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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So after our bonehead move hitting a rock (Seen here) we pulled the boat for the winter and got to assess the damage. We sheared off a bit of the bottom of the keel and there's a crack at the back which I assume was from the buckling from impact. I don't have any experience with this sort of damage so was hoping to get some opinions.

Sorry for the weird bottom photo, it was a hard angle and the sun was in the wrong place.



 

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First photo is from the front of the keel, I assume. Is that iron? In Any case that is not very serious. If it is iron you have to grind down, and even, then - very fast - work with something that protect from water, typically one uses many layers of epoxy. This can be done in spring, when temp is agreeable.

Second photo shows end part of keel, and some buckling. This is more serious. You might have got some water in the laminate. Cut away useless parts already now, either with a sharp knife / chiesel (+ hammer), or with an angle grinder. Smaller tools can also be used, in any case some care so not too much is removed. This removal is to be able to inspect how far damage has gone, and to let water dry out during winter. This is a job that should be done now.
In spring, the laminate has to be reinforced by adding new again. New glass over a rather large area in order to get good grip and strong reinforcement. Polyesther or epoxy canbe used, epoxy has the advantage of penetrating somewhat better.

Then do inspect inside as well, around where the keel ends. Buckling may have caused some effects there, not unusual at all. Look for cracks in the gelcoat (topcoat). It maybe necessary to reinforce from inside as well.

These jobs are not difficult to do, if you lack experience you should get more know-how from eg books. An alternative is to have someone else to do it.

/J
 

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That looks like an encapsulated keel... What kind of ballast? (concrete/lead/iron combination) This could be expensive..

FWIW, I posted on the same thread about my "discovery" of a poorly plotted rock. Here is the damage to my lead keel;

Overview:


Close up:


 

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Definitely take up your floorboards in the area behind the keel.. it's quite likely that you have separated some tabbing that held the floors and stringers in place. If so there's a loss of structural integrity that will need to be properly rebuilt.

What boat? Any idea how fast you were moving?
 

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Catalina should be lead, if the shiny damaged part doesn't have rust by morning it's lead. Most Cats I've seen have some glass overlapping the joint between keel and keel stub but it doesn't extend downward more then a few inches.
Disregard about the shiny part, I was looking at the wrong photo, Catalina still uses lead at any rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! It's a Cat 25.

So the damage was done a couple of months ago so no rust. I also did a thorough survey of the inside of the boat afterwards and didn't find any damage. How would I check stringer damage? Cat 25s aren't exactly easy to crawl around in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is there a good resource where I can read, in detail, how boats are put together? If I'm going to start hammering a chisel into my favorite thing in the world I want to know way more about how she's constructed :)
 

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I'd send your pics (or maybe better ones) to Catalina themselves. You're very likely to get an informed response and some guidance. Their owner support is pretty impressive.
 

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What year is your boat?

Catalina 25 fixed keels are lead from about mid/late 1983 onwards. They are iron before that. The lead ones are bolt on but are encased in a foamy fiberglass to give them the same underwater profile as the iron ones.

Near the same time that they changed keels they also made a separate locker in the cockpit for fuel. If your fuel is in the big "dumpster" laz then you probably have an iron keel.

You can access the area where the keel meets the hull by lifting up the boards that are under the quarterberth cushions and looking forwards towards the front of the boat. You can also see it from inside the bilge looking towards the rear.

I used to have a 1984 Catalina 25 (boat #4670).
 

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I remember you original post, I'm shock so much damage was incurred just motoring up a channel. Did you come to a stop or simply bounce over it..??
 

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If you have a lead keel restoration of the original shape is easy. Wash the damaged area. Let dry. If there are high areas, tap the areas with a hammer until they are the proper shape. Fill the low areas with a putty made of epoxy and phenolic microballoons. When the the putty is almost cured -- not sticky but you can still make a dent with your thumb nail --plane off the high areas with a surform tool. Repeat filling and planing until the shape is restored. Wait until the putty is fully cured and sand smooth with 80 grit paper,
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The boat is an 86 and definitely has a lead keel. I'm not worried about the bottom ding. Looks purely cosmetic and I'll patch it in the Spring.

So I've pulled the boat apart a couple times since the accident and haven't been able to find any cracks or stree marks on the inside of the hull, which has stayed bone dry. Later I found a slightly bent piece of metal on the engine holder so it looks like the force ran right along the boat and exited there. I had like 20 min this morning to check the back crack again and it doesn't actually look too deep. I can see some bits of a layer of fiberglass, maybe 1mm down before it's solid again.

I'm going to email Catalina and will let you know what they say. I just really hope there's nothing too major as I'm really excited to fix this myself!
 

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The boat is an 86 and definitely has a lead keel. I'm not worried about the bottom ding. Looks purely cosmetic and I'll patch it in the Spring.

So I've pulled the boat apart a couple times since the accident and haven't been able to find any cracks or stree marks on the inside of the hull, which has stayed bone dry. Later I found a slightly bent piece of metal on the engine holder so it looks like the force ran right along the boat and exited there. I had like 20 min this morning to check the back crack again and it doesn't actually look too deep. I can see some bits of a layer of fiberglass, maybe 1mm down before it's solid again.

I'm going to email Catalina and will let you know what they say. I just really hope there's nothing too major as I'm really excited to fix this myself!
The internal damage can be hard to spot, esp if the inner structure is a liner. Typically solid glass layups can flex significantly before visibly cracking.. But that can cause widespread separation or tabbing on reinforcements like floors and stringers. If that function is provided by a liner moulding, it's possible it has separated the bond with the hull, even in the absence of visible damage to the liner itself.

Catalina reps should have good insight here, and in my experience are quick to respond.
 

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glass the smile and fair the leading edge that got damaged..

if you have access to stringers and inside the floors tale a look

if no damage be happy
 

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If you are unsure of hidden damage it might be worth getting an opinion from a surveyor or someone you trust at your shipyard.
 

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You might check with Gougeon Bros. (West Systems) to see what they have on their web site about hull and keel repairs. If there's nothing there, call their tech support number, they'll go over the possible problems, exactly what to look for, and how extensive the repairs could be. They'll even give you an estimate of what materials would cost to do the repairs, using their products of course. Which are generally good competitive stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Cut away useless parts already now, either with a sharp knife / chiesel (+ hammer), or with an angle grinder. Smaller tools can also be used, in any case some care so not too much is removed. This removal is to be able to inspect how far damage has gone, and to let water dry out during winter. This is a job that should be done now.
In spring, the laminate has to be reinforced by adding new again. New glass over a rather large area in order to get good grip and strong reinforcement. Polyesther or epoxy canbe used, epoxy has the advantage of penetrating somewhat better.
I spoke to Catalina customer service and this is exactly what they told me to do. Thanks!
 
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