Catalina 22 Keel Eye Bolt Final Fix

I’ve been following a wordpress blog called the “dragon duck“.  He has a philosophy that just putting in a few minutes when he can towards building a boat can result in a lot of progress over time.  So pretty often he’ll post about a little more progress.  I’ve already watched him build one small boat this way and he’s started on two more.  Pretty inspiring.

I can’t commit to any big amount of time to work on my boats, but maybe I can fit in a half hour of relaxing project work here and there.

When we last left this project, I had cut away the rusted iron, drilled a new hole, and tapped new threads for the eye bolt.  But it didn’t line up with the keel when screwed all the way in.

Perpindicular

non-parallel eye bolt

Following advice to make sure it is parallel, I got out my trusty keel eye bolt adjusting tools.

 

keel repair material

keel repair tools

Then applying elbow grease, I filed the high points around the hole.  Stopping every few minutes to check the new fit.  It was kind of exciting to see the final stop point of the bolt advance around the hole till finally about a 1/2 hour later – it was parallel!  Well, almost parallel, I didn’t want to go too far because when it gets the final tightening it should go just a tad further.  If not, I still have the file…

almost parallel

almost parallel

side view

side view

other side view

other side view

Yay!  Keel eye bolt fixed!

 

Air Compressor Rehab

My porter Cable C2005 150 PSI pancake air compressor valve stopped holding air while we finished up the Keel repairs.   I thought I was going to have to buy a new compressor, but YouTube to the rescue!  All I had to do was replace the value.  You’re supposed to open this after every use so water doesn’t get left in the air tank and rust it from the inside out.  I’m pretty good about doing it, but I guess the valves just go bad no matter what you do.

Replacing was pretty simple.  Locate the value, identify the compressor type, and go to amazon and buy a new one.  I splurged for Prime membership for the free shipping and use the heck out of it.

Air compressor valve

Air compressor valve

Tools needed are a replacement value, a 9/16 wrench, and some plumber’s tape.

tools needed

tools needed

Take of the old value

Take of the old value

compare old and new valves

compare old and new valves

That hook like thing on the old valve is a gasket that is past its lifetime.  Notice the new valve doesn’t have one.  I think it’s inside the valve.

Wrap plumber’s tape around the new valve threads a couple of times and screw it in, tighten it and test.  Done!

Job complete!

Job complete!

 

Catalina 22 keel eyebolt repair progress report

Finally making progress, although it will “grind” to a stop for the next few weeks.  Not seeing much boat work time available in October.

First, let’s do a recap.  If you recall, the keel lifting bolt  was rusted away, and couldn’t be saved.

uh oh - exposed threads

uh oh – exposed threads

While the welder was here fixing the pivot pin bushing…

fixed!

fixed!

He also cut away the metal around the old lifting bolt …

No eye bolt

No eye bolt

And we attempted to re-tap it.

Tapping the keel

But no joy.  The inside of the existing hole was rusted and the threads were pretty much missing down one side

Not so well

Bad thread day

I had originally planned to bore a bigger hole (slightly bigger diameter)  and re-thread it for a bigger bolt, but when it arrived I realized it was just too massive and not the right solution.

compare old and new keel bolts

compare old and new keel bolts

So I abandoned that idea.  After some advice from swimfly, and after calling a well known Catalina parts dealer, I decided to do more cutting away and to re-drill and tap another hole.  I went ahead and bought their drill and tap.

Before we started I heated it up for a few hours.  That’s just a reflected red glow – no it’s not red hot.  2 heaters blew the garage light circuit, but one heater was plenty enough heat to warm it up.  It did get too hot to touch.  I had to let it cool a bit before we could get started.

Heating the keel

Heating the keel

I had a mechanical engineering friend with some metal work experience come over to help me through the last  (well, almost the last) step before sandblasting can be done.  First we leveled the keel such that the drill hole was near vertical.  Surprisingly this meant the rear of the keel was raised quite a bit.  That 2 ton engine hoist I bought from harbor freight has sure come in handy.

Leveling the drill hole

Leveling the drill hole

Then we cut away the metal.  This was my first attempt at using a grinder and it turns out it is much better at shaving off a layer of metal than at cutting out big chunks.  We worked a couple chunks on both sides and were able to knock them out with a sledgehammer.

Grinding

Grinding

Notice the use of safety glasses.  Quite a bit of cutting later (we both got lots of grinder time) and we had this.  Notice the nose of the Catalina 22 peeking out of the garage.

Ready for drilling

Ready for drilling

Notice that there is still a drill hole.  It was deep enough to just barely go beyond where we needed to cut.

