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 eye bolt repair complete!

Last weekend I completed tapping the hole for the keel eye bolt.  This is the last structural problem I had to solve before beginning the blasting, sealing and shaping process.   Naturally, it went smoothly up until it didn’t.

Considering all that’s gone into fixing this keel, I was pretty nervous about screwing up the screw job.  That’s why I had my friend JP come over.  He’s really into cars and has tapped holes before.  I know I do a lot of stuff on my own (with the help of YouTube), but I also like to have coaches too.

We got right to work.  The first thing we did was level the keel.

Level keel prior to tapping

Level keel prior to tapping

 

I used the keel tap I got from Catalina Direct and a tap driver I got from Home Depot.

Starting the tap

Starting the tap

Cast iron seems very easy to work with.  From what I read, it actually self lubricates as you work it.  Pretty amazing.When we drilled the hole, we didn’t use any oil, and we didn’t when we tapped the threads either.

It didn’t even need to be backed out as we went deeper.  We just kept turning and turning till it was in deep enough.  Also, we only needed hand strength to turn it.

Deeper and deeper

Deeper and deeper

Once the tap had gone all the way in, the filings were all at the bottom of the hole.

tapping complete

tapping complete

I used my pancake air compressor to blow them out.  Yes, I closed my eyes.  No, I don’t want to go back to the eye doctor.

Now, here is the not so great part.  There is probably some trick here, but once it’s screwed all the way in, it’s perpendicular to the keel.  No amount of changing where I start screwing it in makes a difference.  All the way in = perpendicular.  This may have something to do with where the tap is when you start.  Not sure how we would be able to tell how it would wind up.  It might also be that the area around the hole is not quite level.

Perpindicular

Perpendicular

If I back it off a bit, I can get it parallel with the keel, but then the shoulder of the bolt is not flush

Parallel, but not flush

Parallel, but not flush

So what do I do?

A) leave it perpendicular

B) leave it parallel, but with a slight gap around the shoulder

C) see if grinding down around the edge of the hole will let the bolt go a little further and wind up with the shoulder flush and the eye parallel.   I’m a bit worried that I might screw up the threads and not make a different anyway.

OK you mechanically minded folks out there.  What do you think I should do?

P.S.  After we were done, JP gave me a ride in his race car – A lotus.  He’s been building it the last 3 years to actually race on the race track.  And wow, it does have some acceleration!  Pretty too.

lotus

lotus

 

 

 

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!

Catalina 22 moved to the garage – work to begin soon

Big doings here at the Rehabitat.  The Catalina 22 has a moved.

I wanted to get her inside the garage so I could open her up and start working without worrying about the weather.  This is what I faced on Saturday morning.

Future home of the Catalina 22

Future home of the Catalina 22

After a bunch of moving, re-stacking, organizing, shoving and cramming I got a hole opened up.

Cleared away

Cleared away

Don’t EVEN ask what the rest of the garage looks like now!  Here is a side view so you can see the before/after shot.

Another view of future Catalina work area.

Another view of future Catalina work area.

Yes, that is Big Red the riding lawnmower with the hood up.  He sat too long with a busted starter and now that I’ve put a new starter on, the carb is not letting any gas get to the spark plug.  I’ve been doing a lot of work on him, but since it isn’t boat related I’ve held off posting about it.

With some masterful backing up by yours truly, the Catalina is sitting pretty in her new home.

Catalina waiting to be worked on

Catalina waiting to be worked on

Yes, that’s about 4 inches to spare!  She’s touching the back wall and I had to lower the front end all the way to the floor so I could close the garage door.

The whole trailer couldn’t fit, so I had to completely pull out the trailer extension.  That took a bunch of “Fabulous Blaster”,  a magnetic penetrating lubricant.  It also took quite a few whacks with a sledge hammer.

Trailer extension removed to fit trailer in garage.

Trailer extension removed to fit trailer in garage.

The extension is the black bar sitting on the ground to the left of the trailer.

Yes, it’s exciting times here at the rehabitat.  I’ve already started working on the keel fix, but that’s a story for another day.