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Keel Bolt Repair? :(

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Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
I'm going to have the keel off my C30 in the next few weeks. I have the "Catalina Smile" and some leakage past the keel bolts. I'm going to do the keel stub bilge repair to get the wood out at the same time. Has anyone found that the keel bolts needed replacement? If I find corrosion damage to the bolts: 1) how do I get the old bolts out? 2) How do I set the new bolts into the keel? I've talked to some of the shops that do this kind of work and their answers have been less that satisfactory. Somehow I doubt that sistering the existing bolts with lag screws driven into the keel from the bilge is a "proper" repair. On the other hand, do I need to drill holes through 6-10" of lead for access to put nuts on new bolts? I'd rather do this once, right, and never worry about it again. :D
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,347
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Moody do a keel upgrade

A friend of mine did this with his Catalina. You trace your keel bolt pattern and send it to Catalina. They then cast a new keel with your bolt patern and ship it to you when you get it you send the old keel back to Catalina. I forget what the cost per pound was but it was very reasonable. He proceded to remove the wood from the keel stub and found his keel bolts were just about gone. If your going to do it right call Catalina and see how much they want. The other way is to drill down from the top and in from the sides with a 1.5 inch hole to put 1.5 inch drilled & tapped round bronze stock into. The bronze stock acts like a 1.5 inche thick nut. This will work but there is no great way to seal the keel bolt holes and you will have water intrusion within a year or two. My 30 had new keel bolts installed and it was a constant pain in the ass especially when the boat was out of the water in the winter and it froze and expanded. Every year I was doing keel joint repair. It is not recommended to drill and tap lead because it is so soft. The bolts that are cast into the keels are J or L shaped and the only way to remove them is to cut them flush and install new ones with the drill down and drill in from the sides method..
 
Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
Damn ... :)

Thanks! I was hoping you would chime in on this! What are the chances of finding the bolts still serviceable? (It's hull #10) I like the idea of the bronze stock through the keel and bolts from the bilge down. I'm almost afraid to see what the cost of shipping 4300# of lead into Canada is ... Maybe Catalina will "participate" to keep this classic sailing? LOL! :D Once the new keel can of worms is opened, the choices are tough. Keep the Catalina fin? Go to Shoal Draft? Have Mars build a section to my specs?
 
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