Keel Winch Cable Eye Bolt – trouble in paradise

So you know how well the welding went fixing the hole for the keel pin.  I’m still very excited about it.  Sometimes I go out to the garage and just stare at it.  It’s so perfect.  The pin fits solidly, yet spins easily.



Then I look at the other end.  Things didn’t go so well there.  Not a disaster, but not fixed either.  Here it is before we started.



Both the welder and I figured he could just build up around the pin.  But knowing what I know now, and looking at this with a more discerning eye, I realize it never could have worked.  Anyway, he started by grinding away around the bolt.

clearing rust around the keel eye bolt

clearing rust around the keel eye bolt

It took about 2 seconds of grinding off the rusty coating before he realized it wouldn’t work.  Look at those exposed threads.

uh oh - exposed threads

uh oh – exposed threads

No amount of buildup is going to fix this.  Fortunately, $tingySailor had pointed me to a forum post where the owner cut out the bad part around the bolt, redrilled, cut new threads and was good to go.  So I asked the welder to cut away the bad parts.

He cut into it with a zest for cutting.

Cutting begins

Cutting begins

Bolt being cut out

Bolt being cut out

The cut looks pretty deep, but it is as far as was needed to get past the thin part.

Then he banged it with a hammer but the chunk he was trying to cut away wouldn’t budge.  He suggested we try to unscrew the bolt, that maybe it was helping hold it in place.  Surprisingly, it came right out with just a vise-grip.

Well, maybe not too surprisingly, because it was only hanging in there by 1 thread!

No eye bolt

No eye bolt

Here is a better picture of the final cut.  The bolt is barely in the hole.

eyebolt fix

cutaway cleaned up

So now I’ve ordered an eye bolt from a well know Catalina parts company.  They sell a tap set to make the threads for $56.  That’s pretty steep for a one time use!.  The welder said he’d come back and re-tap it for me.  I’m expecting that the hole just needs a bit of cleaning up, I don’t think I have to drill it any deeper.  I also think this is a newer keel already set up for the newer bigger bolt.  We’ll see when it comes.  It shipped today.


4 thoughts on “Keel Winch Cable Eye Bolt – trouble in paradise

  1. Yeah! Notice I didn’t whine any in this post? I’m very happy with how it’s going. Will definitely get in there and grind it smooth before starting the epoxy. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. When the bolt came out, did your hear the sound of the bullet you dodged flying by? 😉 That’s going to work out just fine. You might smooth out the cut marks and round over the edges before you start refinishing. That’ll ensure you don’t have any crannies for water to settle into and no sharp edges for epoxy to pull away from.

    You’re doing a good job, keep at it!

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