Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New England USA
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 13
repairing keel - fiberglass cut
Joe, this is a big project. Maybe you should state your intentions more clearly. Are you looking to rebuild the vessel to reclaim its original designed strengths, and sail out in the oceans of the world, or are you looking for something to keep at a dock and make occasional forrays out into protected waters?
Either way, it''s time to get serious. As an archetect, you may or may not know the abilities of the materials you are planning on dealing with. You said that you may use SS backing plates in the bilge. Did you know that if SS is kept submersed in water it will corrode? Better off using steel and encapsulating it. But the list goes on and on.
I am sure you are a capable handyman with tools. But remember, you will be staking your life, and the lives of your crew on your handiwork.
How great is your structural engineering knowledge in a marine environment? The dynamic cyclical forces are something that are truly eye opening to those who take a casual view, and "Just a bit of fiberglass and some paint, she''ll be good as new!" is a recipe for disaster.
Your keel not only has to hang on, but be able to take the force of a grounding, and stay attached. Plus handle all of the working loads, which are tens of thousands of pounds in dynamics. Jeff H. had some good suggestions and guidelines.
Your port side interior needs to have it''s bulkheads and stringers re attached. They need to be continuous lengths of structural marine ply. Okume works nicely and is Lloyds registered for marine use (at about $250 per 4X8X3/4 sheet!) Then they have to be properly tabbed in place, and I don''t mean a couple of small peices of glass and epoxy. They need to be carefully layered with oriented cloth, extending out 6 or so inches with maybe 7 - 10 layers for glass. Did you know that you cant just match the curve of the hull and glass directly to it? You have to make a cushion of some sort at the point of contact between the hull and the bulkhead/stringer. Otherwise you will end up with fatigued areas in the hull at the point of contact with the rigid wood and the flexible fiberglass of the hull. Delamination will then occur. And ultimately failure of the structure.
You also need to take a look at the chainplates for the port side, and all the reinforcements they require.
I began this with "This is a big project" and Joe, it really is. In my comments in the "Moving a boat thread" I have expressed my concerns. Like yourself, I took on a project boat of 37'' as well. I had to do major interior work and fabricating new bulkheads and stringers as well. All new wiring, electronics, plumbing, all deck hardware gone over, new running rigging, replacing any suspect standing rigging. The cost has been tremendous, but I am enjoying the results. I looked at a lot of projects, and also non-projects, but chose my boat and entered into it with my eyes wide open.
Please don''t take our comments lightly. This is a huge ammount of work, and the payoff will be a vessel that will be worth much less than the direct dollars invested, not to mention your man hours.