Author Topic: Bavaria 42 hull keel joint gap  (Read 1040 times)


  • Swab
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  • Boat Model: B 42
  • Boat Year: 2000
Bavaria 42 hull keel joint gap
« on: December 01 2023, 09:39 »

we observed a little opening at the aft of keel hull joint at a Bavaria 42 (deep keel) from 2000, which I intend to buy.
We saw this, having the boat in the slings, unfortunatly we did not put her weight on the keel, so I can not say, if there is some movement of the keel or if it is just flex of the hull. From the inside, everything seems to be fine.
Are there any opinions, stating this as a normal flex or is it more likely, that this a hint for some more serious issues? Is a Little flex for and aft seen as normal? My current 34 (still Mohrhaupt design, not J&J) doesnt show this, but also having a different apply of hull keel joint.

I attached pictures of the keel, while the boat was in the slings and also some of the aft bilge compartment with the most rear keel bolt.

I would be happy for some answers!

Best regards


  • Old Salt
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Re: Bavaria 42 hull keel joint gap
« Reply #1 on: December 01 2023, 10:09 »
It's not normal, so needs investigating by a qualified surveyor. 


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Re: Bavaria 42 hull keel joint gap
« Reply #2 on: December 01 2023, 10:14 »
That brown flowcoat splintering off around the keelbolt washer tells me the keelbolt has moved. Perhaps up or down, or perhaps been rotated (in an attempt to tighten it?). It may just be loose. Or it may have corroded from water ingress into the gap and is no longer holding the keel on at all.

I wouldn't buy the boat without pulling that keelbolt out for inspection, which shouldn't take more than an hour of work and would be in the interest of the seller. If it's just loose it's a simple fix. If it's broken on the other hand, the keel will probably have to be removed before you can extract the stump for replacement, which is a wholly different ballgame.

The grid looks fine, although when you have the bolt out you should sand off a little of the flowcoat around the removed bolt to check for any signs of delamination from the rear of the keel being pushed up in a gentle grounding.

So talk to the seller and agree to do this or walk away.
Sailing Songbird  ⛵️ Bavaria 40 Ocean (2001)


  • Old Salt
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Re: Bavaria 42 hull keel joint gap
« Reply #3 on: December 01 2023, 22:10 »
Did you commision a 'pre-purchase' survey?....
It's money well spent as it'll identify any issues like this ...
Having said that, it's fairly obvious there's an issue with the keel joint, as mentioned before it could be a simple fix or it could also be a potential nightmare...
Have a surveyor inspect the boat (or at least the keel) and you will have the answer...(It'll be at your cost)
A surveyor can also advise on a price adjustment that will include the repair, or an undertaking that a repair to the satisfaction of the surveyor will be made prior to sale by the current owner ..   
    Good luck...........Bill.


  • Old Salt
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Re: Bavaria 42 hull keel joint gap
« Reply #4 on: December 03 2023, 18:12 »
My boat (B46/2005) had the exact same damage pattern after a serious stranding following a thunderstorm. The boat was driven forward by the own engine power from the stranding point by towing across the direction of travel with a pull on the mast done from a powerful Rib.
I my case there was only the crack on the hull-keel joint and no signs of damage on the keel bolts.
I filed a claim with my insurance company and took the boat to a repair yard. First, I had approval from the insurance company to dismantle the keel to determine the exact damage. After dismantling the keel, it became apparent that delamination had occurred between the hull shell and the angle laminate to the reinforcing ribs. This was only visible due to the moisture leaking out of the laminate in the hole of the keel bolt (see photo).
If there is permanent moisture in the laminate, this can lead to a loss of strength and, as a result, a loss of keel.
The insurance subsequently paid for the complete removal of the angle laminate and a complete rebuild of the laminate. In the end, the insurance company paid the entire repair amount (€12000, done in 02/2023 in Croatia).


  • Swab
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Re: Bavaria 42 hull keel joint gap
« Reply #5 on: December 03 2023, 21:24 »
Thanks for all the answers so far, I really appreciate. Although it's of course not what I wanted to hear, but what I already feared. The boat will now be investigated by a yard and the owner will open an insurance claim insofar as there is any damage.
I will keep the thread updated.

Best regards!