Leaking Skeg Bolts

Pamlico

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Put the Sisu 22 on the trailer today for the winter. On my list of projects is to fix a leak I noticed around the rudder skeg mounting bolts.
The plan is to pull off the Skeg clean and re-bed the bolts. I'm assuming 5200 would be the sealant of choice????

Has anyone removed the Skeg on a Sisu 22 that could offer any tips? There looks to be 3 bolts with the nuts accessible on the inside of the keel.
 

captainlarry84

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Never did a Susi but did others. If the water is leaking around the bolts. They need to be removed. I assume they are carriage bolts with the nuts inside. If so I would also replace the carriage bolts with new silicone bronze ones. Grind the glass good and also grind the bronze skeg. Get a nice clean mating surface for the 5200. Spread the 5200 nice and flat with a puddy knife. Next load the last 1/3 of the carriage bolt with the 5200 material. Tighten the bolts up & make sure that the carriage bolts do not spin. Make it tight but not to tight as to push all of the 5200 out. Once the 5200 has cured give those carriage bolts a final turn again and make sure they do not spin. On one of the three bolts I would attach a #6 tinned Copper jumper wire so you can tie the skeg into the bonding system. Make sure all of the new nuts have nice heavey silicone bronze washers
 

nickyp

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Capt Larry is right on the money.
I have done sisu skeg bars before.
I believe they are hex head bolts that you can get to on both sides.
Follow his advise

If I recall there may be one that you cannot get to very easily, or at all.
In that case, go the next size up and tap into the glass. A couple drops of epoxy will be good. Otherwise a blob of 5200 on the threads.
 
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Pamlico

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Thanks guys, sounds simple enough. I'll take a closer look this weekend and see if I'm able to see all the bolts and nuts.

Found a couple other problems, the shaft log hose is crap so I had to pull the shaft from the coupler (what fun). Once I removed the hose from the stuffing box I got a surprise. (The shaft log is 2"). Seems at some point someone took a 2 1/4 stuffing box and ground it down to fit a 2" hose. Looks like they used a bench grinder. It was not smooth or even, I think she was leaking there as well. Ordered a new stuffing box and hose.
 
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Toolate

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Pretty sure I will have to take the shaft out of my boat to get at the aft most skeg bolt (30' sisu) but havent really dug into it. Maybe get on it with a long handled socket/breaker bar but dont know if I will be able to turn it. Air rachet probably not powerful enough. Dont even think my arm fits between the hull and shaft but it could be my arm...
 

captainlarry84

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With all the items you are addressing for peace of mind the shaft should be pulled, check for straightness & the coupler faced. In addition the bearing is a lot easier to pull with the shaft out. Once you do it all you are done for a good period of time. As a new owner start fresh.
 

Toolate

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With all the items you are addressing for peace of mind the shaft should be pulled, check for straightness & the coupler faced. In addition the bearing is a lot easier to pull with the shaft out. Once you do it all you are done for a good period of time. As a new owner start fresh.

I am getting a new shaft in order to make the new engine/gear fit/align... just saying for the skeg bolts it would be tough as hell to reach with it in the way. Its below the tube and aft by about a foot.
 

captainlarry84

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I am getting a new shaft in order to make the new engine/gear fit/align... just saying for the skeg bolts it would be tough as hell to reach with it in the way. Its below the tube and aft by about a foot.
Ouch, sounds like a real challenge. But it can be done. To recap the head of the bolt is on the outside & the nut is on the inside? Usually the nut is on the outside to make the drop off much easier. Plus the carriage stud digs better into the fiberglass than the shoe does. If you do get the skeg off I would reassemble the job with the nuts on the outside. And of course all silicone bronze only.
 

Toolate

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My nuts are on the inside (haha) and I am going to grind the heads off and do as you say. Heads in, nuts out. All bronze.

Thanks Larry.
 

Sailorgp

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My 26' Sisu has hex headed bolts on the outside of the skeg with nuts on the inside. PLUS I have a wet keel which makes the nuts inaccessible. I talked to Lowell about it and they told me if I ever need to service the skeg bolts/nuts I should cut a 4" hole into the side of the keel 12" above the skeg which would allow me to put a box end wrench on the nuts and then turn the bolts out from the beneath. I've checked them a couple times and they all seem tight so I'm not worried about it. But if I ever have to drop the skeg it's going to be a real pain.
 

captainlarry84

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My nuts are on the inside (haha) and I am going to grind the heads off and do as you say. Heads in, nuts out. All bronze.

Thanks Larry.
Good luck I am sure that once it is all apart & clean you can reassemble. I am sure you can figure out a way to secure the head on the carriage bolt into the socket with some type of gluey material or a small shim that will snuggle hold the carriage bolt in the sock. Once it is line up to the keel hole a couple of taps on the end of the long extension and it should go in. On tightening the bolt will lock it self. I would use a little longer bolt than need for ease of install. Once the nuts are nice & tight then I would cut the excess stud. It will be a tricky job. As far as a 4" hole in the keel I will pass on that idea just sounds a little too invasive
for a job like this, plus isn't there coring involved?
 

Toolate

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Took the shoe and rudder off my boat today. ground the heads off the bolts on the rear 2 and just used a drift to drive them up into the bilge but they are a full foot aft of the front of the wet tube so almost unreachable. Started with a 3/4 open end wrench taped onto a 5' stick to reach them but the heads below were too corroded to turn so we just ground them off with a cut off wheel.

New bolts will be carriage installed from the inside as you say Larry, no other way to do it. I will have to to position them with a long stick and just sock them tight from the outside.

Keel on my Sisu is dry and coring stops at the turn of the bilge (I have a dry keel).
 
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