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Old 10-06-2014, 19:16   #31
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Originally Posted by Chasing Summer View Post I've explained early that only 4 bolts can be accessed straight up. The other 5 are on an angle and 30 inches into a recess either under the tapered ends of a tank or a bulkhead...
Are you trying to say "It's too hard!"?

If it was easy, all boat owners would be doing this, themselves. Don't just say "It's too hard." Remove whatever obstruction prevents you from doing a proper and thorough job--begin by creating enough working room that you can go in with the proper tool to do the job with little risk of failure. If a tank is in the way, remove the tank. If the dinette is in the way of removing the tank, remove the dinette...

For dismantling a yacht's interior, there is one essential tool--the Fein oscillating multi-tool can be used to make easier-to-disguise incisions at natural seams and joints, such that carefully planned sections can be, not only removed, but later replaced!
1st rule of yachting: When a collision is unavoidable, aim for something cheap.
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Old 10-06-2014, 20:12   #32
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

A KISS option would be to pull the keel, cut off the bolts, & drill out the stubs like you do when you snap off a bolt in something smaller, & have to reach for the EZ-Outs.
Then fit some new, much longer, bolts into the keel, & re-bolt it to the hull. Even if that means having some bolts custom machined which are of a larger size where they're lagged into the old holes in the keel. And the upper half of the bolts being the same diameter, & thread pitch as the old ones.

Also, if you ever have to re-anchor a fastener in something, it often pays to make the bolt hole have part of it's cross section look like an inverted funnel. That way, if naught else, you've got a mechanical lock via the newly poured material, holding the fastener in place. Not that I'd trust that technique alone when it comes to keeping a keel attached to a boat.

One other possible option which isn't KISS is to do the following.

- Remove the keel, & have a "thin" spacer (say 4" thick) made out of metal, G10, or fiberglass (preferably with epoxy & not polyester resin).It'll need to be made to match up to both the shape of the top of your keel, as well as where the keel meets the hull.
- Install bolts through the underside of the spacer which mate up with the current hole pattern in your hull.
- Cut off the tops of the old bolts in your keel.
- Have new bolts put into the top of your keel in new locations from the old ones.
- Drill the spacer to fit the pattern for these new bolts in the keel.
- Bolt the spacer onto the top of the keel, post-bedding of course.
So now in essence you have a slightly deeper keel, with brand new bolts matching the old hole pattern in your hull, via the spacer.
- Bed & bolt the assembled Keel/Spacer combo onto the hull, & fair the whole thing into place.

For bedding, as well as filling in slightly oversized bolt holes, epoxy mixed with milled fibers works pretty well, knock on wood.It's stronger than "neat" epoxy by far, & cheap to boot.

That of course is an abridged version of how to do it, but it avoids some of the headaches mentioned earlier in the thread.And yes, you'll be paying for some machining time in order to get things bored & lined up just right.So it would be smart to run this scheme by both a Naval Architect & a GOOD Shipwright.
They can also go over the pros & cons of the various materials candidates for this project with you.If Carl Eichenlaub (RIP) were still with us, I'd tell you to go & talk to him.

Also, if you're going to the trouble of having new bolts made, look into Monel K-500MatWeb - The Online Materials Information Resource
And Nitronic-50 (Aquamet).The latter is what rod rigging is made of, & it's also used for propeller shafts.MatWeb - The Online Materials Information Resource

I'm going off of the top of my head, but seem to recall that both are better at resisting crevice corrosion than most Stainless Steels.And both of those are plenty strong.Or you can have bolts made of any of the old pre Stainless Steel day’s metals, if you size them appropriately.

You can find old propeller shafts often enough, & have them made into bolts, if you do some scrounging.It'll save you some $.Just make sure that metallurgically they're in good shape before forking out $ for them.Using some wet dry sand paper, & dye penetrant at a minimum, to check'em for defects.

For reference material, do some reading on how traditional wooden boats are both built, & repaired.And or, hit up guys who do that kind of work for a living, they'll know a lot of tricks & tips.

