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Garboard
Deckhand

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Initially Posted - 03/27/2018 :  20:14:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, my 1980 Catalina 25 has badly corroded bolt "heads" the nuts are almost gone. I don't know what's out of sight but bilge water has been seeping out of the keel well below the attachment area...in one spot, so I'll have to seal that, but before I get to that---
My question: does anyone know were the keel bolts threaded into the CAST IRON keel or were they cast in??
I'm familiar with the available kit for installing additional bolts but I have worries about that: first I have heard that that area may not be well structured and may need reinforcement to support the new bolts. Secondly the kits come with 316 stainless steel rod...which I understand to be vulnerable to corrosion...I may spring for silicone bronze threaded rod to avoid that...
But before I start torquing on the old bolt heads, trying to "unscrew" them I want to see if anyone else has info on how they are actually attached to the keel. Thx in advance!

JLR

Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 03/29/2018 :  20:08:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My understanding is the bolts are "studs" that have right-angle bends at the lower end and are cast into the keel. In the cast iron keels, these are mild steel, as are the nuts and washers in that vintage. I would not try to "torque" the nuts off--whatever is left of them and the studs is better than what will result from that attempt. I would slather them with something like roofing cement (goop), and then consider sistering in new threaded rods, as CD's kit provides.

Regarding stainless steel, I can only say the 1985 model I bought in 2000 (with an encapsulated lead keel) had the stainless bolts Catalina had switched to, and the original 1985 bolts and nuts looked pristine when I sold her in 2006 (31 years old). If you plan to keep the boat for another 50+ years, bronze studs might be preferable, but...

The molded stub in the hull where keel is attached is a concern--it has a wood core below those washers and nuts. Some exploratory drilling could show you the condition of the wood. If I found it to be soft, I would probably look into two options: (1) remove and replace the core with a composite material like Nida Core (a big deal), or (2) drill numerous holes, allow the core to dry, and inject slow-curing "penetrating" epoxy into the holes. The latter would allow you to keep the original bolts (which are still functional) and sister in some new ones if it makes you more comfortable.

Keep in touch as you progress...

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Garboard
Deckhand

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Response Posted - 03/30/2018 :  15:04:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I spoke to someone at Catalina's tech support line today...he agreed with what you wrote Stinkpotter...
When I asked about my concern regarding stainless steel cavitation corrosion he seemed unconcerned...suggestion that the stainless rod would last the rest of "our lives"
He may be right...
But I went on to read an article about this topic that I will post here...I hope it is useful to others...


or



What Makes Stainless "Stain-less"

A common misconception about stainless steel is that is not affected by corrosion. While misleading, the phenomenal success of the metal makes this common belief understandable. One of New York City's most impressive landmarks is the stainless steel clad peak of the Chrysler Building. Built in 1930 of 302 Stainless, a recent inspection revealed no signs of corrosion or loss of thickness. The tallest manmade monument in the US, the St Louis Arch, is entirely clad in 304 stainless steel plates. Except for cleaning, the stainless exterior of this monument has required no corrosion maintenance. Closer to home, housewives work in stainless steel sinks that shine as bright as the day the were installed. Everyday the average American will come into contact with numerous examples of the success of stainless steel. And while the name correctly signifies the rust resistant properties of the metal, "stain-less" is not 100% "stain-proof" in certain applications.
All metals except gold, platinum, and palladium corrode spontaneously

To understand the possibility of corrosion in stainless, we must first understand what gives it the ability to resist. Stainless steel is a family of alloy steels containing a minimum of 10-1/2% chromium. The chromium, when in contact with oxygen, forms a natural barrier of chromium oxide called a "passive film". Only microns thick, this invisible and inert film is self repairing (according to worldstainless.org the chromium oxide film is 130 Angstroms in thickness, an angstrom being one millionth of one centimetre) Alan Harrison, with the British Stainless Steel Association's Stainless Steel Advisory Service, wrote us and advised he describes the thickness of the passivation as "about one ten thousandth of the thickness of a human hair"..