Next was the really exciting part.  We used a bench top drill press, took off the bottom plate and turned it around.  Then propped it up to just the right height.  It barely fit.

Drill press setup

Drill press setup

Yes, that is a drill press on top of 3 boards stacked on a milk crate.   No that wasn’t all that sturdy.  No, I wouldn’t recommend it.   Yes, it worked.  Here is an action shot.

Drilling Action

Drilling Action

Final view:

Ready for tapping

Ready for tapping

At this point we had run out of time and had to stop, plus I didn’t have anything resembling a tap handle that could fit the tap.  I’ve since bought one and am ready to go.  Based on my upcoming schedule it’s going to have to wait a few weeks.   I’ll try to coincide the tapping with a trip to the soda blasters.  After that it’s sealing and shaping time!

I want to stress the importance of wearing eye protection while working with metal.  While grinding we were both wearing safety goggles, but in all the setting up of the drill press I took mine off and forgot to put them on again before drilling.  Yep, got two specks in my right eye.  Talk about painful!  Made it to the eye doc the next day and she fished them out with a needle.  They had already started to rust and she cleaned that out.  No lasting damage, but definitely a lasting lesson.

This once and for all settles the debate of whether or not stupidity is painful.  Yes.  Yes it is.

 

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.

fixed!

fixed!

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.

Pre-grinding

Pre-grinding

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.

Happy Keel day

It finally happened.  The day we’ve all been waiting for.  I found a welder to fix the keel.

Before I show what happened though, I’d like to review a bit and explore why this took so long.  This boat has now been at my house (either in the driveway or the garage) for 2 years.  I initially bought a replacement keel but didn’t want to do any work until I got clear title to the boat.  Then I didn’t want to do any work on the boat until I was sure I could fix the weldments that hold the keel on.  (they are partially fixed, but I’m sure I can finish)  Then I didn’t want to do any work on the boat till I was sure I could get the keel fixed.  I “assumed” that I would have to have it done at a machine shop, and wasted some time finding one and getting them to quote the work. Finally, after some prompting by $tingy$ailor, I went back to my old standby, Craigslist.  There I found 3 welders and emailed them all.

One never replied.  I got into a discussion with the other two about the job.   I sent them both pictures and asked about welding cast iron.  One said welding cast iron couldn’t be done and he wanted to build a brace around it:

“No.  As I stated that will not work.  Here’s why: 1) cast iron is extremely hard to weld properly because of the nature of the metal itself, 2) old cast iron cannot be welded, especially in the condition of your keel, 3) drilling cast iron is really really hard to do because the metal is so hard itself, 4) how can anyone weld the bushing in without blocking the pin, 5) rusted metal of any type cannot be welded, etc., etc.”  

When I told this to the other, he said

“Lol cast iron can be welded for sure. Let me come by and look at what u have and c what can be done “

Here are welders that say they have 30 years experience telling me the exact opposite information!   How is anyone supposed to know what to do?

I had heard of people welding cast iron before so I went with the second guy.  He came by two weeks ago and we scheduled for him to come over and do the work yesterday.

First he ground out out the old rust, there was a lot of deeper decay in there too.  He said it was like a dentist starting to fill a cavity and then finding out the decay went deeper than first appearance.  He ground out a bunch until there was room for the new stainless steel bushing.

Grinding old rust

Grinding old rust

Then he started welding in some fill above where the bushing would go.

Adding Fill

Adding Fill

I watched most of this remote on the GoPro.  I didn’t want to accidentally blind myself by looking at the spark.  He was kind enough to let me interrupt him for pictures.  Here is part way through the fill.

Filling the space

Filling the space

I have lots of pictures of flames coming out of the keel.

Keel on fire

Keel on fire

He got a little carried away, and had to go back and grind out some of the fill to fit the bushing in the hole.

bushing inserted

bushing inserted

Then he tack welded the bushing in place.

tack welded bushing in place

tack welded bushing in place

Seeing the bushing burned and melted was a bit worrisome too.  I wondered if the pin would still be able to fit..   A little more welding, and then grinding smooth.

Welded in and ground smooth

Welded in and ground smooth

And my concern was realized!  The pin wouldn’t fit.  No big deal though, bring out the grinding drill bit and worry-no-more!

fixed!

fixed!

Before we started, I was a bit concerned about getting the bushing aligned correctly, but even though the hole was worn away, overall the bushing pretty much only fit one way.  It looks pretty straight to me.

The job cost $240.  I think that’s a bargain.  The welder’s name is David Pinkney.  He’s a certified welder and can be reached at dapinkney1@comcast.net

So there you have it.  Keel fixed.  Or is it?  What about the keel winch eyebolt?  Stay tuned for what happened there.

