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Old 26-04-2007, 15:49   #1
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Keel Bolts.....

Hello all,

On my quest and endless projects on my First, When we did the survey, the keel looks intact , it joins perfectly with the hull, no stress areas, really nice. While working on the bilge, I tapped the Bolt head with a screwdriver and it just came off, they did look very rusty, but the head actualy just came off, has anyone work on Beneteau keel bolts? the surveyor told me it can be done one by one on the water, and it should not cost much to replace (yeah right), the surveyor was surprised, he has never heard of a keel falling here in the Carib, but I do not want to be the first one...


Just thought I drop it in here to see your experience with this, I did the search.

Thanks in advance,

Danny H
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Old 26-04-2007, 16:16   #2
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Danny;
I think this is something that you should contact Beneteau about. Pictures might help but I have no idea how the keel is attached. I thought that most keels used studs set into the lead of the keel with a nut on the inside of the hull. However you may have a steel keel with the bolts threaded into the keel instead of nuts. Pictures might help, but I still recommend you contact Beneteau.

Good luck
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Old 26-04-2007, 16:38   #3
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sorry

When I said the bolt head, I wrote it wrong, the top of the bolt with the nut attached.... apologies, see TAO, I am iliterate in two languages
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Old 26-04-2007, 19:39   #4
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I think you need to send pictures to Beneteau. You can also post them here if you like in your personal gallery. One bolt gone bad may not be the end of the world but a bunch might not be so great. You do need to satisfy your curiosity to a level you'll sleep well with.
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Old 26-04-2007, 20:25   #5
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And if you haven't seen the thread on Moquini, check it out.

Yacht Moquini disaster
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Old 26-04-2007, 21:53   #6
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Rusty bolts?

That should be everyones warning sign. I don't know how bad it looked before it broke off but anytime a bolt is flaking iron oxide that's over the line. Mine are stainless and I even keep a close eye on them by trying to give them a twist once in a while. If bolts start going bad they'll never tighten up and/or they'll be loose every time you attempt to tighten them.

Personally, I would NOT take the boat out until all those bolts have been replaced. That's scary to have one just come off like that
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Old 26-04-2007, 22:24   #7
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That's a sign of water being in the bilge for a prolonged period. If they are that rusty, I'm surprised (well, not entirely) that the surveyor apparently only looked at them in passing. Were you there for the survey, to see what he actually did?

Usually keel bolts are just a large "J" shaped rod with a threaded top and they are cast into the keel. Assuming that there is something adequate to place extra keel bolts into, there are various repairs but I'd agree: call Beneteau, and then contact Mars Metals, 1-800-381-KEEL
4130 Morris Drive, Burlington, Ontario, Canada L7L 5L6
905-637-3862, fax 905-637-8841, mars@bserve.com

Mars are "the" name in keels, they are also tops at explaining repairs and modifications.

I would haul the boat NOW, rather than take a chance that further testing makes anything else pop off. Or at least, leave the boat tied up where it is, make the phone calls, and haul it where you plan to have the work/testing done, ASAP.

Why take any chance on losing the keel while the boat is in the water? No matter how small that chance may be, i.e., if they used 3M's 5200 to bed the keel, the keel bolts wouldn't really matter. But with my luck, I'd tap the next seven bolts and they'd all drop off, and then I'd watch the keel doing an imitation of Wile Coyote peddling off a cliff.

Meanwhile...play mum with your surveyor, it is possible that he should not have missed this.
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Old 27-04-2007, 02:14   #8
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I’d be very concerned about a keel bolt, corroded to complete failure. Seldom does this type of failure occur in “ones”. As a basic structural element, keel attachment is not an issue where I would allow a “mystery” to remain unsolved.

The Beneteau’s generally use an external Iron keel, fastened with stainless bolts, supported by a molded in backing plate. The nuts are then covered with resin slurry. This is NOT, in my view, an ideal design detail.

Contact Beneteau: Contact the Bénéteau Shipyards
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Old 27-04-2007, 05:01   #9
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Why are encapsulted keel bolts not a good design?

Contest uses Iron keels with a wife flage on top and two rows of bolts... far superior to a single row found in many thin lead racing keels.