To ensure stainless steel is able to "self heal" itself, it is necessary that a finished product, i.e. fasteners, go through a process upon the completion of their manufacturing process. The process, called "passivation", has become extremely controversial, and appears to have become less defined due to outside forces such as environmental regulations and high costs. The technical term and common usage are quite different. Technically, and still necessary to meet military and aerospace requirements, fasteners are submerged in a nitric acid solution. Also known as pickling, this acid treatment removes impurities from the manufacturing process, including oil and grease, and fine metal particles which have come from fastener tooling. Removing these exterior barriers or obstructions, the acid helps accelerate the formation of the chromium oxide film. In the US, the common use of this term among fastener manufacturers is simply a cleaning process. This can be done by different methods, from submerging in acid to dipping a finished product into a mix of cleaning fluid, and then leaving the fastener exposed to air. This "cleaning" can be fairly effective, or totally inadequate, depending upon the fastener manufacturer.

Types of Stainless Corrosion

According to the DOD Technical Bulletin Corrosion Detection and Prevention there are 8 separate types of corrosion, with only a few having a major impact on stainless steel. Please be advised the descriptions below are extremely brief and written in laymen terms. Before acting on any particular application, qualified advice particular to such application should be obtained.

1. Uniform Attack - also known as general corrosion, this type of corrosion occurs when there is an overall breakdown of the passive film. The entire surface of the metal will show a uniform sponge like appearance. Halogens penetrate the passive film of stainless and allow corrosion to occur. These halogens are easily recognizable, because they end with "-ine". Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine are some of the most active.

2. Crevice Corrosion - this is a problem with stainless fasteners used in seawater applications, because of the low PH of salt water. Chlorides pit the passivated surface, where the low PH saltwater attacks the exposed metal. Lacking the oxygen to re-passivate, corrosion continues. As is signified by its name, this corrosion is most common in oxygen restricted crevices, such as under a bolt head.

3. Pitting - See Galvanic Corrosion. Stainless that had had its passivation penetrated in a small spot becomes an anodic, with the passivated part remaining a cathodic, causing a pit type corrosion.

4. Galvanic Corrosion - Placing 2 dissimilar metals in a electrolyte produces an electrical current. A battery incorporates this simple philosophy in a controlled environment. The current flows from the anodic metal and towards the cathodic metal, and in the process slowly removes material from the anodic metal. Seawater makes a good electrolyte, and thus, galvanic corrosion is a common problem in this environment. 18-8 series stainless fasteners that work fine on fresh water boats, may experience accelerated galvanic corrosion in seawater boats, and thus it is suggested you examine 316 stainless.

The simplified galvanic series chart below will assist you in determining the potential electrical activity between 2 metals. Also included is a Guideline for Selection of Fasteners based on Galvanic Action

Galvanic Series of Metals and Alloys

Magnesium
Anodic
More likely to be attacked

Magnesium Alloys
Zinc
Aluminum 1100
Cadmium
Aluminum 2024-T4
Steel
Iron
Cast Iron
Lead-Tin Solders
Lead
Tin
More Noble
Cathodic

Brass
Copper
Bronze
Copper-Nickel Alloys
Stainless Type 430 (Passive)
Stainless Type 304 (Passive)
Stainless Type 316 (Passive)
Silver
Graphite
Gold
Platinum
Source: ITT Harper
More complete Galvanic Corrosion Chart

Guideline for Selection of Fasteners based on Galvanic Action

Fastener Metal

Zinc &
Galvanized
Steel

Aluminum &
Aluminum
Alloys

Steel and
Cast Iron

Brass, Copper,
Bronze, Monel

Martensitic
Stainless
(Type 410)

Austentic
Stainless
(Types 302,
303, 304, 305)

Base Metal

Zinc & Galvanized
Steel

A

B

B

C

C

C

Aluminum &
Aluminum Alloys

A

A

B

C

Not
Recommended

B

Steel and Cast
Iron

AD

A

A

C

C

B

Lead-Tin Plated
Sheets

ADE

AE

AE

C

C

B

Brass, Copper,
Bronze, Monel

ADE

AE

AE

A

A

B

Ferritic Stainless
(Type 430)

ADE

AE

AE

A

A

A

Austentic Stainless
(Type 302/304)

ADE

AE

AE

AE

A

A

A - The corrosion of the base metal is not increased by the fastener
B - The corrosion of the base metal is marginally increased by the fastener
C - The corrosion of the base metal may be markedly increased by the fastener material
D - The plating on the fastener is rapidly consumed, leaving the bare fastener metal
E - The corrosion of the fastener is increased by the base metal
Note - Surface treatment and environment can change activity
Source - "Stainless Steel Fasteners A Systematic Approach To Their Selection" AISI 502-476-18M-CP
5. Intergranular Corrosion - all austentic stainless steels contain a small amount of carbon. At extremely high temperature, such as welding, the carbon forces local chrome to form chromium carbide around it, thus starving adjacent areas of the chrome it needs for its own corrosion protection. When welding, it is recommended you consider low carbon stainless such as 304L or 316L.

