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Re: Another Venture 17 keel repair question Another Venture 17 keel repair thread
There isn't enough information in that photo to really tell what is happening or even what part of the boat you are looking at. The other thing is that Macgregor tended to make changes during production so that there could be pretty big variations in how the centerboard is actually constructed.
If we are actually looking at the centerboard (drop keel), rather than the bilge area of the centerboard trunk, then my first suggestion is to grind away any areas of loose or cracked glass until you get to either solid glass or the core of the centerboard. At that point take pictures so that we can evaluate the conditions that you have discovered.
Depending on what you find, the next steps would be:
1. If there is steel and it is intact, neutralize any rust
2. If there is wood, and it has rot, replace the wood as necessary
3. If you have ground down through the laminate (f.g. reinforced portion of the skin on the board) then clean up and grind the sides and edges of the centerboard roughly fair, and glass over them with several layers of cloth and resin. I personally would favor epoxy for its better adhesion, ductility, hardness and minimal imperviousness. But epoxy is more expensive and harder to work with than something like Vinylester resin, so if epoxy is not an option then I would use vinylester resin. I would not use polyester. For reinforcing I would use a mix of biaxial and heavier conventional F.G. fabric.
4, Once you had perhaps 2 to 4 layers of cloth, I would fair with either thickened epoxy (I would recommend MAS epoxy or a non-amine blush version of West System if you use epoxy) or with thickened vinylester. My pet trick for fairing is to use a notched trowel (squeegee with notches) and to apply the thickened resin so that the grooves from the trowel leave distinct and comparative straight lines the long dimension of the item that I am fairing. The raised portions are easier to grind to a fair shape. (Use a batten or make a template to check fairness). Once fair it is easy to fill the grooves flush with the tops of the now faired raised portions of the filler. Once sanded fair again I would put on a coat or two of epoxy or vinylester resin (depending on which you used for the project) to seal any open pores in the filler. And finally sand the surface smooth and apply a barrier coat either of epoxy, vinylester or a product like Interprotect or Petit protect which also make great primers if you intend to put bottom paint on.
The above are sort of the worst case procedures, but also the ones that you are most likely to encounter. MacGregor who built the Ventures closed their doors back in 2015, and the successor company, Tatooyachts appears to have closed as well so I don't think that you can buy a replacement board.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay