Keel Bolts

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Yachts with an external ballast

Raise the floorboards regularly. Check the keel bolts and surrounding structure looking out for rusty or loose bolts, water, dust and cracks.

  • Rust “A rusty nut on its own may not mean that there is a problem,” says surveyor John Freeman. “Cleaning and coating it with petroleum jelly and then keeping an eye on whether rust develops will give an indication of whether there is a problem. But a rusty washer could suggest a more serious issue underneath and would need to be investigated further.”
  • Loose keel bolts should ring alarm bells. If you can tighten them easily, the yacht’s structure may have altered.
  • Water in the bilge should be noted, and dried out. If it keeps coming back seek professional advice.
  • Dust in the bilge should be treated very seriously as it can hint at structural failure.
  • Cracks radiating out from the keel bolts can be a sign of an incorrect or damaged inner liner bonding. Longitudinal fractures should be looked for, along with signs of stress cracks in surface coatings, these can be a sign all is not well under the skin.

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