Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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First of all, the Ranger 23 is a really great boat. It is one of my favorite boats of this size and era. They were reasonably well constructed for what they were and they sail very well. In many ways these are an ideal boat to learn to sail on.
Sailandoar's advice makes sense as a quick, temporary fix but in the long run, while this may keep water out of the bilge, it does not protect the keel bolts and exposed laminate in the bolt holes.
A much better solution, and one that is pretty rotine on boats of this age, is to lift the boat off of its keel, clean up both faces of the joint, bolt holes and keel bolts. Inspect the keel bolts carefully for erosion and corrosion, and the holes for signs of deterioration. Seal the edges of the keel bolt holes with epoxy and grind out and repair any hair line cracking with glass and epoxy. Mask off either side of the joint and caulk the living daylights out of the joint, keel bolt holes and under the backing plates with a high quality urethane or butyl caulk made for underwater use. Reassemble but do not snug down the bolts until the caulk has the opportunity to cure (in many cases a week or more). That should be a near permanent cure for the leak that is far less onerous than it sounds on paper.