While my keel gently weeps... - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-26-2009
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While my keel gently weeps...

Crapola. I just lifted the ol gal to replace some lousy seacocks (1977 Orion S&S 35) and lo and behold if there wasn't a crack in the gel coat at the top of the keel. The bottom dried, but it just kept on weeping. I scraped back the layers of bottom paint and found a straight line all dark and, yes, weepy. Does this mean I have to drop the keel and reseat?

It's one thing after another. Rotten Core, Cracked Swagings, Smoky motor, Failed Seacocks... I have had her for almost 2 years now, and haven't sailed her once. Feeling discouraged and rather whiney. Someone tell me it's worth the pain.
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Old 05-26-2009
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If it is painful... then no, it's not. If you like sailing. Get a boat that is turn-key. If you like working on boats... get a wood one!
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Old 05-26-2009
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My previous boat, a Kells 28, had a fin keel with internal ballast...i.e. the fiberglass hull also included a fiberglass fin keel, and the cavity of the keel was filled by a mixture of resin and lead shot to get the ballast. In the 70's this was considered a good way to prevent leaks at keel bolts on bolt on keels and probably a more expensive method of construction. One year, I discovered ,at a haul out for semiannual bottom job, that the keel was weeping about a foot above the bottom near the trailing edge. (Actually, I knew something was wrong since the keel sump would gain water over time but the auto bilge pump kept things in check). From your description, it sounds as if you may actually have this type of keel assembly instead of the more normal (today) bolt on keel (i.e. bolt on keels are generally one piece castings of lead or iron). The yard ground open the the area that was weeping and a bit of the trailing edge. They put a heat lamp on it day and night for almost a month and eventually it stopped weeping and was dry enough to use epoxy to rebuild the ground away areas. I never had a problem with it after that. The cost was not very high and generally it was a happy ending. Apparently there was a void in the fiberglass/ballast mix, and probably at the previous haul out, the boat may have been set down unevenly with too much force on this hollowed out area in the keel, causing a fine crack, which allowed ingress of water when the boat was in the water. Hope your repair job works out as well.

Last edited by NCC320; 05-27-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 05-26-2009
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Great thread title, GilStump!
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Old 05-27-2009
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The aft stay is not staying long and now the keel is gently weeping. Oy!
If your boat were a Catalina they would call that the 'Catalina smile'.
As the previous poster suggested: this is a fixable situation.
I say owning a boat is good even if it is a waste of money, time and effort. I enjoy all of it; well, not the money part so much. You need to get out and do some sailing soon.
I'll send you a PM.
Cheer up.
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