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The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
1980 Capri 25 #225. I purchased this boat 2 years ago. It came with a thick steel plate over the 2 rear keel bolts. It was in bad shape so I had a custom plate made for a 1Ē eyebolt and custom lifting strap. When I removed the old plate there is a round hole about 1.5Ē diameter. It was full of crud so I cleaned it out and water bubbles up. I quickly filled the hole with plumbers putty and installed the new plate. That stopped the water.
So what is this hole for? It appears to be from the factory. If water is coming in does that mean the seal around the top of the keel has failed? Any insight is appreciated.
Hi Lee, welcome to the Forum! I see your boat is a Capri25. Nice. Iíve seen one once, there was one visiting for the summer a few years ago in a nearby marina. However, Iím not familiar with the internal construction. Starting with the basics: Is it a fixed fin keel, winged keel or swing keel? I assume itís a fixed keel. How many keel bolts do you have total? You mentioned 2 in the aft, are there two more forward? You said that there was a custom plate spanning the two rear bolts. Steel, or stainless? When you removed it, were the keel bolts corroded? Is there also a plate for any forward keel bolts? How does that look? You mentioned it has an eye bolt, is that for lifting the plate? Is the boat in the water or on the hard? You said that there was water in the hole. Was the bilge generally damp? Is it possible that it was rainwater versus seawater? For example, on Passage rainwater will find its way into the bilge after a heavy rain. Once you filled the hole with putty, did any water come back? E.g.: do you have an active leak requiring a bilge pump? If you have the boat on the hard, or do a short-haul for inspection, does the keel appear to be separating? I.e.: ďCatalina smileĒ?
Itís a fixed keel. Itís been in fresh water for 2 years. I purchased it on a trailer. I sanded the bottom and put an ablative coat on it. Then it went in the water. The keel did not appear to be separating. There are 5 or 6 stainless keel bolts that sit down in a shallow well. They all appear to be in new condition. Each bolt has a large thick stainless washer and a smaller lock washer. No water is leaking around those. The boat came with a 3/8Ē thick steel plate over the 2 rear bolts. I assume itís for welding a nut or threaded sleeve to. You screw a 1Ē eyebolt into it and attach a lifting strap. Catalina supplies drawings for this. My plate as plain steel. Nothing attached. It was in bad shape from 40 years of damp. I replaced it with a 1/2Ē thick plate the same size. It uses the same 2 bolts. I had a guy weld a 1Ē nut onto it for my eyebolt.
The only leaks Iím aware of are a few cracks in the deck around the hatch. They let a small amount leak in when it rains so there is always a few gallons sloshing around. Not enough for pump to pick up. Because of the way the bulkheads are constructed it creates pockets where water can collect. itís impossible to tell whether water could flow from any of these pockets to that hole.
Filling the hole with putty does not appear to have any negative effects. It stopped the water and I donít see the water finding a new path into the boat. Except for the occasional rainwater and condensation itís very dry. I wish I knew more about the bilge construction.
Look at page 7 of the referenced document. You should find threading in the bottom of the hole you are questioning for a 1" dia eyebolt (see page 11). The plate you are referencing must have not been a factory item. Looking at the construction I would guess you could have a break in the sealing of the keel to the hull that wold allow water into that hole. If so, I doubt the plumbers putty is going to stop you from taking on water, but it might in conjunction with the plate you are describing. I would suggest you confirm if there is water leaking at the keel then re-seal the keel if it is leaking. I never had water leaking in my boat from that hole, but I did have the seal between the keel develop cracks in it after a pretty severe knock down that brought the keel completely out of the water. I cleaned the joint and resealed after that and have not had any issues. I'm just guessing here but that plate you are talking about could have been somebodies quick fix for not repairing the keel to hull joint. Hope this helps.
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.