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Cavalier 32 keel bolts, a happy find

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So, I owned a cavalier 32 for 6 years now.

Researching the cav 32 keel bolts on the web always turned into a  depressing affair. 

The answer was always J rod/bolts in the keel... meaning the thought of having a look in there always gave me nightmares.

Making it short, I got the boat on the hard for other projects and noticed a slight dampness at the keel and hull joint.

 obviously I could not turn a blind eye and started digging around.

To my biggest surprise I actually found the 5 slots in the keel where to undo the bottom bolt.

Now, I ll probably will have to change this bolts and that's not an easy one  but, at list there is a way.

So, if you have a cav 32 and had been led to believe you have J bolts, it may not be true...it s a good thing!

I ve been trying to find what apear to be M20 bronze threaded rod. Is that the go? 


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Years ago a cav32 was run into a rock at just over 7kn. The front of the keel was mulched but the bolts the hull and the join were unaffected. A bit of work with a plane and some bog and away she went. Still sailing around today. 

The factory painted the tops inside the hull with epoxy, it kept the nuts from turning. That thin epoxy skin hadn't cracked.

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Right, That epoxy is still on 3 of the 5 bolts. 

It looks like at some point someone changed the aft 2 with stainless.

The two middle of keel are still original and are almost at the bottom of the keel, definitely strong!

I did find a bit of water in those bottom slots hence my will to explore.....

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If the Bronze rods are Aluminium Bronze then they should be as good as new , probably true for Phosphor Bronze as well, also I have heard of Hard Drawn Copper being used occasionally . For SS bolts I would want to see the condition at the hull/keel junction to ensure there is no crevice corrosion or pitting. The installation sounds like its substantially over engineered which was often the case for boats of that era, a good thing of course :-)

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Cav keels were drilled holes for the bolts with slots melted out with gas axe for bottom nuts and washers. Pretty sure bolts are monel and very unlikely to fail. Peter Smith at Rocna can confirm and would be worth contacting. 

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Unfortunately, I am no expert and when I looked at them, it looked like stainless.

I have never seen money before so, I wouldn't know.

What I know is they looked good. Water ingress was only shy of them so, it was all revealed in time...

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