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Author: Ralph Deeds
Subject: Witchy Woman Keel Bolt Failure PLEASE READ
Info: (2774 views) Posted: Monday 10-1-12 06:12:46 PM
Gary Jacoby of Quantum Sails Detroit suggested that holes for two additional stainless keelbolts be drilled and tapped into the keel bilge and lead keel. The new keelbolts could be epoxied and screwed into the holes as attachment points for a second back-up stainless strap for the lifting bridle. Any other thoughts?

:: The day before the 2012 Nationals was to start I was
:: working on my boat prepping for the weekend. I proceeded
:: to lift the boat up off the trailer (light air
:: conditions) where once I got the boat high enough to
:: clear the trailer approximately 4 feet from the keel
:: bottom to the ground. One of the two keel bolts (SS
:: thread) sheared off from within the keel. Once the bolt
:: sheared, the boat obviously fell to the ground
:: sustaining massive damage. I am writing this not to tell
:: you about 'our issues' but to plead with each owner to
:: take extra steps and care when lifting the boats. Most
:: Bay Area owners know how Witchy Woman was maintained, I
:: left no stone unturned. Witchy Woman is also the last
:: production built 1988 Express #116. The keel bolts
:: looked excellent in the bilge sump. The damage came from
:: within the keel where inspection could not occur. What I
:: would ask each owner to do, is to develop a back up
:: safety system, so that if the keel lifting point fails,
:: the boat would not fall to the ground. How can this be
:: accomplished? adding additional bolts to the lifting
:: system would decrease the likely hood of of one failing
:: bolt ruining your day. Also, a spectra webbing system
:: could be built to take the load as well, but be carful
:: of the primary system failing then shock loading as the
:: secondary system takes the load...

:: We have very good insurance, and I have started the
:: process and begun getting estimates for the repair work
:: to be completed. It is my intent that the boat will sail
:: again, and this will be a 'bad day' in a distant
:: memory...
::
:: I also ask, that if anyone in the Bay Area goes to see
:: the boat, that they stay off the boat, and limit
:: contact, as a marine surveyor will be surveying the boat
:: at some time.
::
:: Good luck to all of you sailing the Nationals.

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