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Old 27-04-2009, 15:10   #1
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Keel Bolts

Hi All,
I have a 1985 43ft Beneteau Idylle that has keel bolts that will need replacing at some point. When it was surveyed last year the Surveyor found that the heads on the bolts were rusted. About 60 to 70% left on the bolt heads (in height) The flats are corroded away. There were new 25mm stainless bolts left aboard if the job needed to be done in the future. Obviously the previous owner was considering it. The surveyor said the construction of the hull to keel was very solid and that as long as we didn't try to wrestle with a hurricane we won't see problems for many years.
I know it's going to be quite a job, which is scarey considering that every simple project I have turns into a difficult one.
Has anyone got some war stories about taking out corroded keel boats?
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Old 27-04-2009, 15:28   #2
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I've never seen any war stories on this forum about changing the keel bolts. I have seen some horror stories about keels that fell off though. Sorry I can't help other than to encourage you to change the bolts if they are on your mind. Or at least get and engineer to appraise the situation.
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Old 27-04-2009, 15:51   #3
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Has anyone got some war stories about taking out corroded keel boats?
There is a great thread, fairly recently with excellent photos. The boat was a Bene about the same vintage with the tops of the bolts corroded... but the bolts themselves were fine.

After reading his stuff where he replaced the lot (unnecessarily) I would surmise its best to pull one out before you remove the whole keel and do the lot!

PLease read my stuff with the disclaimer that I don't have any expert knowledge of this at all.


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Old 27-04-2009, 18:28   #4
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If you do decide to cut out the bolts, ask the boat yard how they'll do it. If they say they plan to burn them out with a torch - run the other way. A torch will do an excellent job of hurling hot lead every which way but the stainless bolts will remain.

Don't laugh. I've seen it tried.

While I am no expert, the most successful solutions I've heard of is to leave the old bolts in place and drive new bolts either by tapping or simply epoxied in place using one of the epoxys with good metal adhesion.

If you want to do a better than new job, consider bronze bolts instead of stainless. Bronze rod is about four times the price of stainless but no crevice corrosion.


Carl
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Old 27-04-2009, 19:19   #5
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If you do decide to cut out the bolts, ask the boat yard how they'll do it. If they say they plan to burn them out with a torch - run the other way. A torch will do an excellent job of hurling hot lead every which way but the stainless bolts will remain.

Don't laugh. I've seen it tried.

While I am no expert, the most successful solutions I've heard of is to leave the old bolts in place and drive new bolts either by tapping or simply epoxied in place using one of the epoxys with good metal adhesion.

If you want to do a better than new job, consider bronze bolts instead of stainless. Bronze rod is about four times the price of stainless but no crevice corrosion.


Carl
Do you really believe you can hold several thousand pounds of cast iron keel (pretty sure this vintage of Beneteau is cast iron but it would not work with lead either) with tapped stainless steel bolts or "simply epoxied"
Very dangerous advice !

If only 70% of the bolt is left what do you think the remainder of the core looks like? There are no short cuts on this one. I smell another one being added to the "statistics".
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Old 27-04-2009, 21:45   #6
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Keel Bolts

I'll be doing mine the next time she's hauled. From what I've read, they're through-bolted. It sounds like the nuts are cut off in the cabin, and then the bolts are drived down and out. If I do one at a time, I won't have to drop the keel. It sounds simple (right!). Your design might not be the same, but just in case, here are two links that describe what a couple of guys went through.

Keel and Keel Bolt Photos - Pearson 26

Tom Aston's Keel Saga

Good luck!
-Jim
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Old 28-04-2009, 00:32   #7
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It sounds like the nuts are cut off in the cabin, and then the bolts are drived down and out.
The idea is to undo the keelbolts from insude the cabing and then lift the hull off the keel.

Better check with the manufacturer and your fave shipright
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Old 08-05-2009, 21:44   #8
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Keel Bolt Follow up

I've been doing more research and still can't find a reason to drop the keel (raise the hull). The P26 was designed by Bill Shaw. According to Mr. Shaw,"The keel bolts were not threaded into the keel flange, instead they passed through and were secured with washers and nuts inside the hull. At this point in time, it might be best to drop the keel by removing all of the bolts and fit new ones." Unfortunately, Mr. Shaw passed away in 2006 so I can't ask him why he recommends dropping the keel. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 08-05-2009, 22:00   #9
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For what it's worth

more research as revealed the following. I'll post it here for other P26 owners:

Below The Waterline on a P26
by Bill Wanbaugh

In Volume 5, Number 2 of TPC, Bill Shaw discusses replacing keel bolts in the P26. Iíve done that job and his sketch is very accurate. In 1990, I replaced the eight keel bolts on my 1970 P26, #130 when it was in the yard for other bottom work. The eight nuts located in the bilge were so rusted and distorted from previous lack of attention, they each had to be ground off. After removing each nut, the associated bolt was driven out through the bottom of the boat. A new bolt was installed from underneath and immediately fastened on the bilge end with new washer and nut. This way, the keel was always attached firmly to the hull as the work proceeded. The set of eight bolts, washers and nuts were purchased from Pearson Yachts in 1990 for $60.00. They are probably available now from D&R Enterprises.

I think I'm going to try it next time the boat is hauled. Wish me luck.

-Jim

(am I talking to myself again?)
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Old 08-05-2009, 22:54   #10
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I just finished re-bedding my keel. The original bonding agent was breaking down and could easily be scraped away with a knife. Water was coming in through one of the bolt holes. The most difficult part of the job was getting at the nuts. The sole had to be cut and the aluminum water tanks removed. I'm in the process of putting everything back together now.

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Old 09-05-2009, 07:51   #11
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Thnaks Jerin

Thanks Jerin. I didn't think of that. Even though it seems that the bonding agent hasn't failed yet, it just might at some point soon. After all, the boat is 36 years old. Maybe I should do the big job. I'll have to do some research on the material used. Thanks again. - Jim
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Old 16-06-2009, 22:10   #12
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I just thought I ought to post a pic of the (almost) finished floor

DSCF0992.JPG (image)
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Old 22-07-2009, 08:52   #13
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I own an Idylle 11.50 and did my bolts 3 years ago; the washers were completely rusted away and I was afraid the bolts were in the same condition. I first asked the yard for a quote; they wanted to cut the top of the bolts, lift the boat from the keel, replace with stainless threads etc. at quite a price, Than I contacted the Dutch Beneteau dealer, they adviced me to remove a couple of bolts to check the status, no cutting as this could easily be done with a good wrench. They also adviced NOT to use stainless bolts as these wouldn't have the flexibility needed for this keel construction and would break. They also said they could get the original bolts for me if needed.
So I checked the bolts one by one; they were ALL in spotless shape (my boat is from 1982), the washers were not, so I replaced these with stainless steel washers. I put some Sikaflex as sealant in the bold hole and was done with only the cost for washers and Sikaflex. Job done.

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Old 22-07-2009, 13:09   #14
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What's are the yellow wires?
I know - it's ALMOST finished.
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Old 23-07-2009, 20:07   #15
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What's are the yellow wires?
I know - it's ALMOST finished.
Thanks for reminding me to get to that. Masthead and spreader lights.
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