Keel Separation


Sep 2, 2014
Call 22 Port Ontario, NY
Last year I purchased a Cal 22. I had it in the water on Lake Ontario for a little over a month. I sailed about 8 times, and never hit bottom.

However, when hauling the boat out last year, the keel had separated from the boat base. When the boat was lifted with a travelift, there was about a one inch gap. The keel did not detach, but was loose. The boat interior was dry. You could see the several bolts in the gap, hold thing keel in place.

I believe sailing that season exacerbated a previous issue.

Has anyone experienced an issue like that? And if so, what type of damage did you see and what was the extent of the repairs?

Much appreciated. This will help with estimate expectations (and repair recommendations). Thanks! Steve.
Jul 23, 2015
catalina 2-34 oregon
What you are going to want to do is have the yard separate the boat from the keel. You are lucky you caught it before you had it detach. After they separate it, pull the bolts. Don't bother xraying them. Cost prohibitive. Call your local yard.
Nov 8, 2010
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI

Clearly the lifting of the boat did not cause this issue, as the keel pulls on the bolts when the boat is sitting in the water.

What is strange is that you did not notice it. The tightness of the keel boats is part of the engineering structure than holds the keel securely to the bottom. Loose, they would lever against the bottom, bending and/or wearing on the fiberglass. Its hard to image it did not leak. You should check under the wooden floorboards for damage.
Jul 23, 2015
catalina 2-34 oregon
Your welcome. There is topics like this in a number of books. What you had was a near miss. It could have been catastrophic. I am glad you caught it. Keel bolts are a big deal for those bolts that have them. You can do it fairly inexpensively verses having them checked for cracks. Not to mention the NDT (Non Distructive Test) tests can be really expensive and only check bolts to date.