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SailingRandy 01-09-2008 08:47 AM

Hull/Keel Joint Can of Worms
I know I am opening a can of worms, but the situation looks serious.

I've got my 1976 Paceship PY26 in town for some deck work. I knew I had some hull/keel joint work, but now I am wondering if I don't need to do something more.
I can't post a pic because I don't have enough posts yet - Argh! (I just got them in!)

You can see where the ice has formed from water coming out.
The keel is cast iron, 2,200lbs. I was going to dig out the cracked joint material which was placed there by the previous owner and replace with a sealer like Sikaflex. Now I am wondering if i need to drop the keel enough to clean out and rebed and then change bolts - although they look good from the topside.

My question is when is it time to drop the keel instead of just sealing and painting? I don't think I want to refair the rea with fiberglass again as the previous owner's work didn't last.

Rockter 01-09-2008 08:57 AM

Oh dear. frost action won't help either.
Throw a big handful of salt into the bilge and around this joint to try to stop the freeze and re-freeze frost action.
When in the water, it probably did not happen.

Idiens 01-09-2008 09:04 AM

Yes painful. I fear the proper thing to do is lift the boat off the keel and tidy it all up.

You donīt mention if the keel is actually leaking around the keel bolts, although the water coming back out suggests it might be. The forces on the hull-keel joint are massive, so sealing it all up and holding it water tight is always difficult. Especially at the fore and aft ends where flexible hull meets inflexible keel.

You will need a stronger sealant than Sikaflex.

I read in some magazines that one is supposed to pull a different keel bolt each year to inspect and if needed replace. I had enough difficulties undoing the nuts on the studs, let alone remove the studs from the keel - I think they were cast into the lead in my boats case.

sailingdog 01-09-2008 09:35 AM

I think you will probably be better off removing the keel and then resealing it completely. The formation of ice has probably damaged the area to some degree, so dropping the keel and checking for damage would the minimum you should be doing. Might as well bite the bullet and inspect all the keelbolts, as well as the keel and the bilge keel box. Then you can clean it all up, replace any bolts that look questionable, and seal it back up and know it is in good shape rather than worrying about it.

Rockter 01-10-2008 06:33 AM

Salt it up in the meantime.
You don't want it freezing and thawing.

SailingRandy 01-10-2008 07:18 AM

Thanks for the replies-although it was what I was hoping not to hear!
The bilge is filled with antifreeze so I can't tell if any water came in.
The boat sits on a trailer about 20 yards from a shop on my friend's place. I have strung electricity out there and built a shed around the boat. My question is "How do I support the keel as I crank up the supports to lift the boat?" I think moving the keel is out of the question, but it may be that I just haven't thought of how to do it.
Anybody with more ideas? Anybody done this before?

mikehoyt 01-10-2008 10:20 AM


Funny - I have a brother Randy who used to own a PY 26 - small world.

Depending on the length of the keel bolts you may get away with what I did on my Niagara 26 (OK not my boat anymore but still...)

I also had seepage into the bilge around the keel bolts and decided to rebed the keel. I backed off all nuts about 2-3 inches as I had that much extra bolt in the bilge. Then I lifted the hull up just about the same abount. This kept the keel in line but seperated from boat enough to clean the joint. Then I used a lot of 3M 5200 and lowered the boat and then tourqued the nuts. Never leaked since.

Some might argue that 5200 will be overkill as you cannot remove the keel in future. However in my case I wanted the keel to stay in place.


Idiens 01-10-2008 11:25 AM

You have to build a frame to support the keel in its upright position before lifting the boat off. Usually, it's very difficult to get the hull to come off, it's stuck on by habit.

alaska67 01-10-2008 01:13 PM

See this thread
take a look at this thread currently going on over in "sailboat design and construction"

it may be the same thing going on with your own keel.

SailingRandy 01-10-2008 11:32 PM

alaska67, Are You Trying to Scare Me?

I have gone back to the Paceship websight to see if anyone knows if there is plywood in there. If so, then we're looking at a different way to handle this project.
BTW, Thanks for the valuable lead!

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