keel bolts nuts

Black Jack

Super Anarchist
I need to tighten keel bolts, what socket / wrench / whatever is easiest with a deep sump fitted keel ?? thanks
Why do you think you need to tighten your keel bolts?  Did you recently loosen or remove the keel? The ability to tighten old keel bolts does not make it any more secure. There is conflicting evidence that says you should although many here can't leave an unbusted nut alone. Tightening bolts may in fact break older fiberglass and mess up the joint. Doing so is at your peril as you may actually break bolts in this additional stress test.

 
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crankcall

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I've been told with C&C's of a particular vintage the torque settings should be checked every few years , I would think mine have never been checked in 20yrs, I knew the previous owner. 

I just cant figure out what tool fits down the sump to check the torque

I have been told by other owners after 40yrs things have been known to loosen up ?

 

Black Jack

Super Anarchist
I've been told with C&C's of a particular vintage the torque settings should be checked every few years , I would think mine have never been checked in 20yrs, I knew the previous owner. 

I just cant figure out what tool fits down the sump to check the torque

I have been told by other owners after 40yrs things have been known to loosen up ?
The correct method would be to drop the keel, check the bolts and remount. Most prefer not do that as it opens up a bigger expense to the bottom job. Tightening the bolts could help or hurt considering the vintage. 40 years is a long time and who knows who did what when sailing and where the boat was parked. A tap ring test with a pin hammer and a stethoscope listener on the inside/outside can give you an indication of the bolts and their security. I would do the sound test and avoid the tightening. In the future plan on a haul out with a keep drop review for peace of mind. If the bolts are good, it is only a few hours of work to drop-examine, tighten and replace the keel joint. Until then keep an eye out for bolt weeping.

Also note as some boats age, more folks and the yards they go to are drilling and using lags in a belt and suspenders insurance approach to keep boating affordable and yard bills to a minumin. Tightening a lag bolt that looks like a keel bolt could make a problem. 

 
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crankcall

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Boat is sitting on the hard, I could drop the keel this weekend . So back to my original question , what tool goes down into a 12" sump and can be turned in the hole to loosen a keel nut?? 

 

SloopJonB

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Appropriately sized socket (probably need a deep socket) on an extension with a torque wrench on top.

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The fact that you are asking such a basic question sort of indicates that you might be best to get a more experienced person to do it.

Breaking or stripping a keel bolt in a lead keel would be an expensive disaster.

 

crankcall

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Its not that basic a question , a deep socket hits the bolt before its onto the nut , there is about 3 1/2 " of thread showing above the nut, maybe a 3/4" drive socket would let the bolt come up through the socket, but now there is no place to put an extention.  I was considering a crows foot wrench but thought there must be something easier, I'm guessing the manufacturer had a socket on a pipe or similar? 

 

casc27

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Its not that basic a question , a deep socket hits the bolt before its onto the nut , there is about 3 1/2 " of thread showing above the nut, maybe a 3/4" drive socket would let the bolt come up through the socket, but now there is no place to put an extention.  I was considering a crows foot wrench but thought there must be something easier, I'm guessing the manufacturer had a socket on a pipe or similar? 
Still a basic question and you have pretty much answered it for yourself. Get out your welder and create a socket to create an appropriate depth. But why the fuck is there 3 1/2 inches of exposed keel bolt? Seems excessive.

 

crankcall

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Guess I'm digging the mig out of the shed and making a really long socket.  C&C built these things on an assembly line but it was largely a hand build, somebody probably set a bolt in the pour mold too high and somebody else said the keel sump is 12" deep , leave it. They built great boats , the production boats were just that, production boats. 

Thanks for the help folks

 

SloopJonB

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How about a cutoff wheel in an angle grinder?

Trim them down to a more workable length, sand the cut edge to deburr it and you should be good to go..

 

Ishmael

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The right way to retorque the keel bolt nuts is to loosen them off first. It also gives you a chance to check the parts of the bolt that are hidden.

Then tighten the nuts to recommended torque. Depending on the size of the boat, you may need to rent a torque multiplier.

The numbers here are from the C&C Photoalbum. http://www.cncphotoalbum.com/ A major source of C&C info.

These numbers are for unlubricated nuts, if you lube them then you will have to do some research to find the new torque numbers. 

Screenshot_2021-03-09 Keel Bolt Torques.png

 

crankcall

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Hmmm, my 1/2" drive torque wrench only goes to 250, which is what I need on 3/4" bolt. Top of its range , but its a keel bolt not a cylinder head.  Now I just have to decide if its a cutoff wheel and rust bits everywhere in the bilge or buy the extra deep socket for $50 for a one time application. Leaning towards Mcmaster-Carr extra deep, i hate that black crap that gets everywhere off a cutoff wheel.  

Thanks Ishmael 

 

slug zitski

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I need to tighten keel bolts, what socket / wrench / whatever is easiest with a deep sump fitted keel ?? thanks
First you remove the keelboat nut 

then you clean the threads 

then you lubricate the threads with tefgel 

then you reseat and torque the nuts 

torque settings are meaningless if  the nut , bolt are fouled and high friction 

obviously you don’t remove all the  keel boats at the same time , start from the middle .. remove , clean  , reseat 

re torque  to final setting once all bolts have been reseated 

if your situation requires a long socket extension you should fabricate a wood guide for the extension  to help keep the socket perpendicular to the nut and avoid rounding the head 

nothing wrong with  new nuts and washers 

 
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