Small crack and rust stain on the side of the keel - SailNet Community

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Old 01-11-2009
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Small crack and rust stain on the side of the keel

I have a Hunter 29.5 1996.

As I understand it has top portion of the keel encapsulated and at the bottom I have lead bulb with a small wings.

I have small crack on the side of the keel with a rust stain.

I was wondering if somebody can give advices on what it could be and what should I do to fix it.

I assume water is sipping down the keel bolt and is getting out in that spot. I would assume I have to stop leak from the bilge and repair this crack on the side of the keel.

I usually have about Ĺ inch of water in the bilge because pump canít get all water completely.







Igor
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Old 01-11-2009
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If water is coming from the boat, it seems the crack is really bad. It is best to remove the keel and check the extent of the crack. Although the bolts might be responsible, the crack is connected to these holes, which means the crack is extending to the top. If this is the situation the boat should be getting water from this crack. Remove the keel, repair the crack by welding if possible, check the top connection and weld the top also. Although the position of the crack might not cause mechanical problems (breaking of the keel) it is best to be on the safe side.
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Old 01-11-2009
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This appears to be simply a crack in the finish of what is probably a cast iron fin (with the bulb/wing in lead?). Not unusual nor of any great concern. The best long term treatment for something like this is to remove the finish on the iron portion (glass beading or soda blasting to bare metal) and then immediately seal the whole thing thoroughly with an epoxy seal coat.

It's EXTREMELY unlikely that this is coming from inside the boat. If it is then all the Hunter bashing is more justified than I'd think. More likely it's moisture trapped behind the damaged finish and causing the rusting stain.

btw, ichorniy... when posting your photobucket pics, paste the IMG CODE link and the pics will be embedded in your post and we don't have to open the pictures in a separate window.
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Last edited by Faster; 01-11-2009 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 01-11-2009
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I'm inclined to agree with Faster. It looks like you have a cast iron keel, which are notorious for this kind of surface rust. Yours is in the very early stages and can likely be easily remedied by sanding/grinding and re-sealing. There are some threads here on Sailnet that address this sort of maintenance.

Double check your boat specs and see if your keel isn't cast iron.
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Old 01-11-2009
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Keel is lead, or at least it should be...

Thanks for all responses! I had the boat surveyed before the purchase. Surveyor said that this cosmetic is not serious but I need to fix it in the next season or two to prevent spread. Survey itself doesn't even mention this small crack. "Keel is sound, hull to keel joint is sound, and no signs of grounding". After season in the water crack didn't get any worse. We also have early and harsh winter in Toronto this year. I was worried that if any moisture is trapped inside it will expand. But so far after almost 3 month on the hard with temp of -20C at night I can't see any expansion.

As per spec keel is lead.

But i found this review, which said that top portion of the keel is encapsulated and bottom is lead bulb.

"This is the first fibreglass keel ballast arrangement that I have liked. There are those who favour external lead keels bolted firmly to the bottom of the hull and others who like a fibreglass keel with internal lead because there are no holes destroying the integrity of the hull. My usual argument against a glass-moulded keel with internal ballast is that, when (not if) the boat runs aground, the fibreglass gets damaged and is more difficult to repair than lead. More importantly, it water gets in between the lead and fibreglass and freezes in the winter, it can break the bond between the two and further damage the fibreglass. The Hunter 29.5 has added a new twist. A fibreglass keel is moulded as part of the hull and then an internal casting in set in place. A lead bulb/wing casting with a recess to accept the lower part of the fibreglass fin, is slipped on and bolted up through the fibreglass and internal ballast. The benefits of this arrangement are: a keel that comes from the hull-to-ballast joint that could flex or crack and a lead shoe to absorb the impact of grounding."

Design Review "Sensible Solutions" By Steve Killing...

First time posting pictures, I will do better next time.

Since know I know that keel is encapsulated lead I start to wonder from there rust stain is coming.

JP, would you have more information on keel repair posts? Sailnet search is not the most efficient one. Or I maybe donít know how to use it properly but if you type keel it will bring all post about keel and there hundreds of them.
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Old 01-11-2009
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Try this:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/search...earchid=279229

Lots of keep repair info.
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Old 01-11-2009
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next step

Thanks bljones that was helpful!

I think I will follow these steps posted by sailingfool at some of the previous posts:

This should be a simple DIY repair.
- Buy a supply of West Expoxy and microballoon filler.
- Use a putty knife or chisel to cut off the skin
- Grind the lead bright with a wire wheel or abrasive disk
- Clean and immediately brush on a coat of epoxy.
- Apply and sand additional coats of epoxy/microballoon paste
until the reapir is faired to your satisfaction, then paint. Read product directions as to time, temp, solvents to use, etc.

----

After this I will monitor for 2-3 seasons and go from there...

PS. I have a moisture meter and I checked keel all around it seem that moisture measurements are consistent all around the keel. So I don't think I have pool of water sitting behind that crack...
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Old 01-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichorniy View Post

PS. I have a moisture meter and I checked keel all around it seem that moisture measurements are consistent all around the keel. So I don't think I have pool of water sitting behind that crack...

Consistently high!! Moisture meters will read between 1/2 - 3/4" deep into the substrate. The fairing on the keel is generally less than 1/8". Moisture meters show metals as high moisture on the gauge!! There is no sense in using a moisture meter over the lead or iron portions of a keel unless you have an unusually thick fairing over it.. You can use it over the keel stub but again moisture meters interpret metals as moisture and bottom paints can send the squirly..

That crack goes with the territory on an iron keel..
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This is interesting... the implication from Killing's comments seem to indicate that the "fin" portion is molded and filled with a cast billet of ballast and that the winged bulb is bolted through the works.. If so rust in that area is very strange indeed.

The other interesting aside to this is your surveyor's comment that the "hull/keel joint was sound" - if the above description is correct there is no hull/keel joint per se.

I suspect that perhaps just a part of the fin section is molded, and that there is a cast-keel-to-molded part joint part way up the "fin" - but I've been unable to find any drawings to support that idea...(so far)
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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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