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Keel Bolts and General Topics on Keel - Keel cracks front and aft, Swan 38
07 November 2021 - 18:58
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

Keel cracks front and aft, Swan 38


I am still on my way bying an s&s swan and would like to thank again everybody who has helped me here so far.

My latest candidate is very promising,its a extremely well kept Swan 38, i have been travelling to inspect it and there is just three issues i am personally uncertain of and would kindly like to get some advice from the community If theres no serious trouble with these i will buy it.

I will post the three issues with pictures in seperate posts.

Heres the one on the keel:

The keel has cracks starting from fron and aft going in about 40-50 cm on both sides.

No visible crack in the middle of the keel. These cracks have been sealed with i Sikaflex and painted over. Owner says no problem with these so far, were there when he got the boat 17 years ago. His thesis is that the boat is beeing bent upwards by the stays over the mast standing on the middle section of the keel.

i ahve seen more open cracks, and since the middle seems mostly connected i dont expect the keel as a whole to bee loose. In the middle section there is one loose part of anitfouling (longer bubble in the picture) and a small hard bubble on the other side. Bolts in the bilge look ok, not rusty.

On the keel trailing edge theres some plaster that came of. Below there is a stainless steel surface. Was the lead mounted into a stainless steel frame? I would think i could just close this hole and apint over antifouling.

So i would like to know if this is something to investigate further or just leave it as is and make sure the cracks remain sealed to protect the bolts and hull below gelcoat.

Thanks for your help in advance, Timo

07 November 2021 - 19:04
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

07 November 2021 - 19:05
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

07 November 2021 - 19:06
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

07 November 2021 - 19:07
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

07 November 2021 - 19:07
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

07 November 2021 - 19:10
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

07 November 2021 - 20:06
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1011

Hi Timo,

bilge has been painted over original dark grey gelcoat, and keel bolts are not yet covered with (original) gelcoat. Why have they been uncovered?

Has the keel ever been dropped, bolts tightened?

Clean and sand old stratification of antifouling to check keel and its cracks, and of course clean old sika on the cracks.

Trailing edge is stainles steel covered.

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

08 November 2021 - 09:49
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

Hi Matteo,

Thanks for your reply!

I just got he info (owner is active in this forum as well ;-) that the keel has been dropped in 1996, keel and hull grinded and checked. Purchase docs of the owner says no grounding ( bought from Nautor rep in sweden and previuos owners well known).

That explains the paint and the visible bolts.

Cheers Timo

08 November 2021 - 12:13
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

It can be seen that there is a fairly thick bead of sealant in the keel to hull joint. This means the keel has been dropped, also the nuts are not covered any more.
The forward and aft bolts need to be tensioned, and the aftermost bolts fitted with bigger washers. The forwardmost bolt has a washer at the lower end, and the recommendation is to make it bigger, is likely that it is slowly pulled through the lead.
Would be good to check the tension of all bolts
The mast shoe is stainless. There needs to be big drain holes, and the mast to be insulated so it does not rest directly against the stainless

09 November 2021 - 09:31
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

Dear Lars, thanks again for your precise evaluation of the situation. Thanks to your help I have a more precise feeling about the boats quality and state. I will keep you posted and hopefully join you as an owner soon.

Cheers Timo

13 December 2021 - 16:48
Join Date: 28 September 2020
Posts: 37

Dear Lars, Matteo and others,

thanks to your help I was successfull in signing the contract on S38/57 Arajata.

Delivery will be next spring in sweden, a long winter full of anticipation and dreaming followed by an extensive trip with the family in the archipelago in sweden and finland in summer.

@Matteo: sure i'd like to join the association, propably after final delivery?

@Lars: can you eventually tell me the original name of her?

Cheers, Timo

13 December 2021 - 17:32
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1011

Dear Timo,

congratulation, she will make you happy!!!

Original name was ARIANNA, and yes, you can join the S&S Swan Association even now, just fill in the online form at:!

Fair winds!

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

14 December 2021 - 22:26
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 115

Dear Timo,

congratulations and welcome to the Association!

Your 38 will give you a great time and for sure you will make many enjoyable memories together- she is a fine boat like all S&S Swans.

Speaking for myself it has been a steep but very enjoyable learning curve (co-)owning Kairos but I wouldn't want to miss any of it. The Forum has been of invaluable help and is a great place for support.

All the best and good to have you on board!

Fair winds


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