If you get stuck on what to read, LMK, & I'll dig through the ancient files north of my neck, & come up with some titles for you.But well works too.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:15   #33
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Originally Posted by Chasing Summer View Post
lifeofreilly57 - Thanks for your story, and for your advice. I really don't have the experience to even pour sinkers, let alone torch out and replace keel bolts. I'm not in a yard so using the yard crane or travellift if out of the question. I'm not ready to do the job yet, anyway, but if I don't start looking for people now I'll be that much farther behind when I'm ready. I'll start looking for a qualified tech to do it in place on site. ... I'll up date when I have more information.
Thanks to all for all the comments and suggestions.
I feel your pain.
I now own a boat with an encapsulated lead keel, no keel bolts to worry about.
I do miss the upwind performance though.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:32   #34

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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

"Is there a reason that the old bolts can't be drilled out"
Yes, it would be a huge waste of money. Drilling out stainless steel bolts that may be two feet long would take along time and burn out a lot of expensive bits. It would also be useless since the bolts all have nuts on the bottom end, or "J" hooks, so you can't just drill them out, you need to cross-drill through the keel to fit new bottoms on them. They are not just "bolts" like you buy in the hardware store.
And, even if you could do that cheaply, it would be a waste of time. Sistering in new bolts would still be faster, cheaper, more effective. Which is why the job is normally done that way.

I'm a fast typist, and often kept chained up on land? Or perhaps, someone hacked the post count. Don't worry about it, only the forum masters seem to think that count is essential to the continuation of the universe.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:23   #35
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

[QUOTE=funjohnson;1560954] but decided to fly a guy into do it from California.

Instead of calling the guy in Florida I might be asking about the contact info for the guy in California. As this is where you are if I'm not mistaken. If he was willing to do a job on site in FL he would probably be willing to do one closer to home. However the guy in FL might have good insight and worth getting some knowledge from him. Good luck I've read through your blog and it sounds and looks like quiet a project. Looks like you've made some great progress though.

Good luck and keep on keeping on, your too far along to stop now so don't look up. Keep your head down and keep getting things done like you have been!

I had one question on you blog, why the stanchion bases on the cabin roof?
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." Antoine de
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:37   #36
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

appick - Thanks for your words of encouragement.
The stantion bases on the cabin roof ... glad you asked. Where are most grab rails? How far along the cabin top to the extend? Have you known any that didn't leak after now and then?
I'm putting on a rail that is hand height as you walk along the deck. They have backing plates glassed in on the inside and will have "O" rings on the bolts under the bases as well as bedding compound. When originally posted pictures of them people commented that it was way overkill. I didn't think there was such a thing when you're in the middle of the ocean on a typhon.

hellosailor - The diesel tank is glassed in and integral with the hull. I just don't want to cut out all that glass. Simple as that. I could have done the keel 3-1/2 years ago when I have vertical access to all the bolts. Now I don't and I'm working a solution with that in mind. ... I appologize for my stab at your being chained to the dock. I've appriciated all the comments and suggestions here. That's why I started this thread. It seems, though that many people, not pointing fingers at anyone, just don't read previous or even original posts.
Lowell - s/v Chasing Summer - Spencer 42/hull 17 ... happy sailing
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Old 26-06-2014, 09:11   #37
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Is the OP certain the thing isn't through-bolted? That makes this task easy.

My boat (41 ft rhodes reliant) has 8000lb lead ballast. It's through-bolted with 18 very long 3/4" bronze rods which are threaded at each end. Big bronze plate washers on the bilge side, and bronze fender washers on the exterior (underside of keel), and of course big bronze nuts on each end. The keel is countersunk on the underside to receive the nut + washer. The whole thing is faired and you'd never see the exit hole on the bottom of the keel unless you stripped all the paint.

I replaced a few just to check them out - lead + phosphor bronze are apparently a great mix, they looked perfect. Just dug out the fairing from where the keel is countersunk on the underside, unbolted them, and pounded them out, one at a time. When reinstalling, you'll want to research how much to torque them. As I recall you'd approach some percentage of the rod's breaking strength in a manner similar to tensioning your rig to "filter out" small shock loads to avoid fatiguing the metal during normal use.

I'd stick with bronze if I were you. So-called stainless can have many corrosion-related failure modes in this application.
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Old 26-06-2014, 09:56   #38
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Re: Lead Keel Boat Replacement

Chris95040 ... thanks ... I've sanded off the bottom of the keel and don't see any fairing so I'm sure they're on either a plate or washers. I'll either go back with bronze or that new duplex stainess 2205. They're made to order a certain length ... can't be cut. It was developed for this type of application.
Lowell - s/v Chasing Summer - Spencer 42/hull 17 ... happy sailing
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