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Keel bolt torque

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by Jwhy, Aug 6, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jwhy

    Jwhy

    Joined Feb 11, 2013
    67 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Richmond
    Does anyone know how tight the nuts should be? I have some water in the bilge and want to be sure nothing coming in around the bolts.
     


  2. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,065 posts, 231 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    In the overwhelming majority of cases water in the bilge comes from other sources rather than from the keel bolts. Try rain leaks and the many gallons of water trapped in the stringers below the sole. It is also true that tightening keel bolts do not stop most leaks which may arise from a break in the seal at the hull/keel joint. I would test to make sure that all bolts are tight and there is not a loose one, a visual inspection should indicate if there is excessive corrosion. Unless you have definite proof that there is water leaking through the bolts and they are tight and seem to be in good shape I would not mess with them. Water trapped in the stringers tends to dislodge with boat motion and makes its way to the bilge while giving the impression that there is a never ending water intrusion. When I say gallons trapped I mean many.
     


  3. Jwhy

    Jwhy

    Joined Feb 11, 2013
    67 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Richmond
    I'll give the nuts a twist and see if anything moves. I didn't know about the stringer collection issue. Is that rain water accumulating? How can I seal it?
     


  4. Kingjim91

    Kingjim91

    Joined Jul 6, 2013
    84 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30TR
    US Milwaukee
    Search this forum for "keel boat torque." It's been a topic many times, so lots of good info.
     


  5. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,065 posts, 231 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    The keel bolts torque specs are derived from the size and the material composition of the bolts. Check the size of your bolts and look for a Stainless Steel chart for the specs. Torqueing specs are supposed to be applied to clean bolts as corrosion and foreign particles can provide false readings. Water trapped in the stringers comes from various sources; wash downs, rain leaks, sea water spray, drips from the packing gland, plumbing leaks, wet bathing suits and even galley spills. Some have cut into the bilge liner to pump the water out with varying degrees of success or failure. Opening up the bilge can also release unwanted smells into the cabin. First eliminate all rain leaks that you may be able to locate, discontinue the use of a hose to wash the boat down, adjust the packing gland for minimum drip, ....... or just let the bilge pump handle that overflow of what is considered incidental water. Become familiar with the usual level so that you could readily identify when there is a more pressing source of water intrusion.
     


  6. Bikerbob

    Bikerbob

    Joined Aug 20, 2009
    21 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina C30
    Ca Oakville, On Oakville
    Just passing along info I got from Catalina. Remember that your Bolts are not tightening up again a solid metal surface - say like clamping 2 sections of metal, this is fiberglass. The torque from Catalina I got on the bolts was 90ftlbs. This is enough torque and not so much that it is now crushing the keel stub. Just passing that along. 132ftlbs might be the max for mine, but they told me 90ftlbs is the max I want to do in that situation.

    James
     


  7. Jwhy

    Jwhy

    Joined Feb 11, 2013
    67 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Richmond
    Thanks
     


  8. JamesG161

    JamesG161

    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    1,561 posts, 203 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    :plus: and much more.
    _________
    Unless the diagram from @Dave Groshong , in Post#4, is specifically for the Catalina 30, you can't go by just bolt size, condition, or material of construction.
    _______
    Since I don't know the Cat 30, I can only inform on what bolt torquing does and why.

    Torque is a force used to "stretch the bolt" to oppose the gravity force [in this case] to hold the weight of your keel in place.

    Other considerations...
    1) the number of keel bolts.
    2) The lateral forces applied to the keel that is resisting the wind force on your boat.
    3) The backing material and structure to resist all these forces.
    4) The spreading of the load of all these forces.
    5) A few more, but minor.

    Take Care...
    Jim...

    PS: I don't normally respond to argue or oppose views, unless it is about boat Safety.
     


  9. Jwhy

    Jwhy

    Joined Feb 11, 2013
    67 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Richmond
    90 sounds like plenty of force. I'll give them a twist tomorrow but don't expect to find much movement. Water from the stringers sounds like a more likely source of water. The bilge was dry until a cruise down the coast where we had a fairly steep eight foot swell. And rain water does get in.
     


    JamesG161 likes this.
  10. barnstormer

    barnstormer

    Joined Apr 29, 2012
    42 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 30 TRBS
    US Lake City Marina
    Do not try to torque keel bolts while still in the water. This should be done when on land since these bolts were not meant to pull up 4000# of keel.
     



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