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Old 05-12-2012, 11:50   #1
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Filling the Keel?

Has anyone had the thought of filling the majority of the cavity in the keels with sprayfoam or fiberglass?

The concern is that if there is ever a hole in the lower part of the keel, the cavity on our 2001 410 is almost completely inaccessible in order to try to stop a leak with a plug or the "mop" method.

Any thoughts would be helpful.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:07   #2
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Re: Filling the Keel???

Biggest problem after it's done is a cupful of any liquid flies around everywhere whereas if in a keel or pot/low spot it usually stay's put!

Fix from outside.....

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Old 05-12-2012, 14:49   #3
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Re: Filling the Keel???

I did what you described. I filled the cavity with foam and covered with vinylester glass (it resists water penetration), creating much shallower and smaller drain box where both manual and electrical bilge hoses end. My main reasons for doing so, beside one you mentioned:
- original cavity is very deep and hard to see whether there is any water or foreign object
- if there is water/dirt/etc., it is hard to clean/get out. I have long arms, but not long enough to reach where I need to
- the aft portion of keel cavity is so narrow that it is very difficult to clean

Time will tell whether it was wise thing to do...

I keep my bilges dust-dry and clean. If I see water there, I need to find where it came from.
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Old 05-12-2012, 16:06   #4
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Re: Filling the Keel???

I,have pondered this many times.Would one not think builders would do this if they thought necessary.My main logic for not doing it is if you do get damage in this area would you not have to access the inside to repair?
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:28   #5
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Re: Filling the Keel???

Quote:
Originally Posted by casual View Post
I,have pondered this many times.Would one not think builders would do this if they thought necessary.My main logic for not doing it is if you do get damage in this area would you not have to access the inside to repair?
Extremely hard to get at to repair, so really the repair would be easier from the outside.
Whatever caused you to repair may not have sunk you due to the capped keel.

As with all idea's there's pro's and con's.

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Old 06-12-2012, 13:08   #6
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Re: Filling the Keel?

Thank you for the replies. My main concern is keeping all bodies onboard if a keel hole happens during extreme or adverse conditions. Would much rather deal with issues from inside if possible. The keel cavity is offset away from the floorboard access and is tappered down to 2 inches (if that) and goes down maybe 3+feet. (Am not on the boat at the moment so do not have actual measures.) Definitely not easy to access the cavity bottom or sides. If trying to patch with water rushing in, you will most likely be laying down, working with one hand/arm hyperextended and your head will probably be below the floorboards and underwater. So, I am thinking I can fill it and fiberglass in a much shallower/more manageable bilge cavity.
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Old 06-12-2012, 13:47   #7
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Re: Filling the Keel?

You don't want to fix hull breeches from the inside. Nearly impossible to plug the hole because water pressure is working against you. If you could brace something against the patch, might work. Way easier to use a collision mat, sawdust, saran wrap or anything you can put against the hull on the outside and have water pressure working for you.

Cats don't heel much but any water that gets in will still works it's way around the boat. A sump helps to keep the water down there rather than slopping up the sides and soaking everything it comes in contact with. I've owned monos with no bilge sump and they are such a PITA would never own one again. It's no fun being on a boat when everything is soaked.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:54   #8
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Re: Filling the Keel?

Get a smaller 5L pail or something and set that into your sprayfoam so when you glass the top you have a sump hole to end the bilgepump hoses into. Easier to have 5" of water in a 7" round sump than have a flat surface covered with 1/4" of water. Less evaporation surface and a small pump deals with leaks from the hatches et al, rather than having to get busy with a mop.
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