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SS27
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I have a keel on SS 27 that has some damage done by a reef. Does anyone know what type of resin was used in the manufacture of the yacht. 1986 is the build year.
also any advice on how to repair it would be greatly appreciated F1CEDD1F-E110-4E56-8013-3282100E18F2.jpeg
 

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Holy moly. There’s a story there I assume.

I’d be concerned about far more than the original resin, which I don’t think needs to be matched. Many modern resins are superior. Understanding what keeps that keel secure to the hull is undisturbed (seems impossible) works be mission number one.
 

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Any good quality resin will do. The original resin has long since cured so matching it wont make a difference. Bonding with the new resin will be adhesive vs the chemical bond you get when laying resin over a surface that has not fully cured.
 

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While the original resin was almost certainly polyester, most repairs are done with epoxy resin. With that amount of keel damage I would be concerned about structural damage to the bottom of the hull that supports the keel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Holy moly. There’s a story there I assume.

I’d be concerned about far more than the original resin, which I don’t think needs to be matched. Many modern resins are superior. Understanding what keeps that keel secure to the hull is undisturbed (seems impossible) works be mission number one.
While the original resin was almost certainly polyester, most repairs are done with epoxy resin. With that amount of keel damage I would be concerned about structural damage to the bottom of the hull that supports the keel.
Thanks for the advice.
The keel is lead ingots laid inside the fibreglass shell of keel which also looks like it is a part of the hull structure.
No cracks evident at or around the keel to hull area.
I was thinking of just forming up the initial shape and laying up glass. Fair the shape, once done fill the void with lead pellets and pour some epoxy mix in. Close up the hole and barrier coat then antifoul.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice.
The keel is lead ingots laid inside the fibreglass shell of keel which also looks like it is a part of the hull structure.
No cracks evident at or around the keel to hull area.
I was thinking of just forming up the initial shape and laying up glass. Fair the shape, once done fill the void with lead pellets and pour some epoxy mix in. Close up the hole and barrier coat then antifoul?
 

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Is the boat being used for extensive offshore passages? Or is it for costal day cruising and occasional overnight short voyages?

If its for day sailing/racing/cruising in a costal situation I think its probably fine to fix it now.

However if you are going on extensive ocean cruising (your flag is Australian), trans Tasman, around Tasmania, crossing Bass Strait, outside the Great Barrier Reef, to Indonesia etc, then there is a danger of the keel falling off in heavy seas and the boat instantly overturning. This happened a few years ago on a boat called Cheeky Rafiky. They didnt attend to the structural join between the keel and the hull after a bad grounding. They hit a 50 knot gale and 4 people were killed.

Of course, a costal cruiser/racer will never get into those weather situations so its no problem.

Cheeki Rafiki - Wikipedia


If you are going offshore, the type of person to properly inspect that join between keel and hull is a Marine Surveyor... and I think they come attached to a hand held ultra sound machine. But the cost can be high(!!!) so find out the price first.

Mark
 

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While you have not identified the make and model of the boat in enough detail to be 100% certain of what it is, I assume that it is this boat:
The Spacesailer 27 is a 27-foot (8.3 metre) fiberglass yacht designed by local naval architect Kim Swarbrick in the 1970s.
The SS27 was designed for high performance racing whist at the same time providing spacious accommodation for cruising at a reasonable cost. Today, there are over 40 SS27’s in use in WA, including 15 at South of Perth Yacht Club.
They can be competitively raced with a crew of 4, but optimum racing performance is more comfortably achieved with a crew of 6.

Looking at the construction plan ( https://www.spacesailer27.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Hull-Construction-Plan.pdf ) , that appears to be an encapsulated keel. An encapsulated keel will be extremely difficult to repair since the fiberglass skin is what supports the ballast keel. The construction plan shows the original laminate schedule.

Given that those boats in really good condition appear to have a resale price around $20,000 AU, done properly by professionals the repair is likely to cost more than the value of the boat. Done properly by a boat owner, the materials will be close to half of the value of the boat and require a very skilled owner with a lot of time on their hands., Either way, even if the repair was done perfectly, that level of damage will greatly diminish the value of the repaired boat.

The proper repair would require properly supporting the hull and keel independently so that they remain in the proper orientation to each other. That will be tricky because to do the repair, you will need full access to the entire surface of the ballast keel, and the temporary supporting structure of the ballast keel will get in the way of full access. But assuming you can work that out, the repair would start by removing all of the fiberglass from the ballast keel..

