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  #1  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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encapsulated keel?

While cleaning the bottom of the keel today I noticed a few places on the bottom where the fiberglass is coming off the keel about 1'x1'. Behind all I can assume is the lead keel. Is this a big deal? Its coming off where we went aground several times. I know not every keel is encapsulated, so why are any of them?
I can fix it when I haul out this fall, but must I? I do not want the boat to be unsafe, or "get worse" because I ignored it. I also do not want to make a hard project out of something I could simply cut off and paint.
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Re: encapsulated keel?

Back in in time ballast was internal. Full kneels were easy to fill with whatever..boats like ours are about the same. Lead great, lead and resin, cement, iron, whateverer, The problem is water, even worse, ice. Resin dosen't bond they didn't' use epoxy. Soon water gets between the glass and the whatever ballast there is. Then we start to see things like blisters bubbles peeling or worse!
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Re: encapsulated keel?

Keep it dry.
I've been noticing one of my small bilges is dry, after the winter freeze up. I wasn't in October. Now if I put water in it, (hauled out), the water is gone three days later.
It has leaked into the encapsulated keel. Not good. My shiprite says I have to seal it, or the situation will get worse.
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Re: encapsulated keel?

Hmmm, well I guess the nice thing about the bottom of the keel is I can remove the separated parts, and do some fiberglass work. Even if it comes out looking like crap, no one will know :P
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Re: encapsulated keel?

The danger with encapsulated keels is rusting of the iron. Ferric oxide (red rust) is less dense that iron and therefore can produce a LOT of pressure as it forms, potentially pushing and separating the 'fiberglass' apart and dropping the ballast out the now open bottom - a vastly much more rare event than failing keel bolts of a bolt on keel.
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Re: encapsulated keel?

Mine is lead.
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Re: encapsulated keel?

An encapsulated keel in one that has the ballast inside the hull. External keels (non-encapsulated) are bolted on. External keels will often have a thin layer of fiberglass as fairing. Sounds like this is what you have. The lead often gets exposed on groundings. Easy to fix on the next haulout.

Exposed lead on an encapsulated keel (no keel bolts) will be a bigger problem.

To get epoxy to stick to lead it can be "sanded in". West Systems has a write up on this...somewhere. Basically the first layer of epoxy is applied to the clean metal with gritty sandpaper.
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Re: encapsulated keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post
Mine is lead.
Then you're damn lucky. Just 'strength fix' the hole.
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Re: encapsulated keel?

1' by 1' ... A square foot? Wow those are big. And a few of them? Or did you mean inches?
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Re: encapsulated keel?

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Originally Posted by aloof View Post
1' by 1' ... A square foot? Wow those are big. And a few of them? Or did you mean inches?
Entirely contained in that one area. 1 foot squared. Wonder if anyone has ever tried to install a stainless steel "toe guard" on one. Something bolted, and epoxied onto the forward and bottom of the keel to protect it from dragging and getting wore off, as mine did.
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