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TOPIC: Keel Repair

Keel Repair 4 years 7 months ago #2102

  • wkweigel
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We had the misfortune of hitting a rock yesterday near Roque Island in Maine. We have a 4" x6" chunk of glass broken out about 1 foot up from the bottom of the keel. Lead is showing. I plan to haul out in about 2 weeks to repair. Does anyone know if there is a void around the ballast? How much water will I need to try to drain out of the keel?

Thanks in advance.
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Keel Repair 4 years 6 months ago #2103

  • gtod25
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Whitby42Ballast.jpg


As you can see from the diagram above the forward lead ballast is in its own "compartment" forward of fuel tanks. I'm pretty sure that it was a lead casting that was dropped in place and glassed over (If anyone has info that they were poured in place let me know). There may be small voids around the lead but this should not be a big issue.

1. Drill a drain hole on the foot of the keel under the damage to see if any water drains out. I doubt if it would be a major amount.

2. Grind away the damaged area using Don Casey's 12:1 bevel info; www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/fiberglass-repair.asp
I would use West System Epoxy.

3. Patch up drain hole.

Not a major deal with a full keel boat like a Whitby/Brewer. Don't try hitting the same rock with a modern production boat.

Last Edit: 4 years 6 months ago by gtod25.
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Keel Repair 4 years 6 months ago #2104

  • ConejoGrande
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Is it possible that concrete was involved with setting the lead in the keel? Maybe poured in around the lead casting? In kleening up my bilge under the former water tanks I ground off a bubble that exposed a concrete looking substance under the glass. The spot is patched now and I wasn't curious enough at the time to open it further for verification.

Scott
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Keel Repair 4 years 6 months ago #2105

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photographic evidence...

P6240226.JPG
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Keel Repair 4 years 6 months ago #2106

  • groves
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Hi All
Shamal has had extensive experience with this topic.
Conversations with Doug Stephenson in the past revealed the construction of the hull of the W42 was as follows.
Hull halves including keel were laid down separately. The two halves were bonded with thick fibreglass mat and roving on the interior of thehull and keel section, leaving a space for ballast. Two pieces of precast lead, parallelograms, approx 4000 lbs each, were placed inside the keel area, forward. The centre fuel tank and additional lead aft for bowsprit boats were also added. Foam blocks were used to centre the lead, tank, etc and then seacrete? was poured into the voids to immobilize the ballast. The whole thing was glassed in, I think. There is a photo of our hull at this stage on the website.
On the outside, the join was just faired, leaving a weak point for water entry and weakening of the keel.
Will follow up with another note about solutions.
Fair winds to all
David
Shamal
W42#321
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Keel Repair 4 years 6 months ago #2107

  • gtod25
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Great information David. I had not known about the seacrete but that ties in with building practices of that era.

Just a note, the two halves of the hull were joined with SEVEN (I believe) layers of glass fiber on the inside and these were extended well up from the join. The outside seam was filled with dolphinite bedding compound or similar. If there is some damage here, water can get into to the seam but not into the hull unless you have a major breach.

There is a brief article on the Kelly Peterson 44 web site which has similar construction.

www.kp44.org/rudders/hull_seam_voids.php
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Keel Repair 4 years 6 months ago #2114

  • wkweigel
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Thanks everyone for the great advice. In addition to the gouge from the rock there is a 6" crack down the centerline. This must be the joint. I am hauling on Sept 14 to repair. I will post photos of the project.
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Keel Repair 4 years 6 months ago #2135

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Here are a couple of before and after photos. The repair went very well. There was essentially no moisture once I ground back the damaged fiberglass. The seacrete had filled around the ballast leaving no voids. I used 8 ply of biaxial cloth and epoxy the complete the full repair. It is probably stronger than original since I have sealed the seam along the hull joint.

Thanks for all the prior comments.
AlembicKeelDamage.jpg


Alembicrepaired.jpg
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Netteypatch

Keel Repair 3 years 6 months ago #2416

Unfortunately, I'll be undertaking the same repair this fall (same mechanism of injury....one downfall of sailing the Maritimes). Thanks so much to all for this informative post-thread
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Keel Repair 2 years 7 months ago #2602

Well, the repair was completed; however, it proved to be much more than anticipated. There had been previous groundings with not quite sufficient repairs over the past decades, and the multiple layers of glass had delaminated badly. I could almost flip the layers like thumbing through a telephone book. So as we ground out the damage, the original 8"x6" hole was ground-out to about 9 feet stem-to-stern, and up either side of the keel by about 2 feet. A hydraulic jack was put under the lead to ensure it didn't shift with so much glass gone. There was wet sand all around the lead. We put 38 layers (yes thirty-eight layers) of glass, alternating between chopped mat and biaxiale/weave cloth (and lots, and lots of epoxy resin) to make the repair. This fall I am grinding-out the material in the joint forward and aft of this repair, and refilling it with thickened epoxy mixed with strand. That will be followed by putting a layer of 2", then 4" biaxial tape over that (before fairing and finishing epoxy coat)

A much larger job than anticipated, but it is done.
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