6. Selective Leaching - Fluids will remove metal during a de-ionization or de-mineralization process. This usually happens inside a pipe and is rarely a fastener problem.

7. Erosion Corrosion - This corrosion happens when the velocity of an abrasive fluid removes the passivation from a stainless. Again, this is almost exclusively limited to pipe interiors and rarely a fastener problem.

8. Stress Corrosion - Also called stress corrosion cracking or chloride stress corrosion. Chlorides are probably the single biggest enemy of stainless steel. Next to water, chloride is the most common chemical found in nature. In most environments, the PPM are so small the effects on stainless are minute. But in extreme environments, such as indoor swimming pools, the effects can be extreme and potentially dangerous. If a stainless part is under tensile stress, the pitting mentioned above will deepen, and cracking may take place. If you are using stainless steel bolts under tensile stress, in an environment where chlorine corrosion is likely, you should examine the potential for stress corrosion cracking carefully.

According to a NACE International & CC Technologies study, corrosion costs the United States $276,000,000,000 annually. That's $276 billion and 4.2% of the nations GNP. In the power generation and transmission industry alone, it is estimated that nearly 8% of the typical electric bill is attributed to the cost of corrosion. It is unknown how many lives are lost annually due to corrosion but the number could be frighteningly high. Extreme examples thru the years include collapsed bridges and jet airliner crashes.

For additional reading on types of stainless, read FAA AC 43.13-1B Section 2 6-11 (document)

Methods to combat corrosion in stainless

Clean, clean, clean. A simplistic example of the effectiveness of cleaning is right in the house. A stainless kitchen sink can see some of the most hostile chemical attacks in a home. But the stainless stays bright. Why? Because the constant flow of fresh water and wiping down removes the harmful chemicals that if left unattended, could attack the stainless' passive film. The more hostile the environment, the more cleaning required. Cleanliness is essential for maximum resistance to corrosion.

Never use abrasive powders or materials on stainless. Always use a soft cloth. Mild detergents and soap can be used but those containing chloride detergents should be avoided.

Summary

No metal, except for gold and platinum in their natural state, are completely corrosion proof. But stainless steel has proven in thousands of applications, that it is one of the most economical solution's to combat the ever present elements that cause corrosion. Yet as its name implies - it is stain-less, not stain-proof

For additional reading w

JLR
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 03/31/2018 :  07:31:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Garboard

...bilge water has been seeping out of the keel well below the attachment area...in one spot, so I'll have to seal that...
It sounds like the seepage is from the "Catalina smile"--the seam between the bottom of the keel stub that's part of the fiberglass hull, and the top of the cast iron keel (something like 8-10" below the bottom of the boat). It is particularly common for that seam to open up around the forward edge of the keel ("smile"). For bilge water to seep out from there, it presumably migrates down the keel bolts and might well have gotten into the wood core at the bottom of the stub. Sealing the "smile" is an OK idea from the standpoint of seawater entering it, but I would also seal up the bolts and nuts inside, and as I suggested, check for soft core.

Another thing I'd consider with the rusty nuts and bolts, before slathering them with a sealant, is painting on some "rust reformer" such as that made by Rustoleum. It's a milky liquid that turns ferrous metal black and forms a clear coating, supposedly inhibiting further rust development. It's meant to be painted over--I would cover it with "goop" of some kind.

Catalina built a huge number of C-27s and I'm guessing over 1000 C-25 fins with cast iron keels before switching to lead around 1984(?). I haven't heard of a keel falling off one of them. (Not that I've heard of everything or that there couldn't be a "first"... )

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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Garboard
Deckhand

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Response Posted - 03/31/2018 :  12:44:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stinkpotter

quote:
Originally posted by Garboard

...bilge water has been seeping out of the keel well below the attachment area...in one spot, so I'll have to seal that...
It sounds like the seepage is from the "Catalina smile"--the seam between the bottom of the keel stub that's part of the fiberglass hull, and the top of the cast iron keel (something like 8-10" below the bottom of the boat). It is particularly common for that seam to open up around the forward edge of the keel ("smile"). For bilge water to seep out from there, it presumably migrates down the keel bolts and might well have gotten into the wood core at the bottom of the stub. Sealing the "smile" is an OK idea from the standpoint of seawater entering it, but I would also seal up the bolts and nuts inside, and as I suggested, check for soft core.

