Keel / Hull join - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-07-2011 Thread Starter
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Keel / Hull join

Hi there,

I would like to have some feed back about something :

I was considering a boat (about 25 foot) where the owner was putting epoxy in the front of the keel where it joins the hull. When I asked if it comes from a grounding, he said that no, but since the boat was more than 30 years old this is usual that you need to consolidate that area.

I suppose it makes sense, but I expect normal tear to worm out the join everywhere, not only forward.

What do you think ?

SFU
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-07-2011
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Originally Posted by SFU View Post
Hi there,

I would like to have some feed back about something :

I was considering a boat (about 25 foot) where the owner was putting epoxy in the front of the keel where it joins the hull. When I asked if it comes from a grounding, he said that no, but since the boat was more than 30 years old this is usual that you need to consolidate that area.

I suppose it makes sense, but I expect normal tear to worm out the join everywhere, not only forward.

What do you think ?

SFU
It is very common - it's often called the "Catalina smile" or the "C&C smile". If the joint is opened up everywhere it's time to start worrying.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-07-2011 Thread Starter
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ok, I see, thx !!

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post #4 of 8 Old 10-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFU View Post
Hi there,

I would like to have some feed back about something :

I was considering a boat (about 25 foot) where the owner was putting epoxy in the front of the keel where it joins the hull. When I asked if it comes from a grounding, he said that no, but since the boat was more than 30 years old this is usual that you need to consolidate that area.

I suppose it makes sense, but I expect normal tear to worm out the join everywhere, not only forward.

What do you think ?

SFU
A well engineered and constructed boat will not routinely see a keel separating from the hull. Calling it a "smile" (or a frown) does not change this or make it acceptable.

Look for damage around the keel nuts inside if the keel hit a hard bottom. This can also cause the rear of the keel to push up and fracture parts inside, as well.

If, OTOH, the whole hull layup is weak enough to let the keel weight pull down at any point due to hull flexing, the repair will involve strengthening the whole attachment area.

Some production boats had some plywood incorporated into the sump area as bearing material for the keel nuts and washers, and that wood rotted over the years. Dropping the keel and building up the inside should fix that situation.

One other part of preventative maintenance that should be mentioned, is that it's good to drop the keel for inspection of the "bolts" every 15 to 20 years.

What make n model is this boat?

L
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-07-2011 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by olson34 View Post
Look for damage around the keel nuts inside if the keel hit a hard bottom. This can also cause the rear of the keel to push up and fracture parts inside, as well.
I saw the bolts from the inside : seems normal.
There was a little bit of water in the lowest part of the compartment, but since it look like the lower point of the cabin I suppose this is normal.

No sign of anything on the hull or rudder either.


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What make n model is this boat?
It was on a Hunter 25 from late 70's


Thx.

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post #6 of 8 Old 10-07-2011
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Originally Posted by olson34 View Post
A well engineered and constructed boat will not routinely see a keel separating from the hull. Calling it a "smile" (or a frown) does not change this or make it acceptable.

Look for damage around the keel nuts inside if the keel hit a hard bottom. This can also cause the rear of the keel to push up and fracture parts inside, as well.

If, OTOH, the whole hull layup is weak enough to let the keel weight pull down at any point due to hull flexing, the repair will involve strengthening the whole attachment area.

Some production boats had some plywood incorporated into the sump area as bearing material for the keel nuts and washers, and that wood rotted over the years. Dropping the keel and building up the inside should fix that situation.

One other part of preventative maintenance that should be mentioned, is that it's good to drop the keel for inspection of the "bolts" every 15 to 20 years.

What make n model is this boat?

L
All valid info and the keel SHOULD be checked thoroughly BUT I doubt there are many (or any) people who would say that C&C boats were not well engineered or built. The "smile" is a result of the small mounting base area of high aspect ratio keels, particularly if they are highly swept. Absent any heavy damage from grounding or failing bolts, they are commonplace and nothing to worry about.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-07-2011
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It was on a Hunter 25 from late 70's
Thx.
SFU
Oh My. I used to crew a bit back in the 80's on that same model. Whole boat was kind of "floppy" in its general construction. The couple that sailed it then did a lot of cruising and a bit of low-key club racing in protected waters. It was a good boat for their usage.

I still recall that if anyone went forward to use the head while boat was going to weather, the sliding door could not reopened until the boat tacked back again!
Rumor has it that Hunter improved their engineering steadily in the last 20 years... and I hope it's true.



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post #8 of 8 Old 10-07-2011
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Another consideration that I did not see offered here was the quality of the original fairing material. A lot of production boats from the late 70's and early 80's used regular automotive body putty. This putty would crack at the hull/keel joint and sometimes large chunks of it would fall off. The fact that this body putty fails is no indication of a problem with the hull or the keel, just a bad filler.
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