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Old 05-07-2008, 09:50   #1
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My kells 23 (in need of help)

Well... Here it is.... my 1977 kells 23 that was passed on to me. I am new to sailing and could really use some advice. I have been doing some research... but I am still pretty lost. I have most of what I need to sail (i think) however I am missing a rudder (any ideas where I could get or make one) and spreaders for the mast. The sails are surprisingly in excellent shape, even spotless, but the boat itself is pretty rough.

As you can see there are some hairline cracks in the fiberglass (on the deck mainly) and some pretty big holes in the cabin. Though the hull looks and feels pretty solid still. Mainly what I really need advice on right now is fiberglass repair, and getting the boat ready for water, cosmetics can wait for now.

I do have more pics and close ups on the hardware of this boat and of the cracks and stuff, so if you need better views of anything just let me know. Thanks for the advice.

P.S will be putting the boat in the water soon to check for leaks and see if the swing keel is functioning normally... will keep you posted.

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Old 05-07-2008, 19:17   #2
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That looks like a pretty big project. Good luck.

You have lot's of skills to learn at this point. The West system for fibreglass repair is pretty dead nut simple to use. Preparation of any areas to be repaired is the key. Many areas are cosmetic only and are straightforward in terms of how to scarf the area for patching. Structural areas - think anything that secures another part of the boat, like winch mounts, bolted areas, chain plates etc. - require more engineering thought regarding how to restore the strength in the structure.

Do you have a mast and boom> Rigging? Where is the mainsheet traveller? On teh coach roof?

If you can't get a plan for a rudder you may have to design one from scratch.
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:52   #3

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Sweet!! I had this as my first boat too!!

She's a fine boat to learn on. The gel coat crazing is no big deal. I wouldn't put a lot into her quite yet. As you said, dip her on the water (probably has a trailer, right?) and see how she works.

Regarding the tiller and rudder, you thankfully don't have anything complicated there. It's not a "balanced" rudder and has no "wing" aspects to its shape. It was simply a piece of metal rigged to a tiller arm. You can use aluminum or well painted steel. It was approx 1/4" thick.

Holes were drilled into it and it was painted with bottom paint (use the proper aluminum paint). I wish I had the shape to give you. I can only describe that it was rounded at the bottom, rather than a square rudder. But... it was completely flat (no "wing" aspect to it)

Definitely upgrade your pintles and gudgeons though. Mine cracked and broke pretty quickly with some good hours on them. Go up several sizes from what you have in the photo. Those are the stock ones and they are very weak.

As Dan said, West System is good. Go to West Marine and take a read of the packages and any info you can to figure out how to use the West System products - or look online.

Another weak spot on these is the little "divider" with compression post that holds up the cabin top, which in turn holds up the mast. Mine always "dishpanned" in until I put some extra structure in there to keep it up.
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