Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Is this just superficial damage to keel?
You may want a different surveyor to take a look at that. It simply isn't possible that a competent surveyor could miss a keel stub crack like that. It's absolutely standard to look for, let alone grossly obvious.
If you have an iron keel hanging off a fiberglass stub (which I think is the case), the big dent above is in the glass. For starters, a surveyor should be looking for structural issues, like cracking inside the hull. However, I suspect you have a structural liner that makes that impossible.
Secondly, one would want to pull a keel bolt or two (all would be better), in order to determine if water has made it to the threads. In a boat of that age, you would probably want to know they are in good shape anyway, possible even replace them. At an absolute minimum, you want to know they are properly torqued, before you fix that joint. Now's the time to do it. The good news is that studs into an iron keel are the easier to replace. To do the job properly, you should really drop the keel, clean the mating surfaces and rebond them. If you examine them, they're in good shape and there is no water, replacing them may not be necessary. If they're borderline, you might as well replace them, to avoid the labor a second time.
It's not uncommon for an iron keel to show some rust at the joint, as flexing is going to eventually open up the surface of anything that ties them together. Your questions is whether that's all it is, or did an impact open up the surface bonding too.
A competent surveyor would have taken pictures, so whether that was damaged after the survey should be easy to determine. In fact, they should in your survey, so I'm a bit confused over this situation.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.