Replacing the keel bolts
Replacing the 33 keel bolts was a huge job, which we did ourselves. When we removed them we realized that the keel would have fallen off if we hadn't replaced the bolts. Less than 1/3 of the bolts had any real strength left. The worst ones were near the prop shafts. We made replacement bolts in our forge and had them galvanized. Since we have forged bolts for other lifeboat owners who are restoring their boats.
- Get the drawings for your boats keel bolts from the National maritime museum at Greenwhich (archive department).
- make dams round heads inside and soak with linseed oil & paraffin mix for a week.
- Make some drifts that are smaller than the bolts.
- Hire a Mag drill as you may need to drill some out from underneath.
- Make a strong-back for removing the blind bolts at the stern.
- Measure each bolt twice before you order them and use the attached spreadsheet.
- Planning and preparation is key, a basic DIY'r can manage this job.
- Get help its tiring, lots of hammering!