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post #1 of 13 Old 03-29-2012 Thread Starter
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Rusty iron keel

The following are pictures of the keel.
If I scrub it with a wire brush it looks a lot better.

I'm leaning to just getting a standard wire wheel for my drill and knocking off the worst of it.
Then sanding the existing bottom paint a little and coating it then going sailing.

It is a really big job to do anything else isn't it?

Picture 3 was before hand brushing fig 5 was after.
Any reason why I can't just use a steel home depot wheel. It's iron rust anyway yes?
What is the best way to prep the old bottom paint for a new coat?
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Last edited by davidpm; 03-29-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-29-2012
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Re: Rusty iron keel

For a proper job it needs sandblasting to bright metal followed immediately by an epoxy sealer.. there should be plenty of thread discussions on this here already.

Simply wire brushing and painting it will be the same routine every haulout.

Ron

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post #3 of 13 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Rusty iron keel

Do as Faster said, grind or sandblast the keel down, then put epoxy on it, then good for another 10+ yrs just rolling bottom pain, with the occasional "blister" that will pop thru.

You could as you say, grind and paint, sometime sooner than later, the above "WORK" will need to be done. Be it now, or next spring, as I think you have to haul in the winter do you not?

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Rusty iron keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
The following are pictures of the keel.
If I scrub it with a wire brush it looks a lot better.

I'm leaning to just getting a standard wire wheel for my drill and knocking off the worst of it.
Then sanding the existing bottom paint a little and coating it then going sailing.

It is a really big job to do anything else isn't it?

Picture 3 was before hand brushing fig 5 was after.
Any reason why I can't just use a steel home depot wheel. It's iron rust anyway yes?
What is the best way to prep the old bottom paint for a new coat?
I seem to be reposting my comments on this every couple of days.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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:
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 #5 of 13 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Rusty iron keel

David,
Talk to Brad about the iron keel deal with the Beneteau brand of boats. He has been dealing with this issue for a while on his Bene 505. It would seem that Bendytoe likes to make their keels out of iron or some alloy. I'm glad my ballast is encased in the hull of my boat, for now.

The old school remedy for rust used to be Naval Jelly (available at any hardware store, oxalic acid or Bartender's Friend?) which you rubbed on and let it work. It is acidic and removes the rust but works best with mechanical cleaning as well.


Bartenders Friend will also clean up your slime line at the waterline if you had one. I'm just a happy customer. You might be able to get oxalic acid crystals from a local hardware store.

Good luck with this project.

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post #6 of 13 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Rusty iron keel

FWIW I prepped several steel keels with a hand grinder, followed by five coats of straight West epoxy put on with a brush, with just removing high spots in between, and the keels were spotless when the boats were sold a few years later.

20 hours to do a 30 footer keel, the pain is waiting between the five coats.

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post #7 of 13 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Rusty iron keel

On my previous boat, I stripped the iron keel using chemical paint stripper, then sanded and applied several coats of Interprotect 2000. No problems with adhesion.
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Re: Rusty iron keel

Clearly the best route is sandblasting. But you can (and I have) do a credible job with a chipping hammer, wire wheel and good steel primers. Commercial and military vessels are maintained this way all the time
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Re: Rusty iron keel

I have (so far) had good luck with repairs to our Beneteau cast iron keel. We wire brushed the keel back to shiny metal, treated some of the deeper pits with several applications of Ospho, and then painted the entire keel with 3 coats of Pettit Rustlok Primer. Once that cured, we filled and faired the surface with West systems, applied a final bottom paint primer and then two coats of bottom paint. The foregoing has held up for several years with no signs of failure.

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post #10 of 13 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Rusty iron keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingStar View Post
Clearly the best route is sandblasting. But you can (and I have) do a credible job with a chipping hammer, wire wheel and good steel primers. Commercial and military vessels are maintained this way all the time
"All the time" being the operative words here. When was the last time you saw one with no rust streaks?
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