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Old 07-09-2008
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O'day 272 Repair

I’m interested in purchasing an oday 27 – 1986 / 87. Question about the wing keel. Is it lead? There is some flaking – it’s a red material underneath sort of crumbled. What is it ?Does any one know how to repair ?
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Old 07-09-2008
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Sounds either it was coated with expoy and water migrated in or if glassed, which probably not, has been damaged and water again got in. The surest way to make sure is to have a marine survey. Depending where you are would drive the cost. If I was going to have a survey would need someone that has experience working on boats professionally rather than a match book cover degree. You could try The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc.® - (SAMS®) for someone in your area.

On the other hand, if you are getting a good price. Talk to a boat yard that and see what they say.

Good Luck
When I go, let it be by boat, with a steady breeze on the Chesapeake with a bottle of 7-up, a bag of ice, a plastic cup, and a box of wine
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Old 07-10-2008
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you can find out with a simple frig magnet

if the magnet sticks its cast iron. if not its lead. the reddish material may be fairing compound or it could be rust inhibitor if the keels iron.
s/v Que Pasa?
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Old 10-08-2008
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It is lead.

The only thing flaking off should be old red bottom paint.

Last edited by WouldaShoulda; 05-11-2009 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 01-10-2009
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The 272 had a LEAD keel bolted on to a fiberglass "stub". The red flakes are either a previous coating of red antifouling paint or more likely the filler compound used to fair a divot in the keel casting.
A neighbor of ours has a 1986 272 and LOVES it, he has made several mods over the years including fiberglassing over the seam between the lead and fiberglass portions of the keel. O'DAY used some kind of filler to smooth the original lead castings and it is not uncommon for owners of the wing-keel O'DAYs (240, 272, 280, 302 and 322) to need to remove that original filler by now and refill the divots with an underwater filler (Epoxy?).

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1970 CAL 21 (sold 2008)
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1979 O'DAY DS II
1969 O'DAY Widgeon
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Old 05-10-2009
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O'Day 272 keel

This is not exactly a "timely" reply.... but I only just now happened to see the original question......

The wing keel on the 272s is definitely lead. My understanding from a long time friend and sailing mentor, a guy who had been the local dealer, is that these keels were cast upside down, with the keel bolts pre-placed in the mold.

In casting lead, the dross or slag floats to the top of the pour. The result is a good surface at what becomes the top of the keel where it must smoothly match the fiberglass stub keel. But it yields imperfections and slag inclusions on the bottom of the keel.

I bought my 1987 272LE when it was ten years old. At that point the fairing compound the factory used was falling out. I wound up using a 4 inch disk sander-grinder to take the keel down to bare metal. I then re-faired it and encapsulated it using West System Epoxy and fiberglass..... not a job I would want to undertake again!!!

The first step after stripping the keel to bare metal was applying a thin coat of slow set epoxy, and then while the epoxy was still unset going over the entire surface with a wire brush. That broke up the oxide coating and allowed the epoxy to set into a "tooth" on a true bare metal surface. It is a key step to getting epoxy to bond to lead.

Next came the fairing compound. I seem to recall using the highest density filler West had for the bulk filling, but then switching to one that would be easier to sand and fair for the outermost layer.

And then finally, epoxy with glass reinforcement. I took this up over the stub keel.

It's been over ten years now - the encapsulation is still intact.
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Old 03-23-2010
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Smile Lead Keel Problem

Hey folks you’re on track. The 272 and other models used the lead keel attached by three 1" bolts to the stub accessible from the bilge. My recently purchased 88' 272 had very bad problems with the keel, the worst I ran into. The purchase price at 3.5k was reflective so all was OK.

The red is NOT the epoxy covering but chemical reaction to the lead, salt water, epoxy and time or neglect. I was able to scrap out large chunks and the weight of it said lead not epoxy.

Key to proper and safe repairs - #1 purchase a respirator not a dust mask, this is bad stuff for the lungs during the repair. The epoxy is also bad stuff when sanded or ground. #2 Purchase an inexpensive sand blaster at the local auto store, $50. #3 purchase disposable cover-alls, hood goggles and gloves. Inexpensive tyvek is best $40. Spread an old tarp under the repair area as you want to capture all the bad stuff.

The repair - with 4" grinder #60 paper and dressed for combat start removing all that is discolored down to bright lead. Remove epoxy 4" above the damaged area moving upward on the keel. Once you have done as much damage as possible with the grinder get the sand blaster in hand and remove all discolored in the nooks that the grinder could get to. Day #2 - With epoxy paint made for bellow the water line ready to mix blast one more time, mix the epoxy paint and thin. Apply one thin coat and follow the directions for three to five additional coats to achive 3-4 mil. This will protect the lead from additional damage and preserve what you have. Day #3 or #4, sand or blast area lightly with #80 and wash. When dry mix bellow the water line epoxy, apply all the coats required to build beyond the area and beyond the height of damage as you will need to fair (sand) this at the end. Once cured fair as required to achieve the original look. Day #5 or #6, Back to epoxy paint as above to achieve 8-10 mil. Remember to follow the directions for set time and most important on the last coat, when finger print dry add a coat of bottom paint. That last steep bonds the two together.

In a perfect world I would have unbolted and dropped the keel for bench repair but breaking the factory seal is iffy. Total cost $250.00. Total time one week on and off. Total mess - crap it was awful. Prior experience - 10 years, 20 years ago. If you are faint hearted, don't have the tools, don't do it, spend the grand and hire it out.

2 qts of epoxy paint intended for bellow the water line
2 qts of epoxy intended for bellow the water line. (use thick set)
12 qt mixing cups
24 paint stir's
12 disposable 1 1/2" brushes
6 plastic epoxy spreaders 1 1/2" wide or so.
1 pint of thiner for the epoxy paint (use the recomended)
rags, rags and more rags.
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Old 04-08-2010
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You must also remember to retorque the bolts every year! A friend of mine had pruchased a brand new one and didn't do this for a number of years. When pulling the boat one year the lead keel was about to fall off becuase the bolts had loosened sooooo much
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Old 04-26-2010
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Keel bolt torque setting?

So what would the proper torque be for the 272 keel bolts? (1987 LE in my case..)
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Old 11-09-2010
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Exclamation More repairs to the keel

After a wonderful summer in Casco Bay aboard our 272 we bounced off ledge late year. While disturbing I elected to wait until the year was over to pull the boat. Much to my surprise, my keel repairs held up very well with minimal damage. I attribute this to good practice and detail. With minimal effort it will be re-flared, bottom paint only needed in that area as a bonus. Now to answer the torque question. I would have questioned the need every year to check torque on the keel bolts. Sure enough after this “whiskey bump” they did loosen slightly, but no leaks. No idea what to torque them to so I went one full turn beyond where they bottomed out by hand.
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