cast iron keel treatment - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-29-2012 Thread Starter
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cast iron keel treatment

I have p26 who's cast iron keel was never properly treated. The marina quoted me near 1k to soda blast ad barrier coat the keel. I would try soda blasting it myself but the marina only allows its staff to do any soda blasting. The alternative would be for me to get out there with a grinder and do the thing by hand which I imagine could get old real fast. Questions are:
Is the marina price worth it?
Would hand grinding and barrier coating the keel myself be with the savings?
Or should I just leave the keel as is?

Leona - Pearson 26 - Annapolis
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-29-2012
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I've done this job too many times on customers boats (before soda we sand blasted with Black Beauty a slag bi-product), believe me, it's worth the 1k unless you are 20. Consider that they supply the space, labor, material, cleanup, warranty, disposal PLUS liability for contamination, complaining neighbors, EPA . . .
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-29-2012
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I think the marina price is reasonable. While I would not take on stripping a bottom, I would do the keel myself and have done three or four in the past. Usually the stuff on a steel keel is not too well attached anyway, and I would think you could strip a 26 footers keel with a grinder in a few hours.

I would put five coats of West System epoxy over the clean metal, be sure to do the first coat as soon as you put the grinder down. There are several other threads about this prep.

Get it right once and you are not likely to need to do it again in the foreseeable future.

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post #4 of 22 Old 02-29-2012
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The marina price seems "reasonable", but we don't know about your financial situation or ability to do your own labor.

If it was me, I would do it myself. Materials will should run less than $400 and I would save or spend the other $600 on something else

errr.... does that 1K include the haul out or is it already out? That could change my answer...
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-29-2012
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the thing is about cast iron and rust is that the iron builds ir own protective barrier against futher oxidation [scales and rust] if you remove that barrier you only expose it to even more destruction,i doubt theres any sort of paint or other chemicals that will last long,i would just leave the existing rust/scale alone and only paint over it with antifoulent
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-29-2012 Thread Starter
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Are you saying that leaving the rust would not cause any long term harm or break down the keel?

The boat is already out of the water. Itd be 500 or the soda blasting 150 for materials and 350 for labor. So in theory it'd only be costing me 800 since I'd have to buy materials also if I went at it myself. Thoughts?
I'm leaning towards having the marina do it just to avoid messing it up my self and having it done right the first time.

Leona - Pearson 26 - Annapolis
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjones View Post
Are you saying that leaving the rust would not cause any long term harm or break down the keel?

The boat is already out of the water. Itd be 500 or the soda blasting 150 for materials and 350 for labor. So in theory it'd only be costing me 800 since I'd have to buy materials also if I went at it myself. Thoughts?
I'm leaning towards having the marina do it just to avoid messing it up my self and having it done right the first time.
In that case I might pay the yard the $500 bucks to soda blast it. Then barrier/coat/ epoxy the thing myself. Applying the coats wont take long at all on a boat that size. You will probably spend more time mixing, waiting around for coats to dry and cleaning up. Not exactly back breaking labor
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-29-2012
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Pay for the blasting - you can't get the metal "white" enough with grinding and sanding. It also takes so long that the first parts have started to oxidize before you get the last parts finished.

There have been a number of posts about this process in the past. I'll dig up one of mine and re-post it - may give you some pointers.

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post #9 of 22 Old 02-29-2012
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Iron Keel Prep.

Here's some info on doing it properly for a long lasting, fair finish.

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From the research I've done it seems to me the best approach is to sandblast the keel white, then immediately apply a base layer of epoxy. Any recommendations as to what to use for the base layer? Is something like WEST systems alright, or is a zinc enriched epoxy necessary?
Sandblasting is correct - any grinding method will not clean ALL the pitted areas fully and future failures will start there. Just use regular epoxy resin as a seal coat - nothing fancy, just get it on right after blasting and a solvent wipe. You can't even leave this step overnight. West is only more expensive - 4 times as much as the industrial no-name resin I use. Stone fabricators - counter tops etc. use a lot of epoxy - check around and you'll save $hundreds.

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Moving on to a filler, again is WEST ok? and how many coats is recommended?
Again, West only costs more. Get a cement bag of industrial talc for about $20. It makes the most beautifully sanding filler you have ever experienced. Mix it to peanut butter consistency with epoxy and you probably won't even have any pinholes to fill after sanding.[/Quote]

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Many people claim to use a notched squeegee or trowel to apply the epoxy, and then fill in between the created lines? is this necessary?
This makes it MUCH easier to get an even coat. Unless you're an experienced plasterer, using a plain trowel will give you a very uneven thickness. You do NOT want to sand through to metal, ever, or you will have to start over there. You want a reasonably thick finished coat - 1/8" min. is my preference - in order to ensure the metal stays buried.

Get an autobody longboard sander - they look kind of like an old smoothing plane, about 18" long and take pre-cut strips of sandpaper. This will help you fair up your keel - mine ended up looking like it had been templated.

I finished mine off with 3 coats of epoxy resin and 3 coats of Interprotect (there was still discussion as to the best sealer at that time). Now I'd just use Interprotect for all coats.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawingknots View Post
the thing is about cast iron and rust is that the iron builds ir own protective barrier against futher oxidation [scales and rust] if you remove that barrier you only expose it to even more destruction,i doubt theres any sort of paint or other chemicals that will last long,i would just leave the existing rust/scale alone and only paint over it with antifoulent
I think you are confusing iron with aluminium - iron will rust all the way through, given enough time. I had keel bolts that were corroded 1/2 way through and thin areas of my keel were completely perforated. Rust NEVER sleeps.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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