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odarbin 02-27-2011 10:44 AM

How to re-open a keel that was glassed over
Hi everybody,

I found a cute Tartran 37 that I would like to buy. The main problem I found so fare is that the keel was glassed over. I have never encountered yet this modification on a boat. I have few questions about reversing this procedure..

Is it a big deal to cut the glass?

What are the risks that the centerboard stay blocked ?

Any idea of a the cost of the procedure by a pro?

Would that means that the centerboard got barnacle growths resulting possibly in cracks ?

I appreciate your help!

Faster 02-27-2011 11:57 AM

Just to clarify:

Are you saying the exterior of the keel was glassed over, closing the centerboard slot? With the board still in place?

odarbin 02-27-2011 12:08 PM

That's correct.


Faster 02-27-2011 12:13 PM

As a potential buyer I'd be very interested in learning just exactly why this was done. Hopefully some Tartan owners will have heard of this done elsewhere and know the 'why'.

This may have been done to address some serious issues with the C/B system and if the seal was not perfect, or the C/B has been stewing in some trapped soup all this time there's no saying what you'll find.

This may as simple as using a router or a zip cutter to reopen the slot - but then I'd worry about the seal between the 'skin' and the keel/Cb box itself.

Surely there are other T37s available that have not been altered this way.

odarbin 02-27-2011 12:27 PM

Thanks Faster,

The current owner justifies this modification by the fact that the boat mostly sailed in ICW Intracoastal Waterway (FL) but there is certainly easier procedures to block the centerboard in the up stage....

But I get your point, there may be some surprises after opening up the seal...I'll keep looking around .

Thanks for your inputs,


CalebD 02-27-2011 03:47 PM

I was thinking that there is no guarantee that the center board is even still in the slot; it may have fallen out or been removed prior to filling the C/B trunk.
Boats like this sail upwind better with a C/B then without.

T37SOLARE 02-27-2011 04:04 PM

Seeing how the keel is encapsulated, all you'll need to do is grind or cut the trunk open. If the board is missing a new one can be purchased from Tartan.

While your at it, the centerboard pin is most likely due for inspection/replacement.

Recommend signing up at the Tartan 37 owners group: Index page

CalebD 02-27-2011 06:57 PM


Yes, a new center board can be bought from Tartan (actually but at $1650 + an estimated $250 for shipping.

I have to say I have found tartan's replacement parts to be quite expensive and a bit beyond the pale. Catalina/Beneteau do a much better job of supplying parts for their boats without the extra gouge to your wallet.

They clipped me $750 for a new bow pulpit for our T27 that I probably could have made locally for less. Never again if I can help it.

ehmanta 03-25-2011 05:38 AM

There are three reasons that I can think of to seal up the slot.
1. board is not really necessary, it only aids in the pointing ability so they eliminated the worry.
2.board is really stuck or missing altogether so they opted to seal up the slot instead of the expense to repair/replace
3. the tube for the pendant leaks to the point where they felt safer glassing over the slot.

I have contemplated sealing mine over just to simplify things, but I find myself using it from time to time so I haven't. I have heard of other T-37's doing it without issue so maybe this boat you're looking at is one?

"Tortuga's Lie"
1977 T-37 CB
Hull #59

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