So far costs are:
$250 – keel
$    9 – bushing
$ 43 – video
$131 – keel hangar casting kit with pin
$240 – repair
——-
$673

With the refinishing supplies estimate provided by $tingy$ailor, total costs should run around $1400.   Wow, this free boat is getting expensive!

Work on the Rehabitat – Well Sediment Filter

You may be asking yourself, “Self, why does it take CapnRehab so long to do basic boatwork?”  Well, you’re probably not, but it’s something I ask myself pretty often.  The answer is pretty simple.  It’s a mix between “I’d rather watch that next episode of the ‘The Walking Dead’ “, I have to work, I’d rather read a book, I’d rather sleep, It’s too darn cold, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah.

Mrs. CapnRehab also has this nasty habit of saying something like “I’d like to get ____ done this weekend”.   It took me a while to figure out, that what she is really saying is that she’d like ME to get ____ done this weekend.  I may be slow, but I’m not stup….,  well let’s just leave it at “yeah, I may be slow”.

One other reason for boat project delay is there are a lot of projects pending on the Rehabitat.  As you may remember, there was the “Project that must not be named” last year.  That took up the whole year and did serious damage to my desire to do any other home projects.  Since then, I’ve been knocking them off here and there, but definitely not at a consistent pace.

As you may remember, at one point I posted that I was going to put in a new whole house sediment filter.  (Oh wow, I just checked and that was 2 years ago! – see excuses above)

The rehabitat is on a well, and the pump brings up little bits of rocks and other gunk that if not caught wind up in those little screens that sink, shower, and appliances have in them.

Here is the old scary sediment filter.  That black cylinder below the blue part is supposed to be white!  No way was I going to hook that back up.

Filter closeup

Filter closeup

After the issues I had putting in a shower faucet in January, I decided to do this one in CPVC.  WAY easier to work with.  Here are the plans I drew out.

sediment filter plan

sediment filter plan

Under construction.  Notice the nice clean workbench.  It has been so long since I had a setup for my tools.  Makes finding them very easy.  Notice that bench?  I built sometime around 1994.  I’ve hauled it across Maryland, down to Florida, back to Maryland and across Maryland again.  Still sturdy after more than 20 years!

sediment filter under construction

sediment filter under construction

And here is the final installation.  The existing pipes left me with not much space.  Sorry the picture is a bit blurry.  I really had to finagle the metal mount.  Tip: If you get a whole house water filter, don’t buy one without the wall mount.

Note: Yes, the filter is black here.  That is not gunk.  It’s a new filter.

sediment filter installed

sediment filter installed

After only a few struggles to stop an annoying leak or two, it was in operation.  Look at the junk it’s saving us from!

filtered sediment

filtered sediment

Catalina 22 Keel repair – keel winch cable eye bolt – good enough?

After all the mess with getting the crud off the keel, I awoke one morning last week worrying that I had not bought the correct keel for this boat.  Supposedly, these keels were cast in the sand on a beach in Mexico, and pictures I’ve seen show a “Mexico” stamp on the upper end of the keel.

Mine doesn’t have the stamp.  I finally got around to it tonight to measure my keel against the boat, and it looks like a fit.  On the keel, from the pin hole to the eye bolt is about 52 1/2 inches.  I crawled under the boat and it’s about the same measurement there too.  Whew!

Another concern is that my eye bolt may be too coroded to rely on.  I don’t think so, but just to be sure I asked StingySailor to send me a picture of his.  He’s redoing his keel and pretty soon we’ll see an amazing writeup of the way to do it.  Until then, you’re stuck with me bumbling along and hoping I get it right.

Anyway, here is his eye bolt.

stingy sailor keel eye bolt

stingy sailor keel eye bolt

Here is another view

stingy sailor keel eye bolt after epoxy

stingy sailor keel eye bolt after epoxy

Now, here are some pictures of mine:

CapnRehab's keel eyebolt

CapnRehab’s keel eyebolt

Keel winch cable attachment point

Keel winch cable attachment point

Keel winch cable attachment point

Keel winch cable attachment point

There is no doubt that mine is not as built up as his.  However, I think it’s pretty solid.  I can grab it and yank it around and there is no give.  Unless I hear a major uproar, I’m going to go with it.  What are your thoughts?

Also, I still have the nagging issue of how to put the keel pin into the keel.  I got a bushing from catalina direct, but it doesn’t fit.  I’m going to have to drill out space for it, then braze in the bushing and the missing cast iron that has been worn away.  Here is a picture I posted previously.  Wish me luck.

pivot pin bushing

pivot pin bushing