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Keel Fasteners

Keel Fasteners

For a complete understanding of the Catalina 22 and Catalina 25 swing keel pivot mechanism, start with the first article in this series: History of Retractable Keel Design.

Those four bolts are all that hold my keel on?

Yes, so take care of them!

Each of the four bolts thread into a stainless steel weldment. The weldment consists of a stainless tube, the end of which is welded to a stainless plate. The inside diameter of the tube is threaded to accept the proper sixe stainless steel bolt. Four of these weldments are laminated into the hull and support the keel.

The beauty of this system is that there is no penetration of the keel fastening system through the hull and therefore little likelihood of it leaking. However, there are stainless against stainless threads which tend to gall and will seize over time if they are ignored.

We recommend replacing the keel fasteners every two years. Not because they might fail in two years but rather because they won't fail that soon. Failure of a fastener can be so catastrophic and a fastener seizing in place can be so problematic to repair you just don' t want to take a chance on it. The fasteners are not x-rayed or inspected in any hi-tech way, so there can be flaws that can cause crevice corrosion and early failure on occasion.

If you change fasteners often, it should be about a 20 minute job. Always use the Loc-Tite and Loc-Tite primer included with the kit. Primer is required when fasteners are stainless on stainless. Loc-Tite cures by reacting with the ferrous metal present in most fasteners. Stainless steel doesn't have enough ferrous metal to cause a proper cure when used without the primer. Spray a small amount of primer on the fasten and allow it to dry before applying the Loc-Tite.