Monday, August 13, 2012

Keel Bolts

Once the keel parts all fit it was time to bolt them together with homemade keel bolts.For this I purchased some 3/4" galvanized rod and  threaded both ends. Each rod would go through the center of the keel at each location of a floor. So each rod measurement changed due to the varying height of the keel at each station location. The rod was the height of the keel plus the height of the floors which are 2 - 2"x10" laminated together. I added about 2.5" for the the ogee washer and nut. Drilling the holes through the keel is a nerve racking labor. First it requires a lot of hunting to locate a bit long enough to drill through  2' to 3' of keel and at some points 5' of keel. Then if you are not plumb with your drill and bit it can blow out the side and that sucks. Around the shaft log is  another "hole" issue. I elected to put two 1/2" bolts on both sides of the shaft at each location thus doubling the amount of holes to be drill and upping the potential for a disaster. Fortunately I only had the bit wonder one time and come out about an 1.5" up the face of the keel from it's bottom. I simply plugged it with a dowel and glue and re-drilled it. Worked fine. Once all the holes were drilled I separated each keel part and placed a layer of roofing tar between the parts, clamped them down and using a pipe to fit over the top portion of the bolt where the floors will go, tightened each keel bolt. This picture shows the keel on it's side and the keel bolts in place, tightened and ready for the floors. The keel is on it's side so I could hold the bottom nuts of the keel bolt to tighten the top nut. While on its side I coated it with thin epoxy and it's proved to be beneficial. Have no cracks,checks or gaps to date.

1 comment:

  1. I've begun work on my boat shed for my 41 foot duck. Just wondering where you ended up finding those long drill bits needed to drill the holes in the keel. All I've seen are the flexible electrician ones that I don't think will work very well.