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DrB 11-13-2012 03:52 PM

Keel Fix help
So this year, after the haul and power wash of my Keel, some "barrier" came off. Actually looks like some of it came off some time during the season while the boat was in the water as there was some barnacle growth directly on the lead in a small area. I don't recall hitting anything nor grounding

I have had this happen before in smaller areas, but not this large. I chip away the loose material and it resembles gel coat or filled epoxy paint (white cross section) but underneath there was some red thin paint film. The cipped stuff is about 1/16" (2 mm) thick.

The keel is bolted on, not encapsulated in that respect, but the "plastic covering" is not super well bonded to the lead.

Would like to fix this more permanently than having it keep chipping off in areas. The problem with this location is it is on the leading edge of the keel. Picture here:

Keel Mess

The boat is a Pearson 10M if that gives you clue on what the material is.

My approach to was to:

1) peel the loose stuff back to a clean bonded area.
2) rough up the lead and paint on unfilled epoxy or barrier coat
3) while #2 is tacky, put on thickened epoxy, or epoxy saturated glass cloth and smooth to contour
4) final contour after full set with sanding.
5) thin layer of sealing epoxy.
6) Ablative paint.

If this isn't a good approach, what do you suggest?

Thanks in advance.

Faster 11-13-2012 04:39 PM

Re: Keel Fix help
Doc... the link shows a 'private album' with no image.. better to post the IMG CODE link option, then the pic will show directly in the post.

davidpm 11-13-2012 04:43 PM

Re: Keel Fix help
No picture for me either

DrB 11-13-2012 05:43 PM

Pictures should work now.

Faster 11-13-2012 06:20 PM

Re: Keel Fix help
Hmmm... I wonder where/when the 'chipping off loose bits' will stop? Once you've gotten under whatever that is I suspect you can just keep going.

Which may be as good a way to go as any.. get rid of all of whatever's there, and start over with your basic plan listed above. I don't think you want to suddenly 'patch' selected areas with cloth and epoxy, I think you'd want a uniform, homogenous coating if that's the way you want to go. The lead looks pretty fair, though, and maybe you just want to prep and paint it.

misfits 11-13-2012 07:20 PM

Re: Keel Fix help
I wouldn't glass it. Remove the loose portions, clean up the lead, seal with a barrier coat, fill & fair it

msmith10 11-13-2012 08:29 PM

Re: Keel Fix help
Excuse me if it's a dumb question, but why barrier coat a lead keel? Why not take it down to clean lead and apply bottom paint?

SloopJonB 11-13-2012 08:31 PM

Re: Keel Fix help
Looks to me like it was faired with Bondo, not filled epoxy. Polyester filler will always fail on a boat eventually. Clean everything off the keel and if required, do it again with thickened epoxy. Since the keel is lead, keep the filler to an absolute minimum thickness.

Edit: Don't put glass fabric on it - just thickened resin.

RobGallagher 11-13-2012 08:45 PM

Re: Keel Fix help
I can only tell you what I did.

Strip the keel to bare lead.
Prime it with two part medal primer.
Apply X amounts of two part barrier coat.
Bottom paint.

Never had another problem. Careful in subsequent seasons to stop sanding bottom paint if I could start to see the grey barrier coat.


misfits 11-14-2012 03:18 PM

Re: Keel Fix help

Originally Posted by msmith10 (Post 947957)
Excuse me if it's a dumb question, but why barrier coat a lead keel? Why not take it down to clean lead and apply bottom paint?

My understanding was it gave the filler something to stick to.

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