Monday, 10 October 2022
Apologies for the lack of blog posts about Bonita recently. There are two reasons for this - firstly that we havn't been very adventurous recently - just day sails from the Swale. A greater worry however is some IT difficulties with the blog. Unlike on the boat, the application of common sense and traditional skills dont seem to sort out the problems. Skilled IT help may be needed..... There are still some good sailing days after the equinox, but inevitably as the season comes to an end thoughts go to planning the work for the winter. This summer I began to worry about the keelbolts. Bonitas lead keel is held on with six bolts, each 7/8 inch diameter (22mm) and 20 inches long. Originally these bolts were of wrought iron. This is a marvellous material, not as strong as steel, but much more resistant to corrosion - the SS Great Britain was built of wrought iron in 1845 and much of the original structure still survives today despite decades of neglect before she was rescued. The wrought iron fastenings - probably of bog iron- are the only bits of the seventh century Sutton Hoo ship that have survived. Unfortunately wrought iron is almost impossible to obtain now, and people who claim to be able to supply wrought iron may well turn out to be selling something different. We think that Bonitas original keel bolts lasted until my father got them replaced in 1968. By then the 7/8 inch bolts had decayed to less than pencil thickness in their mid sections, so the job did need doing. The 1968 bolts I then replaced in 2003 with material that was sold to me as wrought iron. Over the summer however there has been a leak and ominous rust stain from around one of the bolts.