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  #1  
Old 05-03-2013
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Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

Hi all,

A few years ago we struck a rock with our C&C 32. We were going a good pace of about 6 knots and the impact was enough to bring us to a standstill. At the time nothing more than my pride seemed damaged. There was no leaking. I dove on the boat the next day and aside from some crumpling of the lead at the leading edge of the bottom of the keel, there appeared to be no damage. It would appear that the rock was only about 6 inches above the bottom of the keel and the boat "rode up" onto the rock a bit, rather than a full frontal impact.

However since then we've noticed some cracking along the keel/hull joint line. Last year we tried to repair it with an epoxy (I don't recall what) and when pulling the boat from the water that fall, it was obvious the epoxy hadn't held. At the time I wondered if we'd used the wrong epoxy (still a definite possibility) but I'm also wondering if there might be some movement occurring at the keel joint that is causing the epoxy repair to crack.

I've attached some pictures for review. Note the horizontal crack around the entire keel at the joint line.

My two questions are:

1) Opinions as to the crack on the joint line? Does the keel need to be tightened somehow?

2) Recommendations for repairing the damage? I was thinking West System with some 407 low density filler but I'm new to this so am open to suggestions.

Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

The joint can never be made invisible because it's 2 different materials coming together and there is always some movement. I'd suggest getting a good look at your keel bolts and keel to hull joint. I If they are still good, possibly a large plate like washer on the bolts will close the gap. Some people have used a kit for Catalina boats that have lead keels, basically it's stainless lag bolts and they claim the hold is great in lead.

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Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winner26 View Post
Hi all,

A few years ago we struck a rock with our C&C 32. We were going a good pace of about 6 knots and the impact was enough to bring us to a standstill. At the time nothing more than my pride seemed damaged. There was no leaking. I dove on the boat the next day and aside from some crumpling of the lead at the leading edge of the bottom of the keel, there appeared to be no damage. It would appear that the rock was only about 6 inches above the bottom of the keel and the boat "rode up" onto the rock a bit, rather than a full frontal impact.

However since then we've noticed some cracking along the keel/hull joint line. Last year we tried to repair it with an epoxy (I don't recall what) and when pulling the boat from the water that fall, it was obvious the epoxy hadn't held. At the time I wondered if we'd used the wrong epoxy (still a definite possibility) but I'm also wondering if there might be some movement occurring at the keel joint that is causing the epoxy repair to crack.

I've attached some pictures for review. Note the horizontal crack around the entire keel at the joint line.

My two questions are:

1) Opinions as to the crack on the joint line? Does the keel need to be tightened somehow?

2) Recommendations for repairing the damage? I was thinking West System with some 407 low density filler but I'm new to this so am open to suggestions.

Thanks!
Our boat had an encapsulated keel, so I can't speak from experience. However, I suggest you get some good proffesional advice before doing anything. You said no water in the boat, but am wondering if there was/is any visible cracking or seperation in the keel or bulkhead areas inside the boat?

Bringing the keel bolts to spec could be a place to start but if they have been stretched or deformed, replacement may be necessary, from what I have read.
Sounds like you took a pretty good hit, all that energy had to be absorbed in the keel/hull area.

Paul T
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Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

I'd pay a pro to look at it. If you can understand the structural integrity better you may be able to fix it yourself. If it's more serious at least you'll know.
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Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

That is more than your classic C&C smile for sure. Dead stop at 6 knots I would expect some interior framing delamination, maybe bulkhead tabbing too. Get a pro to look at it thoroughly inside and out. First clue in the bilge will be the white gelcoat paint lifting off the the frame bed, maybe tearing or stress cracks in the frame corners. Does the head door close square, bind, uneven gaps between door and frame?

The least you will need to do is grind away the fairing material on the keel that is loose, grind lead to create bonding surface, fair it out in epoxy. But you should also expect the need to torque the keel bolts first.

When the boat was lifted at haulout - was there a gap between the keel and the sump? When hanging can you push the keel only sideways? If so, it may be time to drop keel, inspect all bolts, complete any repairs, rebed and torque bolts.

I sail on an '85 C&C 32 and there are tell tale signs like above of previous damage and repairs. Whoever did the repair got it right and boat is sound.

Sail on
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Old 05-04-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

if the boat struck and then rode up onto the rock it's much better than if it hit and just stopped dead I'd sand the hull down to gelcoat around the stub; particularly at the aft end of the stub where compression loads would be highest. Look for radiating cracks from the stub along the bottom of the hull. Check the torque of the bolts before dropping the keel if they are tight with little movement when torquing at the spec'd amount you probably don't have a problem with bolts failing or the stub compressing (but that's not the only form of failure). If they are loose then you will know that the movement was due to bolts stretching or stub damage. Also look in the bilge for any evidence that the glass going over the top of the stringers has cracked or stressed.

I'd hire a surveyor knows structural damage to look at the boat; and ask your yard manager (or the yard's fiberglass specialist) to have a close look at it and give their opinion also.
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Old 05-04-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

A complete stop when hitting a rock will certainly cause serious damage although cannot see it. thebest method is to remove the keel repair anything on the hull and reattach the keel. Although not easy,try to find a pro who is working on this subject. Keel repair is something that should not be left to fiberglass repairers.
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Old 05-04-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

Well it was a few years ago so it would be strange if any impact related damage waited till now to appear but I suppose it is possible.

Have you had a hard look at the keel bolts and the area around them. If they look good then you might try putting a spanner on them and seeing if there is slack. At the end of the day the only way to be sure about the bolts is to drop the keel.

If you are looking to fill the gap epoxy is the wrong thing to use. 3M 4200 would be my first choice.
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Old 05-04-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

I own a C&C30 Mk2 that is part of a local sailing club. Last year I took a glancing blow in some tidal current going in to Mats Mats Bay Near Seattle. Once out of the current and anchored safely, I pulled the floor boards up. No visible damage. Nonwater entry over the next 12 hours either. Whew! I waited till we got back to Seattle and sent a diver down to inspect. I ended up with a tennis ball sized chunk missing. Bummer because the boat had just been hauled a month before for bottom painting. The repair bill came to just about a grand which, is right at my deductible. So, no insurance claim.

Two things: with the separation from the keel stub, I'd absolutely go with a survey prior to any further action. Next, all of this may be covered by insurance less your deductible.

Of course turning in an insurance claim has its own pitfalls. They may not cover it for lack of "timely notification".

Good luck and no matter what, get a professional to look at it.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Keel repair C&C 32 / keel separation??

I would first fill the crack with a kevlar reinforced epoxy paste (wet dry 700) and then using fiberglass cloth and a flexible epoxy (not the brittle brand you mentioned) I would 'wrap' the seam and fair the edges of the cloth/resin.
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