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Hi sailnetters,
We've been hunting for the next boat and found a beauty. She's 34ft Aloha and has an encapsulated lead keel. Everything else on the hull is fair except for these marks at the front of the keel. I'm ready to get a survey, but wondering if anyone can shed light on what these marks could implicate?
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The Aloha 34 has a bolted on fin keel. Likely what you are seeing is cracking in the fairing compound used to fair out the keel flange. Whether this is inconsequential, or a bigger problem, would require some further examination. Cracks in fairing compound are not unusual. It is a nice design and sailing boat.

Mark
 

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Take a good, and CLOSE look at the bilge. That cracking could be cracking in the fairing compound from a rusting iron keel (as Mark points out), or it could be evidence of keel separation from the hull - possibly from grounding, or failing keel bolts, or failing keel stub. I would want to KNOW before whatever problem is causing the cracking becomes MY problem.
 

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I'd steer well clear of that boat. The damage could cost more than the boat is worth or somewhat less. You won't know until you can get in there and find out.
Does the owner seem like a straight shooter? If so you could ask him what his take on it is.
 
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The way I would think about it is: What would need to be done to be absolutely sure what the problem is.
I would guess to be absolutely sure an expert would need to remove everything until the root of the cracks are exposed and then a structural expert assesses the cause and affect.

And thats all expensive and far outside my expertise.

So I would find another boat..

Mark
 

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If you're fortunate, your $1000 surveyor will have enough knowledge and experience to ascertain what it is. If he/she can't, as Mark said you'd have to take this all down in order to inspect. Worst case, it's a grounding and bad.

I'd not take the risk submitting an offer without knowing what it is. Whether you want to spend for the surveyor is up to you. Our boat had a questionable repair, the surveyor said it was done very well and no problem, so our risk effectively ended there. Do you want to risk the surveyor's expense for an outcome that may be indeterminate?
 

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WOW. If that is fairing compound then someone did a wonderful job. If it is lead in an fiberglass encapsulation then it looks like quite a bit of damage to me. If it is encapsulated iron then find another boat. An iron keel is too much work as I learned from my first boat. An iron keel may be OK in fresh water.
 

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WOW. If that is fairing compound then someone did a wonderful job.
It isn't that difficult. I don't know about the Aloha specifically, but many manufacturers had a recess in the mold to exactly match the keel flange. So fairing it was just a matter of a quick buttering around the edges.

That those cracks look like they are following a flange profile leads me to suspect that is fairing compound.

Mark
 

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Run... don't look back! there are just too many boats available to settle for something with questionable keel attachment
 

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I've only surveyed 5 Aloha 34's (all in Ontario). All five had the keel hull joint glassed over and all had dull soundings and fractures in that area. All five also had very dull soundings and fractures in the rudder skeg. Bulkhead taping separation is also common. Tread carefully.
 
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