There is a steel plate athwartship which acts as a backing plate and then of course washers. The entire inside is glass over. This prevents water which is in the bilge from attacking an exposed bolt.

But it does prevent you from inspecting the bolts. On the other hand I have never heard of a Contest having a keel fall off.

The trouble is with CL bolts is that when heeled the keel can act like a lever press into the hull on the lee side and separate on the windward side unless the keel to hull joint is paper thin... and most joints are simply not that well done... so the keel can "work".

All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.
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Old 27-04-2007, 07:01   #10
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defjef, yeah, but how is your aluminum shafted rudder doing?
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Old 27-04-2007, 10:21   #11
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Danny--

The First 38 uses 20mm keel bolts that screw down through the keel-stub into a threaded plate that's cast into the ballest keel. The shoal draft version of the boat uses 21 90mm bolts that Beneteau sell's for $15.49 each. These are not in stock in Charleston but will have to be ordered. The deep keel version of the boat uses 14 80mm bolts that Beneteau sells for $12.93 each. These are in stock and can be shipped to you at your request via 2nd day air. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico may charge some duty even though its a US Territory.

The bolts can be changed in the water, one at a time, and torqued down. I don't have the torque requirements at hand but that can be obtained when the bolts are ordered. The bolts should be coated with a good layer of Lanacoat or, better, TefGel.

Take your time extracting the old bolts. You may have to dose them with CRC or another penetrating oil. A mild solution (10%) of muriatic acid and water may desolve out some of the rust beforehand. Clear that out with WD40 and follow up with the CRC. Whatever you do, try to avoid breaking off the bolts or you will be in for an expensive haulout to drop the keel.

On our boat (a First 42) the bolts are all covered with an Epoxy seal that can be removed with a bang from a hammer. Once your new bolts are in place and properly torqued, they should be similarly sealed.

For more information, contact Ward Richardson at Beneteau 1-843-629-5300.

Cheers,

svHyLyte
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Old 27-04-2007, 11:21   #12
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HyLyte-
You mean, the bolts are sacrificial (only half joking) and the plate itself can be expected to be fully intact even after the bolts have punked out??

FWIW, I swear by Kroil and PBlaster as penetrants now, they are not just solvents but they do something chemical to the rust itself, which has to be seen to be believed. (At that point folks usually sign over their estates, don the orange robes, and join the order preaching their virtues.<G>)
PBlaster is in AutoZone and other retail stores, Kroil is only sold direct by the maker.

(You really think that plate would be sufficiently intact?)
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Old 27-04-2007, 11:42   #13
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The original bolts are fully sealed with caulking compound as is the ballast keel to keel-stub joint. Once the bolts are torqued it's unlikely that moisture can reach the mounting plate in the ballast-keel (but not impossible).

Unfortunately, First's, with keel stepped masts, tend to collect some water in the bilges. IF the bolt-heads are not also sealed, thoroughly, they will be subject to corrosion. That would have to work its way down the entire shaft of the bolt to get to the mounting plate in the ballast keel which is unlikely. One should be able to tell by the condition of the threads in the old keel bolts once they are removed.

On the First's as on many boats with similar keel designs, it is not uncommon to find a "smile line" in the seam between the front upper edge of the ballast keel and the keel stub. This is usually treated by injecting some caulking in the smile, tightening the forward most keel bolts and then resealing them. Dan did not indicate which bolt failed but I suspect it will be one of those closest to the mast base. I have seen that before in another First. Once retightened, if the bolts are not re-sealed, they will be subject to corrosion at that location. Fortunately, I have never heard of a First loosing it's keel despite many tens of thousands of hard sailed miles.

Cheers,

svHyLyte
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Old 27-04-2007, 18:59   #14
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DeepFrz..

My rudder post is stainless steel shafted and it is doing fine ... thanks.... how is yours?
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Old 27-04-2007, 20:32   #15
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Interesting. I was reading the specs on the Contest website and they specified the rudder post was aluminum.

Of course this is the CS45. I assumed the 36 would be the same. My misteak.

Quote:
Balanced GRP rudder with aluminium rudderpost and JEFA bearings.
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