Another thing I'd consider with the rusty nuts and bolts, before slathering them with a sealant, is painting on some "rust reformer" such as that made by Rustoleum. It's a milky liquid that turns ferrous metal black and forms a clear coating, supposedly inhibiting further rust development. It's meant to be painted over--I would cover it with "goop" of some kind.

Catalina built a huge number of C-27s and I'm guessing over 1000 C-25 fins with cast iron keels before switching to lead around 1984(?). I haven't heard of a keel falling off one of them. (Not that I've heard of everything or that there couldn't be a "first"... )



JLR
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Garboard
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Response Posted - 03/31/2018 :  12:54:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I started work on it today...mapped the 6 existing bolts and located them outside...then began drilling for new bolts with smaller bits...I'm thinking I may use 3/4" galvanized steel rod, try and send them down 12" I'll bore some 3/8" "drain" holes down into the "shoe" and work at drying it out with a vac and maybe some alcohol...then mix up a couple + gallons of west system and flood the bilge around all the bolts, thus sealing around them and filling any cracks or holes...then sandblast the keel and butter it over with thickened epoxy before painting it...what do you think??

JLR
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SKS
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Response Posted - 04/01/2018 :  17:14:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you're going through all that effort, I'd remove all teh wood from the trunk and re-glass it.
I had looked at that possibility myself, but opted instead to buy a 1986 with the staineless bolts from the factory.

"Lady E" 1986 Catalina 25: Fin Keel, Standard Rig, Inboard M12 Diesel, Sail No. 5339
Sailing out of Norwalk Cove Marina, Connecticut
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bigelowp
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Response Posted - 04/01/2018 :  18:58:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FWIW -- I too have a 1980 with dreadful looking keel bolts. I have discussed here on the forum and with "professional" boat yards their condition. The consensus is that for coastal work they are probably "just fine" despite looking ugly. As "Stinkpotter"has mentioned, I have covered with sealant, and my bilge is always dry (one good thing the only water is from the hatch if a heavy rain, no salt water) I do pay attention to the Catalina smile. in 2010 I had the bottom soda blasted, keel faired, and barrier coated. The hull looked great and the smile went away for three years, but has slightly and slowly reemerged. In my neck of the woods I have been advised that it would be cheaper to buy a newer hull than to spend on sintering in new keel bolts. Not sure if that is true, but I pay attention and my sailing habits are not extreme. I think if I were going to do offshore work I would invest. But until I see a significant issues I am careful, observant and cautious. My observation is that our boats are well built and far better built than their reputation in the yachting press. If you are on a lake or coastal bay, you are probably fine and should focus on other areas rather than stress on the keel bolts. Just one person's opinion though.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct

Edited by - bigelowp on 04/01/2018 18:59:14
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Garboard
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Response Posted - 04/01/2018 :  20:14:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks for your replies folks...one of the sad realities of these plastic boats is the "invisibility" of their structures...we "know" layers of cloth and resin really are very strong but they are not remotely as inspectable and repairable as are wooden structures...and with a hull liner obstructing access to the disgusting little "bilge" that Catalina built into their C-25 I'd have quite an ordeal redoing the "trunk"...I've thought about completely gutting the boat and glassing in a grid of longitudinal and cross floor supports to which I could attach a new set of keel boats...but for all that effort I think I'd rather start with a sailboat I truly loved...
Still my years as a carpenter have trained me to believe that it is up to me to assure strength and safety...I can't leave a question mark dangling over my head (nor those of my ship mates)...

JLR
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VictorS
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Response Posted - 04/02/2018 :  13:52:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
JLR,

Please let us see some pictures before/process/after, thanks. VictorS

Victor Salcedo
1978 C25. #453. FK. SR. L.
CTYK0453M78C
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 04/02/2018 :  19:49:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Before going as far as building a new "stringer grid", I'd look into just adding several layers of glass and epoxy in the bottom and up the sides of the stub, with holes for the existing bolts. (No point in removing or messing with them.) I might alternate some "core-mat" and woven roving to build thickness, and then sister in some new bolts through the reinforced bottom. Before that, I might also harden up the old wood core as I described above. (I suspect the "Catalina smile" comes from compression of that wood, especially if it gets moist.)

