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  #31  
Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Other than toxicity and restrictions on civilian ownership?

IIRC it was Bertie Roos who literally borrowed enough spent uranium to make his keel in one of the Volvo (?) solo global races maybe a decade ago. And when the keel broke off and sunk in the Southern Ocean, I'll bet Bertie had a lot of 'splainin' to do.
If it's depleted it isn't really radioactively toxic, only chemically (ingested) but so is lead. It's actually used for radiation shielding. The first time I heard of it was back in the 70's - IIRC it was Alain Colas who did it on one of his OSTAR boats with help from the French Navy. It was quickly banned by making everything denser than lead illegal as ballast.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 10-27-2012 at 11:33 PM.
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  #32  
Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Grid system repair

I thought it was Taberly in one of the Pen Duicks that used uranium ballast... but could have been both, I suppose.
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  #33  
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I thought it was Taberly in one of the Pen Duicks that used uranium ballast... but could have been both, I suppose.
Could be - it was a long time ago.

Edit: I did some digging - it WAS Tabarly. I guess his naval career should have been a tipoff.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 10-28-2012 at 02:26 AM.
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  #34  
Old 10-28-2012
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
" this is one of the benefits of iron keels."
All in perspective. This system is AFAIK used on iron keels simply because the simpler cheaper traditional j-bolts aren't feasible in cast iron. If using studs to attach a keel really was a better way to do things, it would be simple to insert a metal plate in the top of a lead keel as it was cast, and then drill down into it so the same type of replaceable studs could be used....
"J-bolts" are used in lead keels for two reasons. Firstly, because of the relative "softness" of cast lead, an extended length of embedment is necessary to allow the "studs" to develop the tensile loads required to properly support the keel (similar to the development length of reinforcing bar in cast concrete). Secondly, because of the relatively low melting temperature of cast lead (621º F) compared to steel (2600-2750º F), the studs can pretty easily be positioned while their physical properties (strength, ductility, et al) remain unaffected. This is not so with cast Iron as the meting temperature of the iron (2200º F) is great enough to adversely effect studs but also unnecessary as a cast-in plate machined to accept bolts is essentially homogeneous with the balance of the keel and only 1-1/2 bolt diameters of thread penetration is required to develop the load in the bolts necessary to support the keel.

Beyond the foregoing, of course, is the question of material costs with iron being relatively less costly than lead allowing relatively more affordable yachts. Frankly, however, the yacht really doesn't care what it's ballast is made of so long as there is an adequate amount that functions properly for the design objectives of the yacht and, at least in our case (First 42), it seems to do so.

FWIW...
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Frankly, however, the yacht really doesn't care what it's ballast is made of so long as there is an adequate amount that functions properly for the design objectives of the yacht and, at least in our case (First 42), it seems to do so.

FWIW...

There is the issue of surface rusting of the iron keel.
I'm sure you have that solved. What have you done?

Last edited by Faster; 10-28-2012 at 12:00 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
There is the issue of surface rusting of the iron keel.
I'm sure you have that solved. What have you done?
David--

We haul out at roughly 2-1/2 year intervals and from time-to-time do find some rust. Basically, I grind back the bottom paint and surface coating to reveal the underlying iron, wire brush the rusted areas to remove surface rust, acid wash the underlying metal and then burnish the metal with a fine drill mounted brush, dry it all with Acetone, treat the exposed metal with several coats of Pettit RustLok primer and then fill any indentations with thickened epoxy and fair the surface. The fairing surface is coated with a layer of Epoxy and the whole business primed and repainted with bottom paint. Frankly, the foregoing almost takes more time to describe than to perform. The good news is that over the last 10+ years, areas treated in the foregoing manner have not required retreatments on subsequent haulouts.

Unfortunately, iron in contact with water will eventually rust (entropy always wins). Except in very rare circumstances, however, the rust is a minor issue and invariably looks far worse than it actually is as the volume of rust one sees is, roughly, 600 percent the volume of iron oxidized to produce it. So long as one keeps up with the maintenance, these keels will last virtually forever. Even with lack of maintenance, they will last a very long time (in human terms) as evidenced by the number of iron bridges constructed during the 1930's that are incredibly poorly maintained yet continue to "hang in".

FWIW...
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Last edited by svHyLyte; 10-28-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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  #37  
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Even with lack of maintenance, they will last a very long time (in human terms) as evidenced by the number of iron bridges constructed during the 1930's that are incredibly poorly maintained yet continue to "hang in". FWIW...
Or the iron bridges built by Brunel in the 1830's that continue to hang in.
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  #38  
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
the volume of rust one sees is, roughly, 600 percent the volume of iron oxidized to produce it. FWIW...
I had no idea the oxide expanded THAT much - no wonder it can burst things when it's enclosed.
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
David--

acid wash the underlying metal and then burnish the metal with a fine drill mounted brush,
What exactly is acid wash? Product link?
Metal mounted brush like this?:
4'' Stringer Bead Wire Wheel / Stainless Steel 5/8''-11 Arbor .020 - DW4927

or something else?
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  #40  
Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Grid system repair

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What exactly is acid wash? Product link?
Metal mounted brush like this?:
4'' Stringer Bead Wire Wheel / Stainless Steel 5/8''-11 Arbor .020 - DW4927

or something else?
I have used both Wink and Navel Jelly. I think the Navel Jelly is somewhat easier to use because it is fairly thick but I don't like having to wash it off with water (if you use that, follow-up quickly with Acetone or 90% Alcohol). I prefer Wink soaked paper towels, that will "stick" to the keel and can be followed up with a wash of 90% Alcohol. The wire brush you show will work. Mine is very old and somewhat cone shaped. My drill is also very old and heavy/powerfull but is fitted with a side grip so it can easily be used with two hands and it does make quick work of burnishing.

David. Note that my approach is only one. I am sure there are others here about with somewhat different approaches that will work equally well.

FWIW...
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Last edited by svHyLyte; 10-29-2012 at 09:21 AM.
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