So, this whole ordeal with the keel bolts started because someone had used an inferior method of sealing them. By using silicone that would let water work its way to the threaded rod and then remain there to corrode it.
So as my last task on the inside for the keel bolts before I am done is to add this very protection that failed previously, but in a way that wouldn’t fail, and for that I used Denso tape. It is a very sticky tar-like tape that when worked creates a seal that is both air- and watertight. The only downside really is that it is – indeed – sticky.
The procedure was simple, after cleaning out the bilge one more time I cut a 10 cm square of the tape, applied it on the top of the keel bolt, folded the four sides down around the nuts and the flaps, or what you should call it, was wound around the nuts to make sure that there was a perfect seal.
It took me some hours to do all sixteen bolts, and then I spent the rest of the day putting back the hatches of the bilge, moved back the sofa where it belongs, collected all the tools that were spread all over the boat and finally folded all the carton boxes that I have had deliveries in the last few days.
To finally have the salon table back again, without tools or materials, was indeed a sweet sight. Also getting the sofa back in place was great, even if I haven’t screwed it down just yet. Finally I can move around without having to climb over or around things all the time.
I still have some sorting to do, the chart table is full of stuff, and I need to go through all the items that has been sent here to decide what is crucial to do to get Away into the water once more, and what can wait.
Oh, yes, one more thing. I’ve been getting questions on how the bolts attach to the keel, since I only have nuts on the inside of the boat. Shouldn’t there be nuts on the outside as well, or how does it work? Well, the keel is made out of iron, rather than led which is usual, and that means that instead of having nuts under the keel the keel itself is threaded, so in practice the whole keel is one giant nut, really. And this is why it is very important to make sure that the threads are sealed properly from below as well, since they are threaded through a flange at the top of the keel and will come in contact with water if not. So that will be a job for next week, as soon as I got some primer and fairing compound. After they are on the keel is ready for anti-fouling.
I have to order a dinghy repair kit too… Oh, well. Good night!