Keep in mind that the new bolts, held just by their threads and the threads you tap into the holes, are not as strong as the originals that are cast into the keel. But more is undoubtedly better.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.
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SKS
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Response Posted - 04/03/2018 :  07:24:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here, I hope this is helpful:



I had to do this twice. I think this is the better image. At least it's complete.

Why this forum makes it so hard to post photos is beyond me.

"Lady E" 1986 Catalina 25: Fin Keel, Standard Rig, Inboard M12 Diesel, Sail No. 5339
Sailing out of Norwalk Cove Marina, Connecticut

Edited by - SKS on 04/03/2018 09:32:12
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VictorS
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Response Posted - 04/03/2018 :  15:12:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wondering how to calculate that "...70% of the total boat weight on the keel..." Please let me have your feedback/suggestions, thanks.

Victor Salcedo
1978 C25. #453. FK. SR. L.
CTYK0453M78C
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islander
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Response Posted - 04/03/2018 :  15:33:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Better yet How do you weigh it? Bathroom scale?

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Garboard
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Response Posted - 04/03/2018 :  17:21:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do appreciate all the helpful advice...Thanks one and all...I will take photos of the process and try to post them here later...My C-25 has no "smile" not even a hairline crack...but the condition of the bolt heads is what got me going on this...I've been looking around for long bits and taps with which to do this project...but I've come to a decision, instead of tapping the new holes I may: 1. drill 1" diameter holes 18-20" into the keel...3 or 4 holes right on center of the existing line of bolt heads...2. drill 1 1/2" holes cross-wise through the keel...3. prep 1 1/2" bar stock with threaded holes to act as "nuts" on the lower end of the new keel bolts...4. insert 3/4" threaded rod and attach to the lower cross-nuts...5. cover/dam the cross holes...6. pour a batch of west system down each hole until the epoxy floods the cross holes and let them harden...7. finish closing the holes across the keel with thickened epoxy before painting...8. fabricate "fender" type washers to span the adjacent "flat" area of the bilge around each (or perhaps one long steel plate, bored for the old bolt heads etc.) 9. torque the new nuts and washers down and then paint everything with epoxy 10. leave enough space in the bilge to place a pump...

JLR
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Garboard
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Response Posted - 04/03/2018 :  17:31:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would interpret this as meaning "at least" so therefore keel on blocks with jacks supporting bilges...I wouldn't think you need to worry about exactly 70% but not hanging on a travel lift nor floating in the water...but I'd address your question to Catalina support and see what they say...good luck!
quote:
Originally posted by VictorS

Wondering how to calculate that "...70% of the total boat weight on the keel..." Please let me have your feedback/suggestions, thanks.


JLR
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 04/03/2018 :  20:49:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Garboard

...I may: 1. drill 1" diameter holes 18-20" into the keel...3 or 4 holes right on center of the existing line of bolt heads...2. drill 1 1/2" holes cross-wise through the keel...3. prep 1 1/2" bar stock with threaded holes to act as "nuts" on the lower end of the new keel bolts...4. insert 3/4" threaded rod and attach to the lower cross-nuts...
It seems to me you are planning on relying on the strength of the threads through fairly small bars rather than the threads in the full length of the hole into the keel, as you do with the CD kit. Epoxy around the rods might add a little strength, but I think long threaded holes and rods would be stronger. If stainless to iron galvanic corrosion is your concern, there are compounds that can help minimize it.

I also imagine the placement of the hole in step 2 so that it intersects with the hole in step 1 a challenge. Measurements in that geometric environment will be complicated.

But I wish you the best in your quest. We want you to be confident your keel won't fall or be knocked off!

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 04/03/2018 20:52:08
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SKS
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Response Posted - 04/04/2018 :  03:20:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
CD sells a kit to sister in new stainless rods to support the keel from the keel trunk.
Catalina has (a long time ago) developed a method to replace the wood in the keel stub with glass.
Why invent something new ?
As to the method you describe, drilling holes through the side of the keel to try and catch vertical holes down from the trunk could be difficult. And when you do match up the holes, you're introducing a potential source of a leak, relying on your fillers to keep out the water.
If you want to improve on the CD kit, try using longer rods to give you more attachment in the keel.
Either way, I wish you the best on your repair.
And PLEASE, keep us posted so we know how you make out.

