Crack in front of encapsulated keel - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-09-2012 Thread Starter
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Crack in front of encapsulated keel

Walking around the boat today I noticed a crack at the front of my encapsulated keel. I have never seen this crack before, not sure what happened here ... my boat has been on the "hard" for about 9 months and maybe it has something to do with how it has been sitting. I haven't hit anything hard. Who knows but at any rate the crack looked fresh, no signs of water having entered it. The crack is right below where the mast support post meets a side-to-side (latitudinal?) stringer. There seems to be a soft or separated layer of laminate about 1/8" deep that I can stick a screwdriver into. I can access the inside of the hull in front of the crack, and there is a fore-aft running crack visible there (last picture).

My questions are:

-How big of a deal is this? Is this a sign of some serious structural issues?

-How do I fix this? Can I just bevel the crack out a half inch now, fill with thickened epoxy, and launch? I am guessing a full 12:1 bevel and laying in new fiberglass mat/cloth over this area would be the best solution?

Thanks.
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Keel crack 1.jpg   Keel crack 2.jpg   Keel crack 3.jpg  

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Last edited by FishFinder; 08-09-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Crack in front of encapsulated keel

All
Good - epoxy is best, but you could use bubble gum and it would be fine
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Crack in front of encapsulated keel

That's a big deal. I'd have an expert look at it. Not somebody who might get paid to fix it, somebody who gets paid to assess it.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Looks like a grounding stress fracture that's been there for some time and having just made itself visible on the outside of the hull. Is the keel fully supported or loaded up too much on the hard? I'd grind it out to see what's going on and to see it isn't spreading. Epoxy with colloidal and biaxle mat for the outside and drill the crack out from the inside and fill with West six-ten. Get a second on site opinion.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Crack in front of encapsulated keel

I don't like the looks of that.
I don't like the looks of that at all.
How heavy is your keel?
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Crack in front of encapsulated keel

I am afraid that does look serious and is certainly structural. You need profesional advice the repair will consist of grinding back to undamaged laminate. The area of glass around this is then removed to create a suitable scarf and then new glass is laid down.
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Crack in front of encapsulated keel

You didn't say if you were the original owner. I assume you bought this boat used, hopefully recently and though a Broker. Maybe you can go back and get a partial refund as the boat isn't seaworthy without repair. That said, If you look at the first picture the joint between the hull and the keel is very apparent. If you grind the paint off the lower front of the keel you'll probably find extensive repairs there. I'd say it was probably severely grounded at one point or another. Hopefully you had the boat surveyed when you bought it and the surveyor didn't see the crack inside. So the inside damage didn't occur until recently, probably when it was put on the hard. It's probably not the yard's fault, it's just that your keel is weak.

That said, some ones going to have to drill a bunch of big holes down to the keel through that crack inside and repair it, I'd drill some holes below the crack on the outside a foot or so down to see if there is any water in the keel as well. Then you need to grind out the area and probably the whole keel to hull joint and repair it properly with epoxy and glass, not just filler or Bondo. This is a big, expensive job. Have a professional look at it if you're not a pro yourself.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Crack in front of encapsulated keel

I would suggest that you have someone look at it, but take care that you don't get misled and spend a lots more money than you need to spend. There's a lot of fiberglass supporting the keel, so that may make it less of an issue. Don't know where the boat was kept, but if water got in between fiberglass layers (voids), it could have frozen and cracked the fiberglass. If the same size crack was on a boat with bolt-on keel, then I would be concerned that it would be a major/serious issue. Check it out, maybe get several people with knowledge of boat repairs to give an opinion and estimate to do the work. Just, saying, be careful. I see boats getting expensive bottom peels in yards when often all they need to do is spend some time opening and expoxing blisters. If you have water inside keel and haul out for winter, you will want to make sure to get it out.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Crack in front of encapsulated keel

You need to assess how far from the actual crack the fiberglass is delaminated as it will look kind of cloudy in the delaminated areas that have not cracked

The other big issue is the area in picture three as if its really cracked that is a LOT of glass

Zzzoom 1970 C&C 35 has had big repairs twice ONCE form were and tear and ONCE form a rock strike and we are DIYs BUT these were 12 to 20 thousand dollar jobs

A proper repair is grinding out 100% of the delaminated/cracked material and going at with a LOT of cloth as resin is not going to do to much

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post #10 of 20 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Crack in front of encapsulated keel

Since there are cracks inside and outside, and some delamination, and the area is a generally high stress area carrying keel and mast loads, I'd find someone in the area who does these repairs professionally, and have them take a look at it. It is sadly true, not everyone will give you an honest answer, but since the problem appear to go all the way through the hull, I'm guess they are structural not cosmetic.

And that they can be repaired. The only question is how extensive they are, and what that will cost. If you have insurance on the boat, you might want to put in a claim and let them deal with it. (Just be real sure about that before you call them, if you do.)
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