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Old 09-04-2011, 19:13   #1
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What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

Hi All,

I recently looked at a 1970 Allied 39' that would be a serious project boat if I were to take it on. Looking the boat over I felt pretty good about everything that needs doing except the keel. Please check out the attached photos and render opinions on what seems to be a large (in terms of length) longitudinal crack where the ballast(?) mates to the keel. Is this a common problem? Can it be sufficiently repaired in such a way that the boat will be seaworthy, and about how much would you estimate the repair to cost? I assume that this condition needs attention even if the boat yard owner claims that a recent survey makes no mention of the issue.

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2011, 19:53   #2
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

I like these boats, That said Its a bolt on keel with bolts that are younger then I but have experience the bolts that is,41 years. From the picyures I would say not abnormal even typical. I would think shes prime for a fewnew keel bolts, etc... rigging chainplates,hoses,, yadddahdahhh. go in eyes open. A little movement between disimilar materials is expected and these visual signs are normal but there are a few metal bolts that probablyhave seen 40 years of service and marina life.
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Old 09-04-2011, 19:58   #3
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

While non-trivial, the best course would be to drop the keel, re-bed with 5200 and replace.
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Old 09-04-2011, 20:02   #4
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

Hey! You wiped out your reflection in the water.

Anyway the size and shape of the lead portion maybe a problem if the keels bolts are hard to access. It may be just the bottom paint flaking off the sealant, making it look bad.

I would check the size and grade of the material of the keel bolts. And if you take a hammer and hit the keel bolts they should sound solid. If they make a tinny noise then bolts my be loose or eroded.

That type of keel bulb is EZ to work with. To me, if the bolts are EZ to access then I wouldn't be too worried if the bolts sound solid.

I glass over my keel/hull joint with 1-2 layers of 6 oz. glass. This way I know if it's been moving around, which is not good for any boat except trailerable boats.
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Old 09-04-2011, 20:17   #5
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

I had chain plate bolts that looked fine no idea how they sounded when hit with a hammer. 30 year old bolts looked like **** in the areas you could not see. head was fine nut okay mid way through the bolt after removal looked very pitted. 40 years equals new bolts or a keel drop to see what they look like.
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Old 09-04-2011, 20:32   #6
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

If the bolts are non-ferrous (non-magnetic) and of a large size then the bolts could be in pretty good shape. Another reason to glass over the joint is to keep the bolts dry and free from erosion, providing the bilge stays fairly dry, as well.
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:48   #7
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

Tell you what. I've seen some articles about bolt replacement. Its no small task. That boat better be closed to free and you have got to love that work. Spend some time floating around forums looking for keel bolt replacement articles. You are not going to throw some glass at this and be home free. If you are 27 it'll be a great experience. If you're 57 its probably a year of work and you haven't got that kind of time.
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:01   #8
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

I think those keel bolts will be the last of your worries if there are other areas of work required. Changing a set of keel bolts isn't a big job with the right tools. What's more pulling a couple may reveal they are fine, so just pop them back in again.

Our iron to hull joints look the same (we have two keels). The joint will be filled in with sikaflex and painted over for another year.

However, in your post you mention the boat yard quoting a survey report. This report is worth exactly what you paid for it. You really need to commission your own up to date report.

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Old 10-04-2011, 03:04   #9
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

Removing keel bolts is a PITA - but it's not rocket science. and by the time you have got to the last one you will have cracked the technique.......for that boat

If you are going to be on the hard anyway for an extended period.........

Although I don't think applicable in this case, if you are ever drifting out keel bolts that exit under the keel - make sure that the boat is not resting on a block directly under the keel bolt Just sayin'
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:12   #10
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Removing keel bolts is a PITA - but it's not rocket science. and by the time you have got to the last one you will have cracked the technique.......for that boat

If you are going to be on the hard anyway for an extended period.........

Although I don't think applicable in this case, if you are ever drifting out keel bolts that exit under the keel - make sure that the boat is not resting on a block directly under the keel bolt Just sayin'
Just as a note the boat will need to be in a cradle or slings when removing the bolts. Hulls are built to stand the weight distributed through the hull. Jacking it up on stands/pads can cause undo stress around the pads (oil canning) if heavier then it can stand.

I've pulled a couple keels and the shape of yours is not too bad "If you can get to the bolts easily". It's the tall slim fin keels that are a pain to deal with. One has to build a carrier to remove the them.

Your type of keel weight is not the type that usually falls off. It's the fin keels that have run aground or under constructed that are the culprits.

While on the hard one can fill the keel void (bilge) with fresh water to see if any water leaks out. If so then I'd surely take measures. But the surveyor will use the hammer method, with the boat in slings or the water.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:38   #11
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

option 2 would be too just bore through and add new keel bolts. hard as hell to drill cast iron but if its lead there is an option.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:40   #12
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

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option 2 would be too just bore through and add new keel bolts. hard as hell to drill cast iron but if its lead there is an option.
Its tapping the new threads that would be hard. Ever tried tapping, by hand, a 1" or larger while standing on your head.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:50   #13
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

when i did this with a lead keel. I drilled clean through the bottom. routed out the lead to bury the nuts. eased off the old bolts. opened up the seam scraped as well as I could then pre cut the bolts and tapped on the bench. caulked the hell out of it put new bolts in and snugged it all up. filled the cavity where the nuts were and faired. not sure I would try this with cast Iron.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:26   #14
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Re: What is the magnitude of this badness? -> Keel

The biggest issue with most boats of this vintage is core rot. I don't know anything about this particular design but some have core right into the hull. If it's rotted, the condition is more costly to fix than the boat is worth. Core rot in the decks is almost a given unless she was meticulously cared for. It's a do-able job but very costly unless you're doing the work yourself. Just mentioning this because a guy in the yard where I was doing core replacement bought a nice looking boat that was blocked up a couple of boats away from me. It was actually ready for the dump. The core down in the hull was gone and he didn't discover it until after he had bought the boat.
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