F28 keel Bolts

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F28 keel Bolts

Postby Pelagicsailor » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:45 pm

I have a Freedom 28 in my back yard going through a major refit. Three of the nine keel bolts sheared off with only a small amount of torque. The plan is to sister in new bolts by drilling down 9 inches into the lead keel and boring in from the side to attach a nut to the bolts. I would like to hear from someone who has actually dealt with this problem successful. Please no opinions, every one in my yacht club has given me plenty.
PS: check your keel bolts, preferably when you are at a good yard. You may be in for a big surprise!
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Re: F28 keel Bolts

Postby Pelagicsailor » Sat May 26, 2018 8:51 am

So after a lot of research and effort I solved my keel bolt issue by using a combination of approaches. First, the bolts that were corroded I used a hole saw to remove the fiberglass and some lead from around the remaining stud and attached coupler bolts. I extended the stud above the bottom of the keel sump and bolted as normal using a large nut to act as a spacer to take the load. Since there was lots of room for new bolts, decided to add a bolt for each one that snapped off so I drilled down 7 inches into the keel with a 5/8 drill bit that was dulled so as not to grab the lead. This worked great. Two of the bores were close to the sides so I indexed the location by drilling a very small hole through the sump to find my location out side. I simply measured down the depth of the bore and marked the bottom. Now I discovered that a fornser bit works great on lead. It will not bind and you can change direction if needed. And I did. My first attempt I hit it right on and found the bottom of the bore. The next one not so lucky but I was able to bore at an angle and hit the bottom. I dropped new keel bolt down the bore, attached a nut and glassed in the hole. From what I have learned, this is an old method where the bottom of the bore is accessible my chipping out the resin, detaching the nut and extracting a bad keel bolt if needed. In my humble opinion this is a far better approach than casting them in place. All nuts are torqued and my surveyor has signed off on the repair.
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