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Keel Bolts


Jul 5, 2020
Grampian 26' fixed keel Gulf Breeze
I have a 44 year old 26' Grampian keel sailboat. I plan to put new bottom paint on starting 7/20/20. I would like to one at a time back off the .75" OD stainless steel keel bolt studs, replace 44 year old caulking, and torque up as required. I also plan to replace caulking along hull/keel joint. Please recommend appropriate bolt torque/tightening sequence, caulking to use under keel bolt stainless steel washer, and caulking to use along hull/keel joint. Thanks
Feb 21, 2013
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
You might find this Sail Magazine article on what sealant to use helpful: How Secure is Your Keel?
You also might want to refer to the attached table on keel bolt torque, reportedly derived from ISO 12215-5:2019(en) "Small craft — Hull construction and scantlings — Part 5: Design pressures for monohulls, design stresses, scantlings determination"


Oct 19, 2017
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
I've no experience doing this, but I would suggest that if the caulking is 44 years old, then those bolts have never been inspected properly, since the keel was first laid. You might want to pull each bolt and fully inspect them, not just back them off, caulk and return. There is a lot of information on the Internet about keel bolts that look great until they are actually pulled. Then, it is found there is very little bolt actually left inside the keel.

-Will (Dragonfly)