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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-02-2009
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Oil in the Keel?

Priorities just got hauled out for some paint and TLC. While I was cleaning up the hull this weekend I noticed a little puddle of yellow-ish water under the leading edge of the keel (oh no!)

I took a peek and noticed a chip/crack in the leading edge of the keel (about the size of a dime maybe, hard to tell with the paint on). I poked at it a bit but couldn't really get at it as she was blocked pretty close to the ground. When I'd poke at it a bit more water (or what I thought was water) would wheep out a bit ($%^$!!!!).

Talked to a friend of mine who works at the yard, and he had their fiberglass guy look her over. It seems that what is coming out of it is Oil.. and not water (well it's a mix I suppose since there was a crack and water came in). They ground back a bit more glass to see what the crack looked like and it seems that some (they dont know how much) of the glass at the bottom of the keel is soaked with oil.

They checked out the bildge for crack's or leaks but didnt find any. The fluid that I saw this weekend did not seem like dirty (black) eng oil, but rather clean yellow-ish looking oil...

The yard seems to think that this could have been something that happened a long time ago, and has taken time to migrate into the bottom of the keel, or could have been in the bottom for a long time but wasn't noticed until the crack opened up...

The boat was hauled last year at the same yard, and I did not notice the crack (though it was out for just a day or two and I didn't do a very thorough job of looking at the bottom... I've never hit the ground with her, so I"m not exactly sure how the crack got there.....

Has anybody had this happen? Is this common? does anybody have any theories on where the source of the oil might have been or could be?

The yards recomendation was to grind back "the worst" of the soaked glass (to a point), dry it out the best they can, then seal over it with new glass. Obviously the new glass may not bond well to the old glass, but they seem to think that it should be ok with a "little luck".... The other option was to grind it back to they found solid glass, then glass it back over... though they said there was no way to know how far they'd have to grind and that doing that might open up all kinds of other problems...

Any thoughts from those that have been around a lot longer then I have????
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Old 09-02-2009
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This is what? An encapsulated keel?
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Old 09-02-2009
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What type of keel is this ? What is the ballast made up of. I ask because boat builders use various materials for the ballast especially in encapsulated keels. One builder I know of for instance, used stainless steel punchings mixed into the epoxy resin that was used in and encapsulkated keel ballast and often there is machine oil on these punchings which over time can collect and migrate to the lower areas of the keel. Ther are other mixes of ballst materials used also and oils could be introduced into the keel that way. Rick
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Old 09-02-2009
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D'oh

Should have put that in my original post. Priorities is a 1979 CAL 31. It has an encapsulated lead keel (3600lbs).

I had thought that this could be a byproduct of the manufacturing process... or perhaps if the keel bolts were ever drilled out oil might have been used to lube the drill... something like that...

More then anything I was just wondering if other people have run into this type of thing?? and how they might have handled it (or what they thought of what the yard is suggesting) and what the long term prognosis might be?

Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2009
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In looking at a 1970 Cal 29 we reached the conclusion that the lead was cast around two metal lifing hoops and lifted into the hull before the deck was installed

I have found a LOT of old INFO on google BUT the links are at home right now NOTHING i found got into any real detail about the ballast other than saying LEAD
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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