"Lady E" 1986 Catalina 25: Fin Keel, Standard Rig, Inboard M12 Diesel, Sail No. 5339
Sailing out of Norwalk Cove Marina, Connecticut

Edited by - SKS on 04/05/2018 04:37:12
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Stinkpotter
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Djibouti
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Response Posted - 04/05/2018 :  06:43:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll just add that I think Catalina's recommendations (above) must relate to boats from the mid-1980s and later, with shiny stainless bolts and nuts, as on my 1985. Earlier boats with mild steel bolts and nuts generally don't seem to be candidates for removing and replacing the nuts and washers, at least not without breaking the bolts. No point in doing that. That's why I suggested hardening the core under with penetrating epoxy, glassing around them, and sistering in new bolts (as per CD). Most of the core could be removed and replaced with glass as Catalina suggests, to make a more solid base for new bolts. But with heavily rusted original bolts and nuts, I think I'd leave them and the core under their washers.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 04/05/2018 06:44:44
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SKS
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Response Posted - 04/05/2018 :  13:46:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't think you'd need to break the bolts, even if they're rusted.
Break the nuts......absolutely. In fact, splitting the nuts would probably be the best plan. You could run the threads with a die to clean them up and install new nuts.
This of course, assumes the OP is going to sister in the threaded rods from the CD kit (or equivalent) to help support the keel.
As I mentioned in one of my replies, I'd considered this myself on a 1980 Catalina 25, that I could have bought for just a couple thousand dollars.
I elected to spend a little more, around $6,500, and get the stainless keel bolts, along with the inboard diesel.
The economics for the OP are different, since he already owns the boat.
As always, my free advice comes with a double your money back guarantee.

"Lady E" 1986 Catalina 25: Fin Keel, Standard Rig, Inboard M12 Diesel, Sail No. 5339
Sailing out of Norwalk Cove Marina, Connecticut

Edited by - SKS on 04/05/2018 15:40:39
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bigelowp
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Response Posted - 04/06/2018 :  08:10:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If it would help -- Walk over to my boat which is also at NCM (over near the restaurant) -- look at the "smile" and compare to your boat. As I recall it is a tad bit worst than on yours, but very "normal" for our boats. I am comfortable that my old non-stainless bolts are fine for the sailing I do. However if I were going to do anything, I would as Dave suggested, add bolts, leaving what is their in place and use penetrating epoxy on the wooden core. In my youth I used "Git Rot" on wooden boats where structural dry-rot was forming with good success -- this is basically the same situation: penetrating epoxy to halt any moisture/rot and installation of additional support via new keel bolts.

Peter Bigelow
C-25 TR/FK #2092 Limerick
Rowayton, Ct
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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Response Posted - 04/06/2018 :  10:44:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't use the word 'normal' to describe the smile, More like 'common'. It's not normal to have a keel smile or cracking. It's an indication that the keel has become loose and is moving around and shouldn't be considered normal on any sailboat. The severity of the crack is an indication of how much it's moving. At some point in time it will have to be addressed cuz it ain't gonna get better.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound



Edited by - islander on 04/06/2018 10:47:48
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Mark Maxwell
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Response Posted - 09/18/2018 :  13:53:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Im looking into this project too. Access is difficult because of the dinette interior. Garboard, have you started yet, which interior layout do you have?


Mark-
'Impulse'
1978 C25 #533 DINN/FIN ~_/)~
Bakersfield, CA.
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Mark Maxwell
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Response Posted - 09/28/2018 :  21:52:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well I went a little different than the CD kit. I installed a 3/4 fine thread stud with a 3/16 backing plate.

I was surprised at how thick that stub is. From top laminate to keel is 2 1/2

Ill have 4 bolts in total. Each stud is mounted 3 into the keel. With those backing plates and the specs of those bolts, it should be stronger than ever.


Mark-
'Impulse'
1978 C25 #533 DINN/FIN ~_/)~
Bakersfield, CA.

Edited by - Mark Maxwell on 10/05/2018 16:48:29
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Mark Maxwell
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Response Posted - 10/05/2018 :  16:46:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Project done! 4 new bolts installed..:-) I ended up cutting a hole in the sole under the table (dinette layout) this access gave me the room I needed to get to the middle section of the keel. I put a nice cover on it and since its not really in the walkway its not a problem. Future use will be nice access to inspect the bilge without having to remove any seats...Piece of mind restored.



Mark-
'Impulse'
1978 C25 #533 DINN/FIN ~_/)~
Bakersfield, CA.
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