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  • #21989
    Doug Odgers

    With both keels off , when would be the best time to remove and service keel pressure plate bolts.

    I appreciate that sliding in  what I call a ‘sleeper’ bolt (a wooden dowl or similar) to stop plates falling out.

    But should I do this now, or when keels are back in place ?


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    • #21995

      Hi Doug

      Good to hear from you. Well done for playing Keels!
      I am not sure that I fully understand your question in full. I am also far from expert in keel mechanism maintenance – I hope that one of our Keel Gurus will respond….

      From my experience, if you have removed the keels now is an excellent time to service the pressure plates. You can do a certain amount in terms of inspection and greasing with the plates still hanging on the two (upper) clamping bolts, particularly if you have removed the keelbox cappings in the main cabin forward of the main bulkhead. The plates should be easy to move. If they are badly corroded you may want to drop them out for cleaning up by removing the two upper bolts. They are relatively easy to align for bolt replacement by supporting them from above.

      Does that make sense?

    • #21999
      Doug Odgers

      Thanks Nick,

      You have also encouraged me to drop the pressure plates and have a look at them.

      When you say supporting them from above, how is that done?

      Any ecouragement will be gratefully received.

    • #22001
      Richard James

      Hello Doug,

      I too would lower the pressure plates to the ground using a wire coat hangar or thin rope. This is easier if your cabin keel inspection caps are removed. You should label all keel bolts and plates and return them from whence they came. Paper F has some great advice, and is available to members free of charge in the Reference section of this website.

      When the plates and bolts are all out on a bench, I recommend you check the doublers for wear and confirm that the bolt D Sections lock into them OK, and do not slip past. If in doubt, please upload some photos.  See photo below, noting one doubler is set back and the other in the photo is not. Also it’s worth checking and perhaps re-painting the keel boxes behind the pressure plates. The second photo below shows one of Martin Bennett’s keel bolts which he has milled grease channels into, to allow better grease penetration. Good luck.

    • #22003
      Doug Odgers

      Hi Richard,


      Many thanks for that guidance.

      A90 is still in one piece since you inspected her   – my refurbishment efforts have yet to destroy her !

      Many thanks,


    • #22010
      Doug Odgers

      Richard, Apologies I was getting my Richards mixed up, to many years of putting tributyltin on the bottom of boats.

      I am sure we will meet someday, perhaps the next AGM.



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