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Author Topic: Checking Keel Bolts  (Read 827 times)

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waughoo

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2021, 01:42:12 PM »

The only one i had to get creative on was the bolt under the battery box portion of the setee.  I had to install the socket and then fit the torque wrench under the sole between the stringers and reattach it.  I was then able to reach under the sole to grab the end of the torque wrench to tighten the nut.  It was a bit awkward, but not too hard to solve.
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Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Belafonte

waughoo

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2021, 09:05:29 PM »

Got back to the boat this weekend and cleared the obstruction on the front keel bolt. It took about 3/4 to one full turn.  I'm pretty happy to have gotten that all sorted while out of the water.  I was quite surprised how much I was able to take up.  If you havent checked yours, I suggest you do so.
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Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Belafonte

Breakin Away

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2021, 06:06:15 AM »

This is an easy job when you have the right tools. I do it every spring. Each year there's always one or two nuts that move a few degrees.

Don't complicate it with kludge solutions like custom bits and pipe extensions over inadequately sized tools. Buy a deep socket, extension, and swivel for aft-most nut. My nearby AutoZone has a 2' long torque wrench on free loan program. I borrow it every year.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 06:24:34 AM by Breakin Away »
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2001 MkII Breakin' Away, #1535, TR/WK, M35BC, Mantus 35# (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)

Ron Hill

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2021, 02:58:09 PM »

Breaking : If you can get a few degrees EACH year on a few nuts - you definitely need some new lock washers!! 
Or something else is going on?!?!

A THOUGHT    :shock:
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 03:00:59 PM by Ron Hill »
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Ron, Apache #788

Breakin Away

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2021, 03:17:52 PM »

...If you can get a few degrees EACH year on a few nuts...
Except that's not what I said.
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2001 MkII Breakin' Away, #1535, TR/WK, M35BC, Mantus 35# (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)

PaulJacobs

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2021, 02:52:17 PM »

Nancy and I finally went to Pleiades today to check the keel bolts.  Perhaps I no longer have the strength I once did, but it was a good thing that in addition to a 1/2" drive extra deep 1-1/8" socket, three 1/2" drive extensions (3", 6" and 9"), as well as a 10 - 150 ft.-lb. 20" long torque wrench, I also brought a 3 ft. length of 2" OD, 1.5" ID thick wall PVC pipe as an "extension" for the torque wrench, if needed.   I then set the torque wrench to 107 ft.-lbs. 

The forward-most keel bolt / nut (just forward of the mast in the 1st bilge compartment) turned out to be the tightest of them all.  I could not even budge it just using the torque wrench!  However, with the 3 ft. PVC pipe "extension" I was able to tighten it about 30 degrees, which I will refer to hereafter as a "single ratchet-partial turn" or SRPT (i.e. roughly 1/12 of a full turn) when the torque wrench FINALLY "clicked" indicating I had achieved the recommended torque setting. 

Next were the twin keel bolts just aft of the mast, in the 2nd bilge compartment.  They both took four "SRPT"s , or about 1/3 of a full turn.  I was able to tighten the first 3 SRPTs with just the torque wrench, but the last SRPT definitely required the PVC extension before I could hear a distinct "click.  Nancy helped by maintaining downward force over the extra deep socket, and also keeping the multiple extensions nicely in column.
 
Then came the keel bolts in the 3rd bilge compartment - just forward of the bilge pump.  Here the starboard nut took 3 SRPTs and the nut on the port side took four.  Again, I could only do the last SRPT with the PVC extension.

The port keel bolt in the aft portion of the 3rd bilge compartment (just aft of the bilge pump) needed five SRPTs =150 degrees - or just under half a full turn.  Again, the last turn required the PVC extension.  As noted by others I could not get at the starboard bolt.  I have a "universal" swivel extension somewhere and if I can find it I will try that.

Finally, Pleiades does have a small (roughly 14" x 4") teak & holly section that fits over the 4th (i.e. most aft) bilge compartment, and to my pleasant surprise I WAS able to get the socket onto that nut.  It only took two SRPT's, and the second one took much grunting until I heard the lovely "click" of the torque wrench.

We bought Pleiades in October 2012 (she was the former Sylvia II from Savannah, GA, and before that was Suits Us, from Brunswick, GA), had her trucked to Wickford, RI and began the long labor of love. I KNOW that as I never tightened the keel bolt nuts before, it has been at least nine years, and might be as many as 20 years since they were tightened.   :cry4` Furthermore, Nancy and I, both being retired, have sailed her 60 - 70 days each year, including 2 or 3 cruises each summer.  We have sailed her from Oyster Bay LI, to Bar Harbor ME, in all sorts of weather, including some 8 - 10 ft. seas.  Frankly, I am very pleasantly surprised that the LOOSEST nut was less than 1/2 turn from spec! :clap

Now that I have the proper tools I will make checking the keel bolt nuts a "rite of spring". :clap

Paul
 
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waughoo

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2021, 07:04:24 AM »

Thanks for the very detailed write up.  Somewhere in there i saw you were using a pvc pipe as an extension.  Though it sounded like it worked for you, I would highly recommend that you switch it for some galvanized pipe or something similar.  Id ve a bit concerned about snapping the pipe at an inopportune moment.

As for the nut under the battery box, I used a combination of extenaions that allowed the torque wrench to sit under the floor and pulled it from there.  It was considerably more awkward and requite more pulling strength, but it did work for me.
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Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Belafonte

Ron Hill

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2021, 02:32:23 PM »

Guys : I went to Lowe's and picked up a 2ft piece of 1 1/2" OD black pipe scrap (free - with a screwed up thread at one end).  Then I welded a 1/2 drive socket stud in the end to fit into the 5 in. Deep well socket.  I can attach a swivel for the aft nut.
 
I don't believe that King Kong could bend that pipe!!   :thumb:

A few thoughts
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 02:33:17 PM by Ron Hill »
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PaulJacobs

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Re: Checking Keel Bolts
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2021, 06:52:10 AM »

Alex,
Thanks for your concern regarding the possibility of the PVC pipe breaking.  I had the same thought.  However, to achieve 107 ft.-lbs. of torque with a moment arm of 3 ft. (i.e. about 18" slid over the handle of the torque wrench and another 18" extending beyond) only requires a force of just under 36 lbs. Recall that this is 1/4" wall PVC tube.

When I was tightening the bolts - and needed to use the PVC tube to increase the torque - I noticed that just as the torque wrench finally "clicked" at 107 ft.-lbs. the PVC was just barely beginning to bend - perhaps 1/4" over 36 inches.  I suppose I could do a stress analysis, but from direct experience it seemed very far from snapping.  Yes, a steel pipe would have been much stronger, but I had the extra piece of thick wall PVC tube handy in my workshop - and again while the 36 lb. force was enough to make me grunt, it really is modest in the grand scheme of things.

Again, I really would like to THANK everyone on this thread for all your inputs.  I learned a lot.  Checking the keel bolts has been "in the back of my mind" for years.  Now, it is DONE! :clap :clap :clap

Paul Jacobs
S/V Pleiades
1990 Mk. 1.5, TR/FK
#1068
Wickford, RI
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