The is no doubt that the original resin was a polyester resin. polyester forms very weak secondary bonds (bonding between laminate after the original laminate has cured).so you will probably need to do the repair with epoxy and woven roving and biaxial fiberglass cloth. If you do the repair with epoxy, you should end up with close to the original strength. Done properly the joint between the new glass work and the existing will need to be a taper. Generally, the recommendation for the taper is 24 times the thickness of the hull on structural repairs, which means that above the edge of where the undamaged laminate begin will be a margin between 13cm and 30 cm wide that tapers from nearly zero thickness, to the full thickness of the existing laminate. You could use vinylester resin but the repair won't have the same strength, but it would be way easier to work with and a little less expensive. If you did use vinylester then the taper needs to be roughly 50% wider than for epoxy

The next step would be to start building up laminations of glass and resin until you reach the overall thickness shown on the construction plans. It will be very difficult to end up with a fair shape, so you will need to spend time fairing the hull and keel. You might do that before applying the last layer of laminate since fairing materials tend to be less reliable than laminate as a skin.

These boats appear to have molded transverse frames. That kind of damage would probably have damaged the frames and their connections to the hull. If that is the case, That would require adding a completely different scope of work.

Figure that you will probably have 200-500 hours in this repair.

You might see whether the original molds exist for this boat., If the molds still exist (and it does look like they may), a plan 'B' would be to mold the keel area up to the bottom of the hull join using vinylester resin and conventional fiberglass roving and biaxial cloth. Fill the void with the original lead ballast. Create a tapered connection per above, and then using epoxy and fiberglass per above. That would save a huge number of hours and materials.

Lead shot in resin would be way less dense than the originally specified lead casting or even than ingots. Using lead shot would diminish the value of the repaired boat to close to zero since it would be considerably more tender than a properly repaired boat.

Jeff
 

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Moody 425
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This happened a few years ago on a boat called Cheeky Rafiky. They didnt attend to the structural join between the keel and the hull after a bad grounding. They hit a 50 knot gale and 4 people were killed.

Of course, a costal cruiser/racer will never get into those weather situations so its no problem.

Cheeki Rafiki - Wikipedia


If you are going offshore, the type of person to properly inspect that join between keel and hull is a Marine Surveyor... and I think they come attached to a hand held ultra sound machine. But the cost can be high(!!!) so find out the price first.

Mark
I believe the Spacesailors have encapsulated keels FWIW. No this doesn't in anyway exclude them from being compromised structurally in the wrong situation, it potentially complicates the repair. Can only agree with Mark, getting a marine surveyor to have a look and advise would be a prudent idea.

The below might be of some help. There is other good info on that website and joining up would put you in touch with other owners.

Spacesailor 27 Hull
 

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SS27
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is the boat being used for extensive offshore passages? Or is it for costal day cruising and occasional overnight short voyages?

If its for day sailing/racing/cruising in a costal situation I think its probably fine to fix it now.

However if you are going on extensive ocean cruising (your flag is Australian), trans Tasman, around Tasmania, crossing Bass Strait, outside the Great Barrier Reef, to Indonesia etc, then there is a danger of the keel falling off in heavy seas and the boat instantly overturning. This happened a few years ago on a boat called Cheeky Rafiky. They didnt attend to the structural join between the keel and the hull after a bad grounding. They hit a 50 knot gale and 4 people were killed.

Of course, a costal cruiser/racer will never get into those weather situations so its no problem.

Cheeki Rafiki - Wikipedia


If you are going offshore, the type of person to properly inspect that join between keel and hull is a Marine Surveyor... and I think they come attached to a hand held ultra sound machine. But the cost can be high(!!!) so find out the price first.

Mark
Thanks Mark. point taken
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Mark. point taken. The structural integrity is sound. The keel is superficial similar to a bad graze, as she dragged anchor and was rubbing on the reef. Not a hard impact. There is no cracks in or around the keel to hull. This is what i looked for before i took ownership. She was inspected and the repairs would cost 20k (insurance claim) inclusive of labour rates in Australia so i would roughly guess 70% would be labour costs. i estimated my cost of repair to be around 7k in resin and sundry items. My labour is love for a classic, which i crewed on her in her racing days and still crew with previous owner so he is excited to see herm sailing again. Roughly 50 to 100kg of lead has been rubbed away on the reef. After reading some of the comments i have decided to reinstate the lead in ingot form before i glass. this should make for a solid structure and bond. No voids, She will be used as a cruising yacht, for coastal cruising.
 
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