Funjohnson--There isn't going to be any cheap
way around this--good keel bolts
are essential to the safety
of the boat, period, especially so if you intend to sell it soon. You'll have to disclose the repair, and so it better be really good. I know the people at Mars Metal and at I. Broomfield, and they will give you the best service
. They also both have the advantage of a factory environment
where the keel
can be treated with the utmost care, tools, and skills.
I don't know anything about the fellow from California
, and he may be very good. Keelco was a known keel
casting company back in the heyday of California
boatbuilding. He may be quite good. Ask him directly for references
of jobs that he has done before, and talk to those customers to see how they liked his work.
You should also ask for a direct written quote from Mars Metal and I. Broomfield for complete work--bolt replacement plus the shipping
costs to and from. It will be easiest then to make a decision based on hard numbers. If you haven't received a written quote from the fellow in California, include him, too.
One other thought: I. Broomfield may very well have been the original caster of the keel. I suppose there is a chance that they still have the patterns or mold
and could cast a new keel for you. If you shipped them your keel, you could get a credit for the lead and put that money
towards the price
of a new keel of the same shape. They could use your keel bolt pattern to make a precise arrangement for the new keel. It's just an idea that would give you some reference to judge what is the best way to make the fix. If the cost of repairing the keel is close to the cost of a new keel, maybe a new keel is a way to go.
I hope that helps.