View Full Version : Really, really, loose keelbolts

05-06-2003, 09:15 AM
First it starts with some small wedges ...


And before you know it, it's up in the air...


The car jacks were an inspiration born of frustration with wedges and blocks. $5.00 each at the local wrecker, just pop the trunk of every wrecked lexis or similar heavy car and pull it out!

You may recall, this is the occasional story of the repair of an s-boat. I started with a boat for which the most positive thing that I could say is that the ballast needed very little work. The same could not be said for the rest of it!

The keel timber was bent and shaped last winter now it's time to install. First all the floor to keel timber bolts have to be removed, then the whole mess has to be supported while the old timber is removed (in one piece is the plan) and the new put in its place. The ballast bolts through the deadwood were cut with a hacksaw but I needed clearance for removing the foor-to-keel timber bolts. Also, I can see the threads on the ballast bolts so just an inch more and I'll be able to roll the 3500 lbs of lead away. Then the trick will be to remove the old bolts (self-tapped into the lead by the Herreshoff yard 90 years ago).

On a philosophical note, this must be the most critical time in the life of a boat repair job, the thing is reduced to a bunch of bits of wood and the end seems infinitely far off. If it survives this brush with demolishion it'll probably survive into the forseeable future. If not ...



05-06-2003, 02:05 PM
Hey, that's using the old bean! I do believe that's the first time I've ever seen or heard of car jacks used in this way. Inspiration.

Great to see the pics David, keep up the good work.

The Schooner Etain
05-06-2003, 03:21 PM
Your project sounds similar to mine.

I'm confident though that the wood in the keel is fine, the forward keelbolts are another story though. I'm glad I don't have to lift my boat like you did yours though.

It is true, about the whole pile of sticks thing. I think it's more wether or not we as restorers can live through this phase though, rather than the boat itself. It's the hardest thing to take something you love and tear it down, break it away and then step back and look at it and not feel defeated. The only real hope offered is that if we push forward, in the end we will have not only saved our love, but added our own sweat and tears into it, thus increasing the bond between boat and boatowner to a level even we never thought possible.


Ken Hutchins
05-06-2003, 04:49 PM
One piece at a time, don't get overwhelmed ;)