Keel Scrapping - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-02-2013 Thread Starter
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Keel Scrapping

I'd never have imagined Cleveland, Ohio could be so prone to hurricanes, but somehow Sandy sunk about 20 boats in my marina, including my 1978 Catalina 27. My insurance company pulled Dorothy out of the water and plopped her in the parking lot, where she sits in her cradle, missing 2 feet of bow and most of the rigging, now at the bottom of the lake. I've been wrangling with them to help pay for disposal, but they won't budge, so I'm stuck with the wreck and responsible for getting it out of their parking lot. So, if there are any Catalina experts out there, is the ballast of a 78 Catalina 27 made of lead? And if so, any suggestions on how to pull the keel and strip the fiberglass off the lead in a moderately safe manner? I don't think iron would be worth much, but I can get $0.65 / pound for 2700 pounds of bare lead, which would really help me defray my costs and start thinking about getting back on the water...
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-02-2013
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Re: Keel Scrapping

The ballast on the C27 is lead.. you'll need to unbolt the keel, there shouldn't be more than fairing and paint on the keel itself... If the boat's being scrapped then maybe a serious sawzall will do the job for you with less grief, but YMMV.... Grinding off the fairing and paint should be doable in a hoarding and using proper protective equipment for yourself.

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post #3 of 9 Old 01-02-2013
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Re: Keel Scrapping

" I've been wrangling with them to help pay for disposal, "
Wreck removal and salvage are line items that an insurance policy may or may not cover. If the insurer totalled the boat out, they PROBABLY are supposed to take your title, possibly required to do so, and then either scrap it or issue a salvage title, because it is generaly their problem not yours once they total it out.
I'd check with your state insurance commission, to find out if the insurer can generously total out your boat and then leave you stuck with it--instead of taking possession of it.

OTOH if they are neither obligated nor required to take possession...a lof of what you do may be determined by what the marina allows. Fiberglass is a hazardous material, if you are cutting it up and fibers get in the air, they may require you to remove it as a whole. If you've got an encapsulated keel, you'll need to cut the glass to free the ballast. If you've got an external keel, you'll only need a huge wrench to unbolt it and it will drop off. (Watch out for anything snapping back at you as it pulls out of the hull.) If they let you cut and you have to, wear eye protecting and a breathing mask.
But if there's 20 of them, you might be able to negotiate with a scrap yard, if they can recommend a breaker and a truck he can come do them all and transport them all, and split the costs among everyone.

Do call your state insurance commission, and check your policy, That's often painful but also often very profitable.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-02-2013
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Re: Keel Scrapping

BTDT.
Dock Six Chronicles: Adventures in Keel Hauling
The keey word in yor first post is "bare". Be prepared to grind the fairing and bottom paint off your keep to get top dollar. Just pulled from the boat, you might be lucky to get $.40/lb.,

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post #5 of 9 Old 01-02-2013
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Re: Keel Scrapping

Pull ANYTHING of value off this boat. Hint, nearly EVERYTHING has value with the sheer number of C-27's out there. Stanchions, cleats, winches, teak, portlights, hatches, anchor locker lid, companionway ladder etc. etc. on and on.. The keel may be of more value to a C-27 owner looking to go from shoal to deep draft. eBay or Sailboatowners.com Gear Ads are good places to recoup some of your investment.

Once the boat is stripped cut her up with a sawzall and get a dumpster delivered..
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-02-2013
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Re: Keel Scrapping

If you have one boat to dispose of a sawzall will do the job pretty quick using a demolition blade. That's how they cut up the boat that sunk in my slip last summer in a day. It wasn't my boat!
However some years ago a customer of mine was a manufacturer of fiberglass microwave dishes. I used to set them with our crane and they weighed from 1,200 to 3,000 lb about like a 27' boat without the keel. They moved and had quite a pile of them to dispose of. They just brought in a large track loader and ran them over, crushing them into tiny little pieces. They then scooped up the pile and put it in a dumpster. A whole lot fits in a dumpster when the pieces are maybe 3" on a side!

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post #7 of 9 Old 01-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Keel Scrapping

This has all been really great information, I appreciate all the replies!

If I can get the keel cleaned up - as you indicated, bljones, "bare" is exactly what the scrapyard guy told me - I can get $1,750 for it, or 60% of what I originally paid for her. As for the insurance, since I only paid $3000 for the boat - she was supposed to be a big winter project for me - and since I didn't expect a hurricane to roll through Cleveland, I only had the most basic liability, so to be honest, I'm happy they covered the $5,500 to pull her out of the water. That said, I've learned my lesson on that front and will be better covered next time. As hellosailor suggested, I think most everybody else's insurance company took title of their boat, so I'm one of the stragglers and there aren't really 20 other boat owners to negotiate collectively with at this point - most everything has been scrapped.

Good call on stripping off what I can - It sounds like I may end up getting more for the wreck than I paid for the ship, depending on what is still worthwhile. This was my first boat and I was about to have her hauled out and start working on the hull when the storm hit, so I don't know too much about grinding down the fairing and bottom paint. Can anyone point me in the direction of some good information on that front? I had been building a small library on glass work, but it mostly went down with Dorothy, so any good book titles or web sites would be appreciated.

Thanks again!
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Re: Keel Scrapping

Monster, you may want to ask the scrap guy what he'll pay for it as-is. Cleaning it down to bare lead may take a while, and you'll be working in copper and lead dust all the while. Even with a good respirator, a nasty job. And that's if the marina doesn't stop you. Inthe Northeast, most of them would come running with a big stick, because the dust and crud you make is considered hazmat, and the entire marina can be shut down for environmental cleanup unless you've properly tarped the ground and contained all the dust.
Chisel, scraper, wire wheels...you clean it down by "mechanical abrasion" one way or the other, but if the difference is a couple of hundred bucks? It may pay to just have it hauled away to someplace that deals with that everyday.
or you put up a sign and start a new business: "Self-serve fishing weights! Cut your own!" and sell it by the ounce. (G)
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-04-2013
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Re: Keel Scrapping

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Originally Posted by Lake Erie Monster View Post
This has all been really great information, I appreciate all the replies!

If I can get the keel cleaned up - as you indicated, bljones, "bare" is exactly what the scrapyard guy told me - I can get $1,750 for it, or 60% of what I originally paid for her. As for the insurance, since I only paid $3000 for the boat - she was supposed to be a big winter project for me - and since I didn't expect a hurricane to roll through Cleveland, I only had the most basic liability, so to be honest, I'm happy they covered the $5,500 to pull her out of the water. That said, I've learned my lesson on that front and will be better covered next time. As hellosailor suggested, I think most everybody else's insurance company took title of their boat, so I'm one of the stragglers and there aren't really 20 other boat owners to negotiate collectively with at this point - most everything has been scrapped.

Good call on stripping off what I can - It sounds like I may end up getting more for the wreck than I paid for the ship, depending on what is still worthwhile. This was my first boat and I was about to have her hauled out and start working on the hull when the storm hit, so I don't know too much about grinding down the fairing and bottom paint. Can anyone point me in the direction of some good information on that front? I had been building a small library on glass work, but it mostly went down with Dorothy, so any good book titles or web sites would be appreciated.

Thanks again!
I had the misfortune of having to scrap out a boat many years ago. If you have a place to store the bits and pieces you could easily exceed the value of the boat as a whole. I ended up getting roughly twice what the boat I scrapped out would have been worth intact as consolation.

Good Luck!

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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