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teredosn 04-14-2010 03:34 PM

New boats with cast iron keel, should I have it removed an sealed/painted?
I became the owner of '76 MacGregor Venture 23 yesterday. She is very good shape overall including, in so far as I can tell, the cast iron keel. However I plan, for at least this year, to put her in the cold as salty waters of Puget Sounds at my local marina for the remainder of the spring and summer and then pull her back out onto her trailer for the winter. I'm trying to decide if it is a good idea, or even practical, to have the local boat yard remove the iron keel and have it cleaned up and then sealed with epoxy or treated with some of the other systems I've been researching on these forums.

What's the general opinion? Would you pull the keel and make sure it has protection right from the start or am I worrying about this too much and should just plop her in, sail her for the summer and then re-address in fall when I pull her out?

LandLocked66c 04-14-2010 03:49 PM

Good question! I'll be interested to hear opinions as well.

sailingdog 04-14-2010 03:53 PM

If the keel is in good shape with no damage to the finish, I would recommend waiting until the fall to do that....The yard will likely have fewer things going on than in the spring, with all the boat commissioning-related projects, and it might be less expensive to do.

BOLTER33 04-14-2010 03:55 PM

castiron on 2004 beneteau 42
I had her bottom painted at time of purchase in 2007, 3 months later diver said there were signs of oxidation. figured Id let it slide for a while and see how it went. I was planning on an expensive barrier coating and refairing but the manager of a busy yard here in san diego says thats typical. He said normal repaint 2-3 years and the standard price would include rust spot removal and minor refairing. I hope I am not being too lax about this.

Liquorice 04-14-2010 08:07 PM

It's been on there since 1976!
I doubt previous owners have been as worried as you.
If it looks OK now, a few months won't hurt it too much.
( the way, they are real easy to get out)
sam :-)

teredosn 04-14-2010 09:28 PM


Originally Posted by Liquorice (Post 593121)
( the way, they are real easy to get out)
sam :-)

I imagine. In theory it is the same as on my SF Pelican but 580 lbs heavier... Once I get the trailer up to my house on Saturday I'll look at it. I figure there is at least some chance that I could get the rack it sits on out of the way and simply raise the trailer up and away from it.

I admit I'm shy about supporting the weight of the hull on anything other than trailer bunks or the sling hoist as I see elsewhere. I did happen onto one web site where the owner floated the boat off the keel leaving it sitting in a 4x4 rack on the trailer. That seems iffy to me for some reason though.

Thanks for the replies so far.

mitiempo 04-14-2010 10:28 PM

The boat's weight should be supported on the keel. That is the strongest structure of the hull. The trailer bunks are there only to stabilize the boat. Hulls often get deformed by improper support from trailers or boatyard jackstands.

teredosn 04-14-2010 11:13 PM


Originally Posted by mitiempo (Post 593165)
The boat's weight should be supported on the keel. That is the strongest structure of the hull.

This is a swing keel. If one were to support the weight of the boat on it all 1400 lbs of the hull would be concentrated at the pivot point. No?

mitiempo 04-14-2010 11:49 PM

Does the swing keel pivot up into a stub or is it exposed? If it is exposed the hull should be supported evenly on both sides of the keel for a substantial portion of the boat's length. If it pivots into a stub it is strong enough to take the weight and the boat should be supported by this.

teredosn 04-15-2010 12:08 AM

Ah, I see where you were going with it. No, it doesn't have a stub like, for example, an O'Day 22. It has a centerboard trunk in the cabin and a flush slot on the bottom.

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