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Keel Stub/Bolts - How bad?

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NSSeaWolf
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Keel Stub/Bolts - How bad?

I have a '86 Catalina 36 Tall Rig.  Bought it last year, sailed it for a season, then put it up on the hard for the winter.  She came with a trailer and she spent the winter on it.

When I went to get her ready to launch this year I noticed some of the fairing around where I presume the keel stub joint to be was blistered, so I scraped it away to get a better look and found a crack. Having read about Catalina smile I went looking around the boat further and found a cracked aft stringer (the one under the fuel tank), and what look like stress lines in the bilge and  what looks like a crack around a keel bolt.

Does the heel joint crack usually run parallel to the ground?  Or am I looking at something worse, such as a cracked keel stub?  Or is it far down enough to be the actual keel?  I haven't attacked it with the grinder yet.

Pictures attached.

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NSSeaWolf
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NSSeaWolf wrote:
I have a '86 Catalina 36 Tall Rig.  Bought it last year, sailed it for a season, then put it up on the hard for the winter.  She came with a trailer and she spent the winter on it.

When I went to get her ready to launch this year I noticed some of the fairing around where I presume the keel stub joint to be was blistered, so I scraped it away to get a better look and found a crack. Having read about Catalina smile I went looking around the boat further and found a cracked aft stringer (the one under the fuel tank), and what look like stress lines in the bilge and  what looks like a crack around a keel bolt.

Does the heel joint crack usually run parallel to the ground?  Or am I looking at something worse, such as a cracked keel stub?  Or is it far down enough to be the actual keel?  I haven't attacked it with the grinder yet.

Pictures attached.

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Parsons
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Caveat - I'm not a boat structural expert, but I would be concerned.  This appears much lower on the keel than where the lead keel joins to the stub, and is not running horizontally either. Since you've already knocked the bottom paint off, I would explore further with a screwdriver (rather than a grinder) to determine the depth and nature of the crack.  You can also use a soft hammer to sound the bottom near the hull to find the line between fiberglass and lead.  This looks like a grounding damage.  Since it was 30 years old, I'm guessing that you did not do a survey and just took your chances?

I cannot tell what is going on with the keel bolts, but it's strange that someone put a grounding ring below the keel bolt, rather than a second bolt. They removed a keel bolt to put this in?  I'm afraid that you need a local expert to look at what you have going on.  I don't think anyone can diagnose this from pictures.
 

John Parsons
"Water Music" 1999 Catalina 36 Mk II - Hull 1771
Tall Rig, Fin Keel
Bay City, MI, USA

pkeyser
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I agree with John to have a surveyor or expert take a look. Also, hunt around the internet and you should find some Catalina keel stub design info. I had a 1986 C30. I think the C30 and C36 where similar construction. If memory serves me- the hull is 1"+ thick solid fiberglass where it interfaces with the lead keel. The keel is set in place with an adhesive-probably something like 3M 5200. On the inside of the hull, there are two 3/4" layers of marine grade plywood that are seperately glassed in making up the keel stub. This is finished with a gel coat topcoat. The keel bolt nuts are torqued to 105 ft pounds at the factory. Our C30 (we purchased it used- about 6 years old) had several bolts that were loose because the fiberglass/wood sandwich below them had compressed from the bolt torque. One of the bolts had a pretty ugly looking crack spidering away from it. Another showed signs of compression around the washer) I retorqed periodically and kept the bilge painted, sealed and cracks filled, but over the course of nearly 30 years- bilge water migrated around a couple of the keel bolts and into the bilge pump attachment screws. (The pump screw holes  showed far more damage than the keel bolt areas- hence these holes should be dried and sealed/caulked with all our boats).
Over a winter layup- I spent several days with hammer and chissel removing the keel stub top plywood layer. Although things initially looked bleak in my mind ( I was concerned that the cracks around the bolt would penetrate through the entire hull), I found that the water migration rot was fairly localized and had not penetrated into the 2nd layer of marine plywood. I fabricated a new marine plywood layer, glassed it in and retorqued all the keel bolts. I also examined the keelbolt studs and found (to great relief) that non exhibited any signs of corrosion where they passed through the pylwood and glass. 
Interestingly, this did not fix our Catalina smile- which required an annual grind out and expoxy fairing. I fixed that by sanding away the bottom paint around the front half of the keel joint and applying several fiberglass belt layers and then fairing smooth.
I would suggest sanding the bottom paint off the leading edge of the keel to look for signs of impact damage/repair. Also do the the same where the keel stub joins the hull aft. Look for external/internal hull cracks in that area. A heavy impact grounding will compress the hull at the back of the keel/hull area and widen the catalina smile in the forward part of the keel to hull  joint.    
 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

EUREKA
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I'm not an expert neither, but it is my opinion you have a Catalina smile. From my point of view the crack is at the level where the hull shoe joint the keel. (Attached pictures of mine before and after repair)

i own Eureka since new back in 1991. I have founded the smile sometimes, two years ago we did a deep repair and now it looks like new.

Regards

 

Eladio Vallina

C-36 TR EUREKA II
Hull 1122 (1991)
Home port Barcelona (Spain).

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