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  #1  
Old 06-18-2007
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Glassed in keel bolts

This spring I had my Sun Odissey 36.2 hauled out for the second time since I bought her and I had to deal again with a feature that continues to puzzle me. The keelbolts are completely encapsulated in glass, which would be a great idea if corrosion only could penetrate from the top. Unfortunately The whole keel has had corrosion problems that initiated from the keel/hull interface. The first time I had to grind and epoxy 40% of the keel, and two years later I had again to address some corrosion areas. The biggest problem is the pocket at the top of the keel that is cutout to accomodate a small bilge portruding from the flat bottom hull. There is a space around the boxlike bilge that was originally filled with corrugatedd cardboard (!? what were they thinking???) and since the pocket in the metal is open on the port side and closed on the opposite it is almost impossible to clean and dry. So after trying to finish from the outside with glass and epoxy two years ago, I now found a huge blisterlike shape developing and I had again to try to clean it and glass it in, with the prospect that it will be forever part of the routine when hauling out.
The issue that bothers me is that with encapsulated keelbotls that I cannot inspect, and corrosion problems starting from the joint, I don't know how long this system will keep the keel in place until I loose it without any warning signs.
Anybody got any clue what the designers were thinking on an otherwise well thought out boat?

Last edited by mpraca; 06-18-2007 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 06-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpraca
This spring I had my Sun Odissey 36.2 hauled out for the second time since I bought her and I had to deal again with a feature that continues to puzzle me. The keelbolts are completely encapsulated in glass, which would be a great idea if corrosion only could penetrate from the top. Unfortunately The whole keel has had corrosion problems that initiated from the keel/hull interface. The first time I had to grind and epoxy 40% of the keel, and two years later I had again to address some corrosion areas. The biggest problem is the pocket at the top of the keel that is cutout to accomodate a small bilge portruding from the flat bottom hull. There is a space around the boxlike bilge that was originally filled with corrugatedd cardboard (!? what were they thinking???) and since the pocket in the metal is open on the port side and closed on the opposite it is almost impossible to clean and dry. So after trying to finish from the outside with glass and epoxy two years ago, I now found a huge blisterlike shape developing and I had again to try to clean it and glass it in, with the prospect that it will be forever part of the routine when hauling out.
The issue that bothers me is that with encapsulated keelbotls that I cannot inspect, and corrosion problems starting from the joint, I don't know how long this system will keep the keel in place until I loose it without any warning signs.
Anybody got any clue what the designers were thinking on an otherwise well thought out boat?
It is a French boat... probably had French designers...
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Old 06-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
It is a French boat... probably had French designers...
I'm sorry that I have to point out that... most boats are French. That doesn't explain it.
Thanks for your insight, though.
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Could you post a photo of the bilge/box setup? I'm having trouble picturing it and why they would set it up that way... Unfortunately, keel bolts, IMHO, should not be encapsulated—they should be easily and clearly accessible.
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Old 06-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Could you post a photo of the bilge/box setup? I'm having trouble picturing it and why they would set it up that way... Unfortunately, keel bolts, IMHO, should not be encapsulated—they should be easily and clearly accessible.
I'm attaching an image of the keel as it came out of the water. It is not visible but the patch mid point along the joint is the glassed area behind which is the bilge. The problem is that on the other side of the keel the bilge is not accessible, meaning that there is a pocket in the metal with a wall in the back. That is almost impossible to clean and dry before glassing over the exposed part. As you can see that promotes infiltration which in this case ran along the hole joint.
I am wondering if there is something I can inject around the bilge that will seal the interface with the keel and stop the corrosion action that I think is starting from the inside.
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Glassed in keel bolts-keelcorrosion.jpg  
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Old 06-18-2007
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I don't understand the cardboard thing. I would think a bead of caulking around the outside and inside seam would seal it. Could treat the pocket in the keel with epoxy. I don't see any need to treat the keel bolts, although they could be sealed too.

What yard are you in? I might be able to meet you there and help come up with some ideas. I am planning on buying a Jeanneau so I am interested in their issues.
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UGh... I don't like the looks of that keel-hull join... If you get a chance, post a picture of the inside.
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Old 06-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene T
I don't understand the cardboard thing. I would think a bead of caulking around the outside and inside seam would seal it. Could treat the pocket in the keel with epoxy. I don't see any need to treat the keel bolts, although they could be sealed too.

What yard are you in? I might be able to meet you there and help come up with some ideas. I am planning on buying a Jeanneau so I am interested in their issues.
Thanks for your interest, but this was a few weeks ago. The boat is back in the water. For clarity this picture is from two years ago. Back then I sealed the joint with 3M 5200 and that part was good after two years. I think I have pictures of the work being done this year but unfortunately I haven't been able to find them. I'll come back if I find them.
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Old 06-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
UGh... I don't like the looks of that keel-hull join... If you get a chance, post a picture of the inside.
Here is the look from inside. As the image shows the small bilge is inside the keel. What I am not able to show is that the keel pocket fot the bilge is only open on the port side, so it's very hard to clean out the space and fill with some sealant. Besides, that space was filled with corrugated cardboard which absorbs water and makes cleaning even harder. Any atempt to clean and seal I think is hopeless.
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Glassed in keel bolts-bilge03.jpg  
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It looks like the only place for water to get into the keel joint would be at the top of the keel to the hull bottom, or about 1 inch below the opening in the sump. Sealing there should be sufficient to prevent any water from getting in there. I don't understand the cardboard thing. There shouldn't be anything like that. Whatever it is it should be removed.
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