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Old 11-26-2006
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Rusting keel?

I'm assuming that a keel that has paint flaking off (or about to) in rather large pieces has rust beneath the paint. Correct? Is this a major problem on a 20-year-old boat, or one that can be manged and corrected?
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Old 11-26-2006
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nope...could just be too many layers of bottom paint have been added to the boat without a proper sanding job to reduce the number of layers. On one boat I worked on last year, there were about sixteen layers of bottom paint...and I wasn't surprised that it was flaking off at all.
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Old 11-26-2006
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Rust, of course, would only apply to a cast iron keel and is not a consideration for lead.

It's a bit of work, but such flaking (and/or rusting) is repairable and manageable and is fairly routine.
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Old 11-26-2006
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No paint lasts forever, and unless the prep under it was done perfectly, it will peel off way sooner than that. Once you get one nick, scrape, or ding, the coating is broken and the water creeps in and then the rest starts to peel, no matter how good the paint was.

After 20 years it might just be time to strip down to bare metal, prime it properly, and start fresh with new paint. Maybe fair the keel while you're in there.

Routine maintenance.
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Old 11-26-2006
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Our paint flakes off the keel in some spots, and we know it's lead from when we've had to hammer it back into shape from hitting stuff. What kind of boat is it? Many European production boats do have cast iron keels.
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It was a Catalina. Also, you could see the seam between hull and keel, which I guessed would be normally hidden with a good paint job. But maybe I am wrong.
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I had a Catalina with a cast iron keel and over 20 years of paint on it, and you can strip it all off in about a day with paint stripper. Just be careful not to use it on the gel coated keel stub, or it'll slightly damage the gel coat. After all the paint has been removed, sand it well, fair it, put a couple of coats of coal tar epoxy on it, and cover it with bottom paint. It isn't hard to maintain.
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