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Keel Bolts H34, Should I worry about them?

Jan 28, 2017
40
Hunter 34 Halifax
I recently bought a 83 Hunter 34. It's been sitting on the hard for a couple years. We are in the process of redoing the cabin sole and various other things. There's been water in the bilge for a few years due to companion way leak and various other leaks. So it's mostly fresh water.

I was thinking that I should remove the nuts and plates. and peer down or use a scope (if one will fit) to inspect the threads of the keel bolts. I'd like to be sure my keel isn't going to flop off when were sailing the coast of Nova Scotia.

Are there any know issues with Hunter 34 Keel bolts of this vintage? or should I not be worrying about it?

I was wondering if anyone knows the tightening torques of the keel bolts?

Thanks for any insight.

-Chad
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,706
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
No known issues, but if they are showing significant rust stains, and are weeping seawater, then ya have a problem. Someone had posted the torque a while back.. around 200 ft lbs , maybe a bit more.. Best time to tighten the bolts is when boat is on the hard and resting on the keel. Picture is my forward keel bolts in the shower sump.. If your bolts are kinda like that clean, they are probably OK .. If you are concerned.. pull the worst looking one and see what ya have.. you won't be able to see anything past the backing plate.. again, if that is clean and no rust rivers are evident, ya probably good.. some are pretty tough to locate to inspect
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Any real problem with stud crevice corrosion would not be visible without pulling the keel.

Old thread of interest: https://forums.sailboatowners.com/index.php?threads/keel-bolt-removal-on-a-1984-beneteau-first-38.182443/&highlight=keel bolt torque
 
Last edited:
Jan 28, 2017
40
Hunter 34 Halifax
The bolts look much like yours. The only rust is from the grounding wires connectors. which I intend to rewire as soon as the ice in the bilge thaws. :\ All my keel bolts are exposed as I have the cabin sole fully removed. :D

Hunter bolts.jpg Hunter stripped.jpg
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,706
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
That doesn't look bad.. Probably a great time to cut out the false bottom in the bilge sump and inspect the chainplate tension rod anchors if not already completed.. Looks like quite a project, Good luck with it.. it is a good sailing boat!
 
Oct 30, 2011
542
klidescope 30t norfolk
You say it on the hard and been there a long time with some water in it so apparently your keel bolts don't leek otherwise the water in the bilge would have run out around bolts and down the keel
 
Jun 24, 2019
7
Hunter 34 CFB Trenton
Interesting to see a picture with the sole removed! I've saved that one for the next time I'm trying to chase a leak.
 
Aug 15, 2013
178
Hunter 35.5 Legend 003 San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Since we are talking keelbolts, what is everyone's opinion on this picture. The shower has drained for who knows how long into the bilge and there was always water in it per the PO. I have considered pulling these, cleaning them up & replacing with 316 SS washers. Apparently they were originally installed with Carbon steel washers- can't imagine why. They all look about the same. I made a little shower sump to eliminate the water from the head going in there. Works real good.

I tried removing the nuts awhile back but they would not budge. Since then I have sprayed several times with PB blaster and may try it next time I go down to the boat in the fall. Am I asking for trouble or do I have a concern here?
 

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Apr 22, 2011
631
Hunter 27 Pecan Grove, Oriental, NC
I would remove one of the keel nuts and check out the condition of the bolt threads under the nut. The upper one to the right in the picture would be a good place to start. I've never heard of Hunter ever using non stainless washers.
 
Aug 15, 2013
178
Hunter 35.5 Legend 003 San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Yeah, seems pretty odd. Can't imagine why other than I paid $7-$10 each for replacement washers....