Seepage at keel bolts E 38-200 (E 381) recurring issue?

Neil Gallagher

Neil Gallagher
Interesting thead thanks folks! I have an '84 381 that was hauled in Sept, no apparent water issues or gaps between the keel and hull but I have seen a minor issue with the head door (top right corner) which I sanded slightly to make fit. The comment about the stay aft of the mast is thought provoking. How would I tell if adjusting it could solve the squareness of the head doorway? Do just start adjusting tenson and check the doorway for square?
 
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DrZiplock

Member II
This post suggests 175fp. It did not specify what the bolt size was, but it was for a 32-3 which has 2 different sizes of bolts. It would be great if we had a resource listing the "correct" torque for the various bolt sizes for the various boats, since this often comes up.

I'd seen that number as well - but also a few others in various other posts and locations. One had even said something like 255...scary.

I think I'll start at 75, see how things look and feel, move to 100, etc, etc with 175 being a solid goal.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Good to try and get it right. Often tho, the yard will send a 25 year old kid in with a one inch-drive socket and a 4 foot long 'cheater' bar... he will put his shoulders into it, and it will suffice. Of course some yards will have a large torque wrench, so it pays to ask first.
:)
(The size and strength of the employee will vary, also...)
 
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DrZiplock

Member II
I'm the fool with the torque wrench in this instance, so incremental steps to 175 will be the move.

Had to hit up the local tractor supply store to get a 1.5" inch deep set six-sided socket as well. Not an insignificant piece of kit.
 

Dave G.

1984 E30+ Ludington, MI
It would be great if we had a resource listing the "correct" torque for the various bolt sizes for the various boats, since this often comes up.
 

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peaman

Member III
Thanks, Dave G. for this. I figured this data was out there somewhere....
Looks like the 175fp I saw mentioned for the 32-3 bolts would be about 2/3 of the tabulated value for the 1-8 lubricated 316 bolts which I think would apply to that boat. The table is at minimum a good guide as to what ballpark torque should fall in.

Maybe this should be added to the Resources here.
 

Kenneth K

1985 32-3, Puget Sound
Blogs Author
I did a lengthy blog post on keel bolt torque about a year ago because the numbers I found online were all over the map.


The long-and-short of it is that 175-200 ft-lbs seems about right for the 1 inch bolts.
 
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Dave G.

1984 E30+ Ludington, MI
I figured this data was out there somewhere....
This data is for the bolt capacity only. The unknowns are the compression capacity of the keel stub and holding capacity of the keel bolts tabbed into the keel. It would be nice to find out what the original factory torque specs were but doubt we'll get that info now. I torqued mine 10% less than minimum specified in that chart and they all tightened a few degrees or less of rotation.
 

William K

Junior Member
I've been considering buying a 38 or 380 and now this thread has me wondering. Lifs2shrt, are you referring to a 38 presently listed for sale in Marina del Rey? - which mentions in the ad that the keel was dropped and re-bedded? That seemed odd to mention, to me; I don't remember seeing that noted as a selling point before.

I am encouraged by Christian's comments, however. And here's to his credibility - Thank you for your YouTube videos, Christian. I'm just a couple years younger than you, recently retired and still wanting (lifelong) to cross an ocean, and now your videos have me thinking of a line from the film, Inception: “Don't you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?”

I have another question if it's okay to raise it in this thread. I spoke with a broker in Rhode Island last month about a pretty 380 he has listed for sale there, Wind Dancer, and he disclosed that it has difficulty shifting the transmission following a new pedestal install. He says they haven't figured out the issue so far and he thinks it may involve a transmission replacement. Can anyone advise how difficult doing that would be? I've swapped car engines and such before but is that more a job for a yard?

I was almost ready to hop a flight for that one, but then the transmission.

 

William K

Junior Member
Here is a comprehensive article on keel bolts, etc. Gee, there is much to learn.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I've been considering buying a 38 or 380 and now this thread has me wondering. Lifs2shrt, are you referring to a 38 presently listed for sale in Marina del Rey? - which mentions in the ad that the keel was dropped and re-bedded? That seemed odd to mention, to me; I don't remember seeing that noted as a selling point before.

I am encouraged by Christian's comments, however. And here's to his credibility - Thank you for your YouTube videos, Christian. I'm just a couple years younger than you, recently retired and still wanting (lifelong) to cross an ocean, and now your videos have me thinking of a line from the film, Inception: “Don't you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?”

I have another question if it's okay to raise it in this thread. I spoke with a broker in Rhode Island last month about a pretty 380 he has listed for sale there, Wind Dancer, and he disclosed that it has difficulty shifting the transmission following a new pedestal install. He says they haven't figured out the issue so far and he thinks it may involve a transmission replacement. Can anyone advise how difficult doing that would be? I've swapped car engines and such before but is that more a job for a yard?

I was almost ready to hop a flight for that one, but then the transmission.

Disclaimer: Like most here I have no (zero) knowledge of the exact boat you were considering. That said, having the keel dropped and re-bedded seems unusual because so few owners ever do it... even tho they should. We were motivated to have our keel re-bedded about 15 years ago because of a small leak around one bolt. The yard cleaned up the mating surfaces and put it back together, and we have had no leaks since. Peace of mind was achieved also.
Someday when we sell our boat, this should be a positive bit of maintenance information. Hopefully.

The other comment about a difficult shifting transmission could have a simple issue - old worn out cables. Worst case scenario might, maybe also be, a need for a new trans. Maybe a couple of thou plus labor. Lots of posters here have done this over the years, and some searching the archives should find some. Those Universal diesels were quite robust, but there comes a time for a new transmission and a new torque plate while you have it apart. I'm really not the right guy to ask, tho... when our OEM drive train needed to be removed and rebuilt I chose to replace it all with a new Betamarine. I am not as mechanically skilled as you, however.
Good luck with your purchase.
We have owned our Ericson built vessel since 1994, and really appreciate the construction design and quality.
Regards,
Loren
 

u079721

Contributing Partner
The other comment about a difficult shifting transmission could have a simple issue - old worn out cables. Worst case scenario might, maybe also be, a need for a new trans. Maybe a couple of thou plus labor. Lots of posters here have done this over the years, and some searching the archives should find some. Those Universal diesels were quite robust, but there comes a time for a new transmission and a new torque plate while you have it apart. I'm really not the right guy to ask, tho... when our OEM drive train needed to be removed and rebuilt I chose to replace it all with a new Betamarine. I am not as mechanically skilled as you, however.
Good luck with your purchase.
We have owned our Ericson built vessel since 1994, and really appreciate the construction design and quality.
Regards,
Loren
Just to add to Loren's comments about the possibility of a worn trans cable being the issue, it could also be a poor routing of the transmission cable. I documented this a long time ago when I snapped my transmission cable and found that it had been routed through much too tight of a bend. Easy to check and fix, and LOT less expensive than a new transmission.

 

driftless

Member III
Blogs Author
When I purchased my 1989 38-200 in 2019, its listing clearly stated the keel had been dropped and re-bedded. This gave me pause. Why I thought? Was she grounded? Some flaw?
My surveyor assured me this was a good thing. And he had no concern about the start of a "smile" at the leading edge of the keel.

Now I've ground down those cracks and found them to be wholly superficial (filling and fairing with gflex after).
And I've come to appreciate that the previous owner took care of this for me. I have the service receipts from the yard so I know they used 5200. Now the bolts don't even matter anymore (I jest but I know that sucker isn't coming off if I ever want it to).
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Re E380 Wind Dancer: https://www.thecruisingyachtbrokerage.com/listings/ericson-380-by-pacific-seacraft-2/.

The pedestal was "upgraded" in 2017. There's a new one? I'd call the broker and ask him whether the transmission "works" or is just hard to shift. A known busted transmission seems unlikely, the owner would probably be told to fix it if he wants to sell the boat.

The 38s seem to have fewer trans problems than the M25-engine boats, so it may be just a cables issue. Most brokers would agree to clarify with the owner.

Cables are just controls. You can take them off and shift the trans with your hand, which is what anybody troubleshooting the issue would do.
 

peaman

Member III
it could also be a poor routing of the transmission cable.
This is true. To address VERY diffucult and unsure shifting, I recently replaced both shift and throttle cable with new cables 3 feet and 2 feet shorter, respectively than the old cables. Besides improving operation, it greatly improved service access to the area around the steering quadrant.
 

William K

Junior Member
Thanks to all. That broker said the transmission still shifts, albeit with difficulty. I think he said they tried shifting it by hand with the cable disconnected. Cables with too tight a bend. That sounds reasonably easy to remedy but it's odd they haven't resolved it yet.

After running downwind (corkscrewing) for hours in big swells in Delaware Bay years ago, I made it back to Alexandria, VA, my then-home, safely. Out cruising one calm night on the Potomac a month later, the steering cable snapped in half. Ding! The story of how I motored backward and forwards over and over until I crabbed into a marina, then borrowed a pair of vise grips to use as a very short tiller on top of the rudder shaft to steer home is a harmless, funny one. But afterwards I thought of that day in those rough conditions in Delaware. I would have been in real trouble had it happened then. I have never trusted cables since.
 
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