Catalina 27 keel/bilge

Dec 7, 2014
78
Catalina 27 Alcova Boat Club
I want to rebuild the bilge area of my Catalina 27. Are there any video's or pictures of someone doing this work. I hate to just dive in without any real direction.
I have been getting water in my bilge. About 1 inch. Not sure where it is coming from.
I repaired the Catalina smile by filling in the crack and fiberglassing the area last spring.
 

Kopite

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Mar 11, 2015
107
Catalina 27 Monroe MI
Hi, did you find anything ? I'm in the same boat as you, will be doing this over winter.. There are a couple of images of the process that I found, but nothing of detail that I could find. I'm going to start by clearing all of the glass and wood (except around the bolts) over winter, and then remove the nuts and finish the cleanup, and glass up in spring. I plan to use epoxy, probably West, with the fast hardener. Rove and matting as prescribed by Catalina ( I expect you've found the process drawing already ), but I may add more just because it can't hurt... I had been thinking about using a synthetic core, but decide to stay "tried and true". One issue I'm expecting is that the bilge gets narrower once the core is gone, and also the walls will move in as I add the glass up the bilge walls 6" as prescribed. So, there may not be room for the nut and washer.
 
Feb 27, 2005
183
Hunter 33.5 Missouri
1987 C27, I did ours 5 yrs. ago. Used a multi tool with a diamond blade to remove the fiberglass from the bilge pan. The filler material under the glass is a solid piece of wood in ours unlike others that have plywood. It was slightly wet but no rot. I drilled (3/8") holes about an inch deep throughout the wood core and let dry for 5 weeks. Used West epoxy with 406 coloidal silica and poured the thickened mix into bilge and around the keel bolts with the nuts removed. When that cured I drilled previously cut pieces of 1/4" G10 and glassed them over each set of bolts. The G10 pieces were about 4"x 6". With those in place I finished the project by laying in layers of glass throughout the entire bilge encapsulating the G10 to the base. I glassed up the side of the bilge about 4-5". After that had cured I put the keel bolt nuts back on and torqued them to 83 ft. lbs. In hindsight I might have used G10 throughout the entire bilge. What I have has held up well so no complaints.
 

Kopite

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Mar 11, 2015
107
Catalina 27 Monroe MI
Steve, Thanks for the reply. I'll look into the G10, either as a core, or to build up the bolt areas to gain room for the washer/nuts.
Did the boat separate from the keel at all when you removed the nuts ?
Thanks,
Andrew
P.S. I just found the thread you had contributed to under " Repairing c27 wet keel stub". Really like what the guy with the 30 did with the G10 as core..
 
Last edited:
Feb 27, 2005
183
Hunter 33.5 Missouri
Andrew
I should have mentioned I performed the work while on the hard. All the weight of the boat was on the keel with the hull stabilized in its cradle. Don't think I would attempt this in the water. With all the keel weight hanging below the boat I'd be concerned you wouldn't be able to torque the bolts properly, not to mention the ever so slight potential of having it separate from the stub.
Steve
 

Kopite

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Mar 11, 2015
107
Catalina 27 Monroe MI
Steve, I'm on the cradle too, was just thinking that the upward force from the pads on the boat could lift it off the keel.
Andrew
 
Feb 27, 2005
183
Hunter 33.5 Missouri
Andrew,
I believe manufacturers generally use an adhesive like 5200 when they bond the keel to the stub. Don't think it would come off without a great deal of effort. I think I corrected the issue with the keel smile by finally being able to torque the bolts properly. It wasn't a difficult job to complete. It just required patience and time to allow the stub material to dry out.
Steve
 
Jun 20, 2021
10
Catalina 1976 Catalina 27 Tall rig Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk Va
I am planning on pulling my 1976 Catalina 27 out for a cleaning and while out want to do the bilge overhaul recommended by Catalina direct. My bilge does not leak and but the bolts look pretty rusted I believe it is from rain water over the years making its way to bilge.
Has anyone had issues getting the nuts off? Ive heard of people using a chisel to break them. Any help and recommendations are welcome. What type of time does it take to complete?
Thanks
 

RoyS

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Jun 3, 2012
1,207
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Bilge water can also come from leaking rudder shaft packing on some boats.
 
Jun 20, 2021
10
Catalina 1976 Catalina 27 Tall rig Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk Va
The only time any water is in bilge is after a very heavy rain. Use to come in cockpit door but was rare though. I've had it since 2014 and that is the only time I have seen water. Since then I have made new doors. No problems anymore
 

RoyS

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Jun 3, 2012
1,207
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Another problem area on some boats from rain water is when the boat bow is raised up. Rain slides along the cabin top and under the sliding hatch. This only happens when the boat is not level when parked.
 
Jun 20, 2021
10
Catalina 1976 Catalina 27 Tall rig Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk Va
Roy thank you for the info about where rain water comes in. There has been no rain getting in since I made new hatch doors.
My question is about the keel bolts in the bilge. I am going to cut out the old glass and plywood in the bilge sump. Then redo as Catalina recommends. My question is about how to get nuts off of the bolts that are rusted above surface. Some are rusted pretty bad and some are covered in glass.
Thanks