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Old 25-07-2015, 06:04   #16
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Re: Replacement Keel Bolts

Benetau/Jeanneau keels are cast iron, not lead. The original keel bolts are cast iron and threaded into a threaded insert in the keel, not SS threaded rods cast into a lead keel. As long as you can get a socket on the bolt heads; their removal, inspection and replacement are straight forward. This can be done one at a time with the boat in the water. Call Benetau for replacement bolts, installation details, torque spec., etc.

However, as indicated above, some recently publicized Benetau keel failures have apparently been associated with hull fiberglass features in the vicinity of the keel, not the bolts themselves, with a suggestion that previous groundings may have been a factor. Check out the Cheek Rafiki thread elsewhere on this forum.

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Old 25-07-2015, 08:28   #17
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Re: Replacement Keel Bolts

The bolts in cast iron keels are steel, not cast iron.

And replace them with the boat hauled out.

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Old 25-07-2015, 08:56   #18
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Re: Replacement Keel Bolts

Currently in touch with Beneteau Agents in Martinique and Jeanneau (Sea Ventures) in the UK - hopefully between them they will come up with the goods! Thanks for all the advice - we do intend to make sure that any repairs/replacements are completed to manufactures standard, and have a good team in our local boatyard who will assist with the replacement.
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Old 25-07-2015, 10:01   #19
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Re: Replacement Keel Bolts

I watched as the yard refurbished a Bene keel in Phuket. Some of the threaded holes in the cast iron keel were corroded, and those bolts would not tighten up. They dropped the keel and took it off in a truck to a machine shop where the holes were repaired and re-threaded. When the keel returned, they used threaded steel rod and nuts instead of bolts to re-secure it. The top of the keel was covered in epoxy putty and the bottom of thehull was covered with a release agent. The hull was lowered onto the keel and the epoxy faired while wet. When the epoxy was hard, they re-lifted the hull, spread 5200 in the joint, and tightened everything up. The result was quite a bit better than new.
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Old 25-07-2015, 13:22   #20
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Re: Replacement Keel Bolts

The above is the/one of the proper ways to bed a keel. And most other methods of quality should be similar.
It gives you a perfect mating surface interface, with a small, flexible bond between the keel & the hull.

Keels can be bonded in place, & essentially glued onto the hull. And you get a much more fair joint. But it's also one which will need more looking after during haulouts, & especially if the boat grounds or hits something.

Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I was under the impression that most bolts in cast iron keels had either molten lead, or epoxy poured into the threads, around the bolt. The purpose being, to remove any "wiggle" (AKA play) between the bolts, & the threads cut into the keel.
Is this not the case? Or are there a multiplicity of attaching bolts to cast iron keels?
The reason for this is quite simple. If you take a nut, & thread it onto a bolt, there's going to be a little bit of wiggle. Such is plain old fact.
And the bigger the nut, & the coarser/bigger the threads, then the more the wiggle. The wiggle being something which we definitely don't want in the system which holds a keel on. And bedding the bolts, as above, is an old, & proven way to get rid of it... At least until the bedding agent breaks down, with time, & millions of flexing cycles.

Yes, some of the "wiggle" can be removed by torqueing the bolts until they stretch enough so that the wiggle is removed. Such as in a car tire, on a wheel hub for example.

However, with heavy loads, & millions of cyclical loadings, it's not uncommon for some play to develop. For the bolts to stretch marginally. Or in the case of a boat, for the fiberglass keel sump/stub to compress a small bit.
And if any of the above happen so that there's enough wiggle room between the keel & the surface it mates to, then the wiggling can damage some of the supporting glass structure.

Just think about how flexing a piece of wire damages, & ultimately destroys it. The same thing can happen over time with a keel/keel stub. If, that is, it's; not engineered correctly, not built correctly, or not maintained correctly.
And some of the damage which may occur can happen @ a level which is too small to be visible to the eye until things are fully broken.

Just thought I'd clarify that, for those new to the topic. Especially as not all of it's the sort of thing which would come to mind, just as common sense kinds of things, unless you'd read about'em before.


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