Resource
I'm going off of the top of my head, but seem to recall that both are better at resisting crevice corrosion than most Stainless Steels. And both of those are plenty strong. Or you can have bolts made of any of the old pre Stainless Steel days metals, if you size them appropriately. www.matweb.com

You can find old propeller shafts often enough, & have them made into bolts, if you do some scrounging. It'll save you some $. Just make sure that metallurgically they're in good shape before forking out $ for them. Using some wet dry sand paper, & dye penetrant at a minimum.

For reference material, do some reading on how traditional wooden boats are both built, & repaired. And or, hit up guys who do that kind of work for a living, they'll know a lot of tricks & tips.
If you get stuck on what to read, LMK, & I'll dig through the ancient files north of my neck, & come up with some titles for you. But Amazon.com well works too.
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Old 10-06-2014, 18:20   #27
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Six months and the OP is still chasing KEEL companies?

OK, you don't want to know about DIY you just want to pay someone to "take fixee". That's perfectly valid, but really? Any boatyard should be able to sister in new keel bolts.

Not just a marina, but a BOATYARD that FIXES BOATS.

This is really basic wrench work, not rocket science. It would be totally ridiculous to ship 8000# of lead cross-country and back to do this job.

Find a yard that repairs serious hull damages, make some phone calls. It shouldn't take longer than a couple three days to get the job done, even if they just assign one man to do it.
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Old 10-06-2014, 18:46   #28
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Just a KISS think. Is there a reason that the old bolts can't be drilled out of the keel from the top down. Like when you snap off a bolt on something you're working on & have to reach for the dreaded EZ-Outs. And then sink much longer (lag type) bolts into the keel.
Even if you have to have to go with bolts which are of a slightly larger diameter where they're in the keel, & the size of the original's where they enter the hull.
Yeah, custom machining, I know, but cheaper than pouring a keel.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think the system ate my other post, so I'll try again.

One possible option which isn't so KISS...

- Remove the keel, & have a "thin" spacer (say 4" thick) made out of metal, G10, or fiberglass (preferably with epoxy & not polyester resin).It'll need to be made to match up to both the shape of the top of your keel, as well as where the keel meets the hull.
- Install bolts through the underside of the spacer which mate up with the current hole pattern in your hull.
- Cut off the tops of the old bolts in your keel.
- Have new bolts put into the top of your keel in new locations from the old ones.
- Drill the spacer to fit the pattern for these new bolts in the keel.
- Bolt the spacer onto the top of the keel, post-bedding of course.
So now in essence you have a slightly deeper keel, with brand new bolts matching the old hole pattern in your hull, via the spacer.
- Bed & bolt the assembled Keel/Spacer combo onto the hull, & fair the whole thing into place.

For bedding, as well as filling in slightly oversized bolt holes, epoxy mixed with milled fibers works pretty well, knock on wood.It's stronger than "neat" epoxy by far, & cheap to boot.

That of course is an abridged version of how to do it, but it avoids some of the headaches mentioned earlier in the thread.And yes, you'll be paying for some machining time in order to get things bored & lined up just right.So it would be smart to run this scheme by both a Naval Architect & a GOOD Shipwright.
They can also go over the pros & cons of the various materials candidates for this project with you.If Carl Eichenlaub (RIP) were still with us, I'd tell you to go & talk to him.

Also, if you're going to the trouble of having new bolts made, look into Monel K-500http://matweb.com/search/DataSheet.a...17b377c&ckck=1
And Nitronic-50 (Aquamet).The latter is what rod rigging is made of, & it's also used for propeller shafts.http://matweb.com/search/QuickText.a...=nitronic%2050
I'm going off of the top of my head, but seem to recall that both are better at resisting crevice corrosion than most Stainless Steels.And both of those are plenty strong.Or you can have bolts made of any of the old pre Stainless Steel day’s metals, if you size them appropriately. www.matweb.com

You can find old propeller shafts often enough, & have them made into bolts, if you do some scrounging.It'll save you some $.Just make sure that metallurgically they're in good shape before forking out $ for them.Using some wet dry sand paper, & dye penetrant at a minimum.

For reference material, do some reading on how traditional wooden boats are both built, & repaired.And or, hit up guys who do that kind of work for a living, they'll know a lot of tricks & tips.

If you get stuck on what to read, LMK, & I'll dig through the ancient files north of my neck, & come up with some titles for you.But Amazon.com well works too.
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Old 10-06-2014, 19:06   #29
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Hellosailor - 9300 posts ??? really, don't you ever take your boat out?? Yes, 6 months and I'm still working on this issue. Maybe you don't know but there a lot more involved in a total rebuild than just the keel. I work on a project, look a the keel ... work on another project, look at the keel ... sanding all the bottom paint off, while my arms are resting I look at the keel. It's somthing I don't need to do for another 4 months but when I'm ready to do it I want a clear idea of what I'm doing. Don't suppose you've ever worked with a limited budget, either. Can't just drop the boat off and say, "here, fix it. I'll be back in a week with $10,000." I'm doing the best with the resources I have.

Uncivilized - that would be a great idea except as I've explained early that only 4 bolts can be accessed straight up. The other 5 are on an angle and 30 inches into a recess either under the tapered ends of a tank or a bulkhead. I'd love to be able to just drill out the bronze. Thanks for your suggestion, though.
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Old 10-06-2014, 19:51   #30
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

I know you've looked at sistering - but I'd look again.

The right place to start is to pull that diesel tank. It must be approaching EOL - how are you going to feel if that thing starts leaking 6 months after you launch?

With the tank out, you can sister the bolts in an afternoon - there's no need to perfectly match the previous pattern. 7000lb isn't that heavy and I assume the keel attachment is quite wide. Get as close as you can near the bulkhead.

Then put in a new plastic tank. Even a custom aluminum tank won't cost much.
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