Join Date: May 2009
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Any thoughts/criticisms on my repair idea?
I've got a Helms 25 with a fixed shoal keel and a steel plate swing keel.
Keel trunk immediately surrounding/supporting the swing keel pivot pin is delaminating and soft on both sides. Of course, since it's below the waterline, outside water is finding its way in - in copious amounts.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE:
I'm sure I'll have to cut away all the delaminated glass and rebuild it form the inside out with glass and epoxy resin.
MY PLANS (THIS IS WHERE I NEED INPUT):
I plan to support the swing keel and leave it in place while I work, so that the new keel pin holes will be properly situated and aligned. Working on one side at a time I will cut/grind/sand away the damaged area back to sound material and leave it at 12:1. I expect this will take me all the way through to the steel plate of the swing keel.
Rebuilding, I plan to start with a double layer of heavy cardstock waxed on the side facing away from the swing keel. I'll put an appropriately sized bushing over the keel pin and begin building up layers of glass cloth and matting (cut out for the bushing) 4 layers at a time. After 8 layers I plan to epoxy in a piece of marine plywood drilled out for the bushing, and follow up with 8 more layers of cloth and matting, or enough to bring the level flush with the outside of the bushing.
The original design just sealed the whole thing with a stainless plate, rubber gasket, and 4 screws. If I can't come up with something more elegant and reliably water tight I'll probably use the same.
First - does this sound like it will work?
Second - will the marine grade plywood be OK in the spot I intend to put it, or should I get starboard, HDPE, or just many more layers of glass?
Third - this boat will only ever be in fresh water - can I use brass for the bushings or do I need to turn up a source for bronze or stainless? If I will need the specialty items give me a hint where I could get this type of thing.
Fourth - what am I not thinking of? I'm making this up as I go and I don't want to miss something and cause more harm than good.