Bristol 24 keel repair - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-26-2011 Thread Starter
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Bristol 24 keel repair

Hey there sailneter's! I am new to your site, and have a new old bristol 24, 1975. So, here's the situation: Boat has been on hard for 3 years (supposedly).seems pretty solid in bulkheads and chainplates, and is mainly complete in terms of hardware and sails and whatnot.
The most immediate issue is the keel. It has an encapsulated keel, with 1 keel bolt rotten in the bilge, and a dull sound on keel outside at same area. I was told that this is a "void" and to drill out area to drain and dry. The area is in the middle and was told it is not a 2 piece lead, which I now doubt. the prob is that I drilled it out and lead was right behind the seperated fiberglass, no "void".
Is there anyone out there who has done this type of work and could give a pointer? My original Idea was to fill drilled holes with epoxy/filler and replace exposed keel bolt. Now I am thinking cut seperated fiberglass out, dry it, fill if neccessary, and re attach fiberglass cutout. I wonder if it is structurly sound or should I add more keel bolts near middle? Also, should I assume that water(black not rusty) entered thru keel bolt as it is still there years later?
Thanks for any Info.
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-26-2011
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What does the keel bolt do as your keel is encapsulated? I have never seen an encapsulated keel with a bolt. With inside ballast as you have the outer hull is thick but the fiberglass on the inside over the ballast isn't strong enough to bolt anything to usually. Do you have a picture you could post?

Brian
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-26-2011
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There are no keel bolts on my 1976 Bristol 24. The lead is encapsualated in the forward 2/3's and lower 12 inches of the keel. There is a void in the back 1/3, lower part of the keel. In my boat, this was full of wet sawdust. I cut a hand hole, and cleaned it out. I filled the void with epoxy mixed with wood flour until it was like peanut butter. That was just to keep water from collecting and freezing in there.

Not sure what the bolt could be. Maybe it just held the floor timber?



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post #4 of 11 Old 03-27-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks for that info. I thought it was a bolt because when inspecting the bilge, under the cover board, there seemed to be a bolt head under a layer or two of fiberglass. directly aft under the sole there is a spot that has brown wet rust looking stuff. It appears to be the spot where water intruded into the keel. I just assumed it was a bolt. I planned on drilling it out, and putting a sister nearby.I will have a picture soon.
So I guess the lead is secured by only the fiberglass surrounding it? Is there any empirical knowledge about the lead being 1 piece? Thanks
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-27-2011
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The ballast on the Bristol/Sailstar 24 (Corsairs) was iron boiler punchings castinto concrete. The ballast was cast in a separate mold and then set in a polyester resin slurry. It is very important to keel the ballast dry and adhered to the encapulation envelope since water will cause the ballast to rust and blow apart the ballast and encapsulation as the rusing iorn expand. Once the ballast gets wet it is hard to dry since the the concrete will hold moisture for a long time. Ideally you can open this area up, drain it and allow it to dry for a reasonable period of time. Then once the concrete is dry, glass the opening shut with epoxy and glass.

Jeff


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post #6 of 11 Old 03-27-2011
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"The ballast on the Bristol/Sailstar 24 (Corsairs) was iron boiler punchings castinto concrete."

Many of the Sailstar Corsairs and later Bristol 24's had concrete and steel ballast. My 1976 Bristol 24 with a diesel inboard has 3000 pounds of lead ballast. ( i've actually seen the lead during a hull repair.) I know of several other Bristol 24's with and without the diesels that have lead ballast. If the bilge is about a foot deep; it has lead ballast. If it is only 2 or 3 inches deep; it has concrete and steel ballast.

I don't know if the boats were special ordered with lead, or they switched to lead in the later production years.



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post #7 of 11 Old 03-28-2011
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Many lurk on both, but, you might also want to post on the bristolboatowners group on yahoo.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-28-2011
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Hi Jeff
Hope this post finds you, your inbox is full.
Thanks for the quick response concerning this. I very much appreciate your expertise. I am of the same train of thought precisely on the repair. The idea of drilling a bunch of holes below the water line really doesn't feel good, but the thought of rupturing the hull in an uncontrolled environment would be way worse. I spoke with my local fiber glass guy and we both feel your explanation to be right on, so thats what Im going to do. At this point Im really hoping to find it dry behind the hull as I dont want to tear up the cabin sole, but we'll see what happens.
Thanks again,
Bryan

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
The ballast on the Bristol/Sailstar 24 (Corsairs) was iron boiler punchings castinto concrete. The ballast was cast in a separate mold and then set in a polyester resin slurry. It is very important to keel the ballast dry and adhered to the encapulation envelope since water will cause the ballast to rust and blow apart the ballast and encapsulation as the rusing iorn expand. Once the ballast gets wet it is hard to dry since the the concrete will hold moisture for a long time. Ideally you can open this area up, drain it and allow it to dry for a reasonable period of time. Then once the concrete is dry, glass the opening shut with epoxy and glass.

Jeff
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-04-2011 Thread Starter
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I was able to grind back all the wet area in the bilge where i think (possibly) there once was a steel bolt of some sort, and get it dry. there was no concrete, just a big lump of lead. now I am looking at a spot in the centerline(+,-) forward, that i ground down to expose a bit that looks like a square bolt head. magnet sticks to it.
So this is enclosed keel, whats with the chunk of steel? I'm gonna reglass area inside bilge, should I not worry? or could this be some earlier prob to keep lead structured? all seems solid besides. thanks for any ideas
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-04-2011
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maybe it was used to lift keel casting into place and glassed over!?
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