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Old 02-05-2013
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Keel Patch Required?

Hello all,

Well, spring is just around the corner and I'm making my "to do" list for the Merit. I usually paint the hull, keel and rudder with “VC17M EXTRA with Biolux” anti foul paint e/o season. However, I'm looking at the joint where the keel meets the hull and it is a bit rough. Looks to me as if whatever was put there as a patch is flaking off (see pictures). As she is a 1984 Merit 25, I suspect the keel has been repaired (I bought her used).

I was thinking of sanding it down, but I don't know if I need to paint with a primer then epoxy paint before I put the VCM17 on.

Maybe this really is no big deal, but I would like to do something with it. Opinions?

Thanks!


Keel Patch Required?-009.jpg

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Keel Patch Required?-012.jpg
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

Are you sure it is not just layers of old paint that are chipping off? It is hard to tell from the pictures but it looks largely cosmetic to me.

Regardless of whether it is simply cosmetic or a partially structural repair the first thing to do is prep this area by removing as much loose material as possible via sanding, scraping etc.
If it is just paint (cosmetic) then just wipe the area down with acetone before you apply new paint.
If it needs to be coated with epoxy to seal the are then an acetone wipe down before applying epoxy is in order.

Where do you sail your Merit 25' up there? Cayuga? Other Finger Lakes?
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

Thanks CalebD!

Yes, I think it is just paint, and calk of some sort. So, if scrape & sand, will it be necessary to paint with epoxy paint prior to applying the anti foul? If so, what type of paint? And, if I decide it needs to be patched, what type of patching material should I use? Sorry for all the questions!

Yes, we sail Cayuga Lake, keep her at Allan Treman Marina.
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

I can't really tell from the pics, but you want to be sure you aren't getting water ingress to the keel bolts. I know what we all hope to be the answer, but a keel bolt replacement would be a whole lot more expensive than re-bedding.

Not sure if you keel is lead or iron. If the later, you would most likely notice some rusting, if it was leaking.
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

yes scrap clean. Then 2-3 coats of a solvent thinned epoxy (like ESP 155 or make your own). If you want to go one additional step - then a flexible epoxy paint all around the keel joint. You could use 3 or 4 inch wide fiberglass tape with the flexible epoxy too for the ultimate cure, but think I would skip that this year and see how it goes. If there is a bit of movement between the keel and the hull this would be the necessary repair.
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

Years ago I went to kolledge in Binghamton so I know your area a little. Pretty area but also pretty cold in winter. Tremaine State Park is awesome and Ithaca is gorges!

If you decide you need to patch that area to help seal the keel/hull joint I would use epoxy with epoxy with colloidal silica filler. I use West Systems epoxy because it is easy to use and has not failed me yet. There are other, cheaper epoxies out there but for the amount I use it is not worth hunting down the best deal. You could use some cloth tape with the epoxy but I'd think that would be overkill and make the job more difficult, especially if you have little experience laying up epoxy and cloth.

As for an epoxy based paint, sure, you could do that. I'm not sure it is necessary but it is not a bad idea. An epoxy paint would act as a primer in some ways. If you do go with an epoxy paint I would suggest that you use a paint of a different color than you normally use for your antifouling paint. This way you will be able to see if the anti-fouling paint has revealed the layer underneath.
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

I have a Capri 25 and am doing a complete bottom job. The keel/hull joint looked like yours before I started. What I found at the joint was a previous repair that was layers of thin glass, epoxied in and barrier coated, but not faired.

I'd scrape around it and see whats there. The suggestions here are good, it could be a flex, that is causing it, in which case it's actually better than you'd think.

If you want to prevent the flex though, it's a bigger deal.

As for what I am going to do... (I don't believe I have flex, but then I am not sure either, figuring someone reinforced it for a reason)... I am going to fair, and pray... Using watertite... Interlux Watertight Epoxy Filler

My progress so far...
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

Keep us posted on your progress...

PS: Looking at VC17m over barrier coat (Interlux 2000e)... I worked over the pad support part already to see what I can do... I'd love to see how this pans out for ya.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

Be careful about using the name brand of epoxy mentioned above. It is a very brittle epoxy... not something you would want for that application. - also to make an epoxy paste takes about 2 parts thickener to 1 part epoxy. The misc thickeners sell for about $7 a quart - lots more if you buy NAME BRAND. Add the cost of thickeners to the epoxy and you are better off purchasing a pre- thickened epoxy.
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Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Keel Patch Required?

What Caleb said.

I'd guess someone tried to fill/fair the keel joint and whatever they used is flaking off or flexing off. Scrape or wire brush to remove it all, fair or fill again as needed. If it was just something applied to "round out" the joint, maybe a tube of 5200 would be the simple solution. Bonds well, is already thick, cures and sets up and takes paint well.
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