centaur keel bolt diagnosis

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yankeedoodle
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centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by yankeedoodle »

Hello,

This is my first post and I am a neophyte boatowner. I am curious what other Westerly owners think of the keel bolts on this elderly Centaur. Some of the bolts look more concerning than others to my untrained eye. What's the prognosis, Doc?
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by TyroSailor »

My untrained eye agrees with yours. What did the surveyor say?

Welcome to the forum - I've not been here long myself and have already found it very helpful :-)

Btw, all Centaurs are elderly now - as are many of their owners!
Last edited by TyroSailor on Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by rogerball0 »

Hi YD,

Looking at the 'tide' mark in the last picture it would suggest theres been water in there, is the boat in the water? If it is and they dont leak i'd leave them, if the boats on the hard and you dont know might be worth further investigation, must say they look in reasonable fettle although you're missing a locknut on one furthest right hand bolt in the last picture.

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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by Jolly Roger »

Welcome Yankeedoodle to the Westerly Forum.

I agree there is nothing looking bad about those keel bolts for 40+ years. That right bolt in the last photo looks like it does not have a plate or any nuts, so this will need attending to. Roger Ball is the Centaur expert, so do look up his web site for lots of helpful information.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by rhumlady »

The cracks in the first pic would worry more than anything else.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by Jolly Roger »

Wow, how did I miss that crack. This is not critical, but repairable. If the boat is out of the water you will have to undo the keel nuts and remove the plate. Then grind the area to remove the dirty top surface and created a key. Then use epoxy resin and woven mat (3 layers of 300gsm) to reinforce the aera about 250 to 300mm radius of the bolt. Read the West guides at http://www.westsystem.com/ss/use-guides/. You should also find some videos on youtube.

For your peace of mind get a surveyor to check it over and give his advice.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by yankeedoodle »

Thanks for responses, guys!

So the crack in fiberglass likely needs repairing but should I be concerned about the cause of the crack in the first place? The cracks seems sort of superficial-- though worth repairing-- but in my unlearned eye it is in a rather suspicious place (i.e the forward point of the keel joint where I would expect damage from grounding to show up). I don't expect an immaculate boat by any means but I want a useable one that I can have a reasonable degree of confidence in.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by rhumlady »

I wonder if the cracks are due to the boat not having had its keel area reinforced. This was an issue with lots of early bilgekeel Westerly boats and certainly the Centaur. I haven't seen pictures of the problems but there is lots of info to be found about it. Roger's blog covers how he did the work on his boat.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by TyroSailor »

If that hasn't been done, it absolutely must be if you take the ground. (I went into this). When the boat rests on its keels, because they're angled they tend to splay apart. Internal reinforcement is essential to prevent this...but I'd be surprised if it hasn't been done yet.
Looking at the close spacing of the keel bolts I suspect they're not the originals, and therefore that the work's been done. Worth checking though.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by rogerball0 »

YD from the looks of it your keels have been reinforced as a transverse web is evident, (should be two in each keel stub) although i hadn't noticed the crack in the first pic, good call Derek. Might be worth having a poke with a screwdriver, from my own experience if the laminate breaks up easy around the location of the crack it'd be worth repairing with cloth and epoxy.

Below is a link to the work i did on my keels, hope that helps

https://picasaweb.google.com/1101828864 ... directlink
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by rhumlady »

Roger,

Are you saying there were no transverse bulkheads originally? I have never found any before and after shots that show clearly what it was like. I need to have another look at your blog but I need time or that as one thing leads on to another.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by yankeedoodle »

This is all very helpful. Are two strengtheners usually enough? Is there an ideal size? RB, I notice from your pics that you are have really honey-combed the area.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by rogerball0 »

rhumlady wrote:Roger,

Are you saying there were no transverse bulkheads originally? I have never found any before and after shots that show clearly what it was like. I need to have another look at your blog but I need time or that as one thing leads on to another.
Yep they're weren't to begin with apart from where there were stations glassed in to the hull to land the internal moulding on, Westerly added a couple to each keel stub normally after the second bolts in both fore and aft. Mine were done by a yard back in 1983 and were rubbish, basically glass plate glassed directly onto an oily shiny bilge, proper crap but fwiw my boat had sailed for 12 years with unstrengthened keel stubs.

I've seen this detail on every centaur i've looked at so presume Westerly must of got on top of the problem sometime into the production cycle.
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Re: centaur keel bolt diagnosis

Post by rogerball0 »

yankeedoodle wrote:This is all very helpful. Are two strengtheners usually enough? Is there an ideal size? RB, I notice from your pics that you are have really honey-combed the area.
Think two will be plenty but its entirely upto you, mine sailed as it turned out 12 years unstrengthened and a further 20 years with two transverse webs in each keel stub, i went abit crazy as i knew no better and bought an 8x4 of corecell structural foam and had loads of epoxy at the time, If you're still unsure scrape the antifouling back off the stubs and if you see cracks running along the length of the keel stub then you might want to investigate further.

Personally speaking when i blasted mine back to gelcoat it through up more questions than answers as mine was a plethora of repairs and cracks.
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