Keel Bolts

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by simon wheeler, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. simon wheeler
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    simon wheeler Junior Member

    I have 4 very rusty keel bolts on a Robber 3e. Does anyone have any idea how long they are and any idea how to remove them. We are totally open to all ideas and have a major winter maintenace program so a anyone who feels that they have any idea how to make a Robber beat a Farr quarter tonner please feel free to send your ideas as we need all the help we can get.

    Simon
     
  2. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    wet feet Senior Member

    I would chip all rust/paint/flowcoat away from the upper end of the bolts and nuts.Liberally apply penetrating oil and leave for a week,repeat for at least five weeks.Acquire a suitable socket to fit the nuts and hope that they are all the same size or the purchasing will be more extensive and expensive.Get a two foot length of scaffold tube welded to the socket(s) and cross drill the upper end with a 3/4 inch hole.Insert a four foot length of steel bar and persuade two muscular blokes to heave.If the whole bolt rotates you will need to take steps to stop the lower end rotating.Use your imagination,there are no rules.If the absolute worst happens you will have to saw through the bolts.This stage is only reached after failing with heat,more penetrating oil and sawing the side off the nut.Good luck.
     
  3. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    And by 'penetrating oil' he means something like PlusGas Formula A. Don't waste your time and money with something like WD40.
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    WD-40 works fairly well, though there are better products, like PB-Blaster and other moly based penetrating oils. They work best with repeated shock and time. Soaking well, as suggested, though waiting several weeks isn't going to change anything, but an impact wrench will. Also forget about welding sockets and such, when a "convincer" pipe slid over the end of a healthy breaker bar will do just fine and offers a level of adjustablity, that a welded socket/bar can't.

    Soak the crap out of the parts for a day or two, then use an impact driver on the offending fasteners. One of three things will occur. The nuts or bolt heads will spin off (shear) and you'll be cussing for the rest of the day or they will not move and you'll be cussing for the rest of the day or they'll come off and you'll be in a better mood then the other options offer.

    It's important to use a set of tools design for these loads. I removed a 1.5" nut today and got to pull out the 3/4" socket set, which doesn't see the light of day often. It makes the world of difference to have a properly sized tool (ask you wife) for the task at hand. I made quick work of my job with the 1.5" nut, using a 36" long 2" pipe over the breaker bar and the right size 6 point socket.
     
  5. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    Are you dropping the ballast then?

    Is it lead?

    Is it known how the bolts are set in the ballast?

    Removing the nuts may be of no great significance if the bolts are shot.
    Cut them off and drop the ballast down far enough to get at the bolts and go from there.

    How many ways have been used to skin this cat? Par- tapped into ballast?

    Funny story- I used to have this ritual (rarely applied), that a glance in the bilges was appropriate before some great journey. Well one time I took a quick peek and noticed that the nuts were missing on just about every bolt...
    It seems they were a inferior stainless to the bolts and had just dissolved right away to bare crescents of steel if visible at all.

    On wooden vessels the bolts can be necked down to nothing as they pass though the floors... the same for GRP construction? It may be what you are seeing is not really a issue to the integrity of the bolt. Can you lock up a additional nut on one and see if it can be backed out of the ballast to check condition (assuming tapped into ballast). Perhaps they can be changed one at a time.

    How does the ballast hull joint look- loose? Persistent crack?

    This is an 'approach to a problem' sort of question. Without eyes on the problem, most guys will have a difficult time saying exactly what the best path towards resolution might be.

    As to "beating the Farr", have you considered sending a diver down the night before the race and tying a small buoy to her keel?
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I usually cut or drill out the nuts. If you can't get a solution, I am in London for anolther three months or so.
     
  7. simon wheeler
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    simon wheeler Junior Member

    Hi there
    you obviously use the website a lot. How amazing to share a problemna dget somemany minds on the job. Thanks for your input and as you are in UK for 3 months might need to take you up. What do you do, do you sail. Our last race was last weekend due to refit and the major need for a major overhaul.
    Boat is in Cowes drop us a line.
    Simon
    PS. we are in slough and travel home very regularly.
    Thanks
     
  8. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    PAR describes a method that is well suited for a boat owner who posesses an impact wrench and whose boat is situated where the means of driving an impact wrench is at hand.My system will work if the boat is on hard standing quarter of a mile from services.The attached pdf shows the device and with a twelve point socket,thirty degrees of rotation is all that is required to move to the next heaving point.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. simon wheeler
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    simon wheeler Junior Member

    most appreciated. I this may be the way to go as they are very old and very rusty
    Simon
     

  10. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Yes I do sail. It was a treat to boat on the Thames for the first time. Send me an email if you need help
     
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