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Old 26-02-2020, 06:08   #1
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Boat: 1974 Pearson 26
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Individual replacement of keel bolts

First boat.
Early 70's Pearson 26.
Pretty decent condition with lots of extras at a great price etc..
Recent rudder bushing replacement (known issue with this model).
The keel was rebedded (and chronicled) approx. 12 years ago however, the exposed keel bolt and nuts are very corroded so I've decided to replace. I then plan to use the boat for the upcoming season and monitor / assess water infiltration.
My strategy is: if there is significant leakage in the area of the keel bolts then I will do my own re bed next season.
I have tools and mechanical knowledge / experience from 35 years of motorcycling, but I have no experience with old fibre glass boats.
There are 8 x 3 1/2" bolts through a flange on the iron keel which is mated up into a 1/2" deep well into the hull. The machined holes in the flange are then plugged, faired over, and the keel / hull can be painted.
My question has to do with replacing these keel bolts, one at a time, without disturbing the setting of the keel.
Any comments for or against this plan are greatly appreciated.
I have D Pfeiffer's P26 site.
Thanks.
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Old 26-02-2020, 09:27   #2
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Re: Individual replacement of keel bolts

To be more specific:
would replacing the keel bolts one at a time, to the original torque spec, with the boat on the hard, blocked up on the trailer, the keel in the installed position, compromise the seal (assuming the seal is ok to start with)? My sense is this should not aggravate anything too much.
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Old 26-02-2020, 10:08   #3
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Re: Individual replacement of keel bolts

That’s what I did with my Cal20 which has the same type of keel and attachment.
I did so on the advice of my bolt supplier who is kind of the Cal20 rigging guru.

What sized bolts do you have? What’s the torque spec for them?
Where did you find the spec?
I did a fair amount of research on what the torque should be. Given that there is fiberglass in the grip of the bolt, I did not think that tightening the bolts to capacity was appropriate. I can share my research if interested.
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Old 26-02-2020, 10:17   #4
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Re: Individual replacement of keel bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
That’s what I did with my Cal20 which has the same type of keel and attachment.
I did so on the advice of my bolt supplier who is kind of the Cal20 rigging guru.

What sized bolts do you have? What’s the torque spec for them?
Where did you find the spec?
I did a fair amount of research on what the torque should be. Given that there is fiberglass in the grip of the bolt, I did not think that tightening the bolts to capacity was appropriate. I can share my research if interested.
Bolts are 5/8" x 3 1/2" 11tpi 3/8" hex drive with 82 degree tapered seat (I'm assuming this is matched to the keel bolt flange bore).
Torque value of 70 ft/lbs came from a well known P26 owners site.
Agreed that the final actual applied torque value would probably be effected by my own internal "torque sense".
Yes....any info is greatly appreciated!
Cheers, Rol1964
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Old 26-02-2020, 12:10   #5
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Re: Individual replacement of keel bolts

My bolts were also 5/8”. Phillips drive flatheads. I torques them to 50ft-lb.
What are you using for bedding compound?
I used Dolphinite. My advisor wouldn’t recommend anything but pointed out original bedding was Dolphinite so I used that. I considered also using cotton which I’m pretty sure was in the original bedding but didn’t because I wasn’t sure about proportions and use technique. I liberally coated the inside of the holes and bolt shaft and got a lot smeared on the threads which may be a future problem but don’t really know for sure.

New bolts are 316L whereas original were some form of plain steel.

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Old 26-02-2020, 13:50   #6
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Re: Individual replacement of keel bolts

Replacing keel studs is pretty easy. It can be done in the water or on the hard. Start in the centre and only remove 1 stud at a time and replace it before removing the second stud etc.. Then go one side of centre and then the other side of centre. Double nut the stud for removal and initial torqueing. Insure that you use a good bedding adhesive on the last inch or so of each stud. It's usually best if you over torque by about 10-15% and 24 hours later set the torque at factory recommended values. Often you'll find you have to tighten the nut a little bit on the final adjustment. If your going to do the work on the hard make sure to be there when the boat gets lifted and carefully watch the hull to keel joint when the boats weight is put on the keel. If you see even the smallest bit of water emerge from the joint you'll know it's been compromised and it will require dropping the keel and resealing the joint. Good luck.
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Old 26-02-2020, 13:56   #7
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Re: Individual replacement of keel bolts

The P26 does not have studs, it has thru bolts. Can’t replace them in the water. The fairing over each bolt needs to be removed, the holes cleaned after the bolt’s removed and then bedding applied.
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Old 26-02-2020, 18:27   #8
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Re: Individual replacement of keel bolts

Thanks for the replies. I found an old thread on this site from a guy who had exactly the same issue with same make and model boat. In contact with him. This is obviously not the preferred way to execute this job but it is doable. So I’ll have a go once spring thaw hits.
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