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Old 23-04-2018, 00:09   #1
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Alberg 30 keel repair

I have a 1969 Alberg 30 that I acquired last September. When I got it home, i found a small gouge on the very bottom of the keel. I'm considering filling it with reinforced epoxy putty before glassing it over. It is in an awkward spot for repair, and beauty is not really a primary concern. Its not very big, the widest part in the picture is about the size of the end of one's small finger. Any suggestions would be appreciated.Click image for larger version

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Old 23-04-2018, 14:40   #2
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

Don't know whether the keel in encapsulated lead or iron/steel. If the former sounds like a plan. If it's the latter and it's not leaking rusty water, would also work. If it's leaking water would want to a;;ow the dry the keel out before attempting the repair.
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Old 23-04-2018, 17:42   #3
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

Contact the alberg 30 user group and find out what was used for ballast; it's definitely encapsulated.
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Old 23-04-2018, 18:22   #4
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

According to sail data itís iron. Was there a rust stain coming out of there? I am wondering if the crack may have been caused by the iron rusting and expanding inside the keel. Hope we hear from Alberg 30 owners.
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Old 23-04-2018, 19:17   #5
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

I remember from materials science class that crack propagation is a major focus of study, and that a crack on the surface is as bad as an internal crack that is twice as long. I also remember from being a demolition dude that cast iron is incredibly tough and breaking a 1/2Ē thick pipe fitting takes serious smashing with a sledgehammer.

I can see from the picture that the crack has propagated in both directions from the initial impact. Repairs of this sort usually involve grinding out all of the compromised material, so that the shearing force of the crack is blunted, usually with a hole drilled where the crack ends to stop the further propagation, and then filling in the void. Can you take a picture from further back? If itís very small, you probably could just fill it up with epoxy and be okay. If you closely examine the ends of the crack, you may get an idea as to how actively and recently itís expanding.
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Old 24-04-2018, 11:36   #6
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

Our Alberg 30 had encapsulated steel ballast. It was the early version, Mark 1, easiest distinguishing feature from later versions was lack of spray hood for the sliding companionway hatch.
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Old 24-04-2018, 11:50   #7
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

As small as you say (maybe the size of a dime?) I would gouge it clean and fill with either glass layup or a glass fiber epoxy or resin mix. It appears to have been filled before. without fibers. The perfect fix would be a gouged sanded circle in which you put increasingly sized layers of thin fiberglass layup.
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Old 24-04-2018, 14:54   #8
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

A friend had a similar issue with his Alberg 37. He started by digging a hole under the keel so he could drill UP into the keel from below. He drilled a half inch hole. Several gallons of water (which should not have been in there) drained out. He let it drain and dry as long as possible, then did a repair like you described.

A few years later, he sold the boat. The new owner headed out the St Lawrence river and promptly hit a rock while sailing hard (over 5 knots). He immediately had the boat hauled to inspect for damage, and there was NONE. No word about the condition of the rock he hit.
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Old 24-04-2018, 20:29   #9
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidice View Post
I remember from materials science class that crack propagation is a major focus of study, and that a crack on the surface is as bad as an internal crack that is twice as long. I also remember from being a demolition dude that cast iron is incredibly tough and breaking a 1/2Ē thick pipe fitting takes serious smashing with a sledgehammer.

I can see from the picture that the crack has propagated in both directions from the initial impact. Repairs of this sort usually involve grinding out all of the compromised material, so that the shearing force of the crack is blunted, usually with a hole drilled where the crack ends to stop the further propagation, and then filling in the void. Can you take a picture from further back? If itís very small, you probably could just fill it up with epