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Old 06-03-2013, 19:43   #1
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Catalina keel cracking...

I have a question conserning a catalina 30 I am thinking of looking at here soon. I am told that the keels will crack where it meets the hull. Is this true? and/ or does this pose a threat for the dynamics of the boat.

So I guess I was hearing things. Or there is not 1 catalina 30 owner who has delt with this problem. Any information

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Old 06-03-2013, 20:23   #2
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Re: Catalina keel cracking...

This is usually called the "Catalina Smile" if you google that phrase you can read all about it.

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Old 07-03-2013, 06:51   #3
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Re: Catalina keel cracking...

SOme of the older 1970's and early 1980''s boats would get a crack around the hull/keel joint, that usually did not effect performance or allow water intursion....

It isn't a big deal and was fixed by adding a couple of extra keel bolts.

I would suggest if you are looking at C-30's you might want to join the International Catalina 30 Association... They have a huge group and can answer you questions concerning this boat.
Tom Jeremiason
SV Camelot
Punta Gorda, Florida
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:13   #4
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Re: Catalina keel cracking...

The Catalina smile was normally seen around the rear of the keel and was due to someone hauling it that didn't know what they were doing. The heel on the 30 is swept backwards and if the boat isn't blocked properly the keel pushes up at ate rear causing.a crack in the hull..
The gap at the front is normal from mis-match between hull and keel and normally faired to cure the issue..
We purchased a c30 years ago and when hauled the keel was lose from the hull. Simple fix, cleaned the joint, packed with 52 hundred an set the boat on its keel, installed larger washers on the bolts and tightened up the nuts... Solved...
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:40   #5
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Re: Catalina keel cracking...

9 times out of 10 this is a cosmetic condition. There will be some (absolutely minimal) movement at the keel hull joint due to the leverage and weight of the keel (on a otherwise sound boat). The joint is most often faired with a polyester (sometimes epoxy) filler. The lead keel, fiberglass hull and filler all expand and contract at different rates and hairline fractures are inevitable. The more filler, the more cracks.

In some cases the fractures may be more than cosmetic so get a competent surveyor to look at it.

This condition is not specific to Catalina's but to any boat with keel sump integral to the hull mold that has filler in the joint between that sump and the keel. The C&C guys call it the C&C smile, the CS guys call it the CS smile the .........
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Old 13-03-2013, 03:08   #6
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Re: Catalina keel cracking...

It is an easy repair. There are a lot of videos and blogs about how others repaired their boats.

It didn't sink all the way - you can still see the mast
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