So I have slid Lil Dee from her trailer with the help of a bit of grease to make her slide and a little bit of jacking under the centre Keel,onto some tyres,after the Trident 24 she seemed a very lightly built lady but my fears that the keel would rupture really easily were unfounded.
I have excavated a hole and turned her on her side to gain access to the keel and with lots of backwards and forwards drifting it one way from the cabin and sledge-hammering it back from the hull,it has finally extended to its full out position.
Next job is to tackle the keel bolt which is refusing to budge and in the confines of the cabin and at the present angle she is sitting using my usual tactic standing on one end and a big bar on the other is proving difficult and fruitless.
I have given one or two hard whacks with a chisel but am a little concerned over damaging the fibreglass where the bolt passes through the hull if I try to split the nut that way and a grinder is not going to fit any advice chaps? A big Nut splitter would be ideal but the cost would be a little extreme even to hire one seems expensive.
I could just clean the plate up in situ but I imagine without removing it completely and cleaning the keel inside and recoating the plate it would soon jam again.
Well done - so far so good! There is an easy way of getting the nut off. Just drill a series of holes close together across one of the flats parallel with the bolt. I used a Dremel to then cut the thin bits between the holes and then used a sharp chisel down the slot created to loosen the nut. Then use a big adjustable to work the bolt out with lots of penetrating oil. I replaced the bolt with a stainless one but reused the existing mild steel plates each side, painting them first with POR15 to prevent rusting (any good rustproofing paint will work). I put it all together with lots of Sikaflex. Don't overtighten the nut and bolt, just nip it up or you risk crushing the keel box. I gues I put no more than 7 ft lbs on it, after the Sikaflex had cured with the nut just hand tight. That way you don't squeeze all the sealant out and therefore get a better seal.
Thanks Brian...I took the option of sawing through the bolt with a modified hacksaw blade (just covered one third of the blade with tape for a handle and sawed away took about an hour to get through it but I was taking it easy,bolt is now safely removed and centre plate is out.
I am thinking of using the same tactic I used on my Trident twin keels,clean up with a wire brush on a grinder,several coats of rust-cure and several coats of Zinc paint,the Trident was on a drying mooring for three years and the keels were still rust free when I lifted her out,I am also considering packing the Keel case with agricultural grease at the pivot end.
Sounds like a good plan. I had mine sandblasted by our local guy - very cheap! Then a few coats of epoxy tar paint, but I'm sure your method will work well. Are you going to replace the lifting strop? Mine was very frayed so I replaced it with a heavier gauge strop, made by out local rigger using a chunk of recycled big boat shroud. I think he charged me £18 for it - so good insurance against the thing breaking and wrecking the keel box.
Yes I will have to replace the strop and may even need to weld a bit on as I have had to grind the end quite a bit to get it through the keel housing as it had been attacked with a hammer at some point in the past.
The Steel Keel plate revolves around the centre of the bolt (the bit that is worn),the bolt in essence acts like an axle would in a wheel with the wheel revolving round the axle,the keel plate only does a half turn but then the full weight of the plate is being supported by the bolt so wear is inevitable I suppose.