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post #1 of 8 Old 02-17-2007 Thread Starter
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Keel Restoration

I have a Catalina 22 and the keel is out of the boat, sand blasted and primed. Can I use Bondo to fair the keel or do I have to use Marine-Tex or something else? After it's faired, it'll recieve the same barrier coats and bottom paint as the rest of the bottom, right?

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post #2 of 8 Old 02-18-2007
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I wouldn't suggest bondo. We used to race a C22 and did all the fun things you are engaged in now. There are some tricks. First off the recommended wait time is about one hour from sand blast to paint! We found fairing is best done with epoxy and microballoon filler to the shape that you want. We used compukeel templates and 407. Perfect time to rebush and replace the pin and turning ball since you are at it. After fairing to your desire , remember cast iron doesn't sand or grind very well, we out 5 coats of epoxy w barrier coat additive over everything. Bottom paint of your choice. If you trailer your boat the job will outlast you , The Catalina 22 National Association has tons of info on this operation btw. Just don't call Frank Butler as he gets amped up when he thinks you expect your C22 to be a Ferrari instead of a Volkswagon. That said we loved that little boat and wiped the eye of an awful lot of Rolex wearing folks.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-18-2007
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Agree with Loewe - regular Bondo tends to absorb moisture and is not really suited for underwater repairs and fairing.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-18-2007
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Use some sort of fairing epoxy compound, like West Systems with micro-ballon filler.


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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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post #5 of 8 Old 02-19-2007
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No on the automotive filler. It will end up on the ground under your trailer or the bottom of the lake.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-19-2007
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Well I guess I will go against the trend. Last spring I faired my lead keel with Bondo. I agree it does not sound too bright but I have several friends who faired their lead keels up to 20 years ago with it and they have stood up very well. They are all racers and very concerned about thier bottoms. I was told it is a polyester compound.

Once you apply it you sand almost all of it of again any way and it certainly is easier to sand than epoxy. I put 5 coats of Interlux 2000 over it and the hull which should keep it dry any way.

An iron keel may react differently.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-19-2007
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When I had my boat on the hard in a warehouse, the fairing material looked like bondo to me. The interlux filler smells just like bondo, if anything maybe a little denser, maybe not. The marine-tex is as hard as steel to sand.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-21-2007
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Believe me, you don't want to use automotive filler. It will absorb water and fail. I learned that the hard way. I recommend 3M's premium marine filler products. Do not buy the filler with the glass strands in it, you don't need that. You need a fairing compound. I've used this one with great success. It fills nicely and sands easily. It's blue in color so you can see it on a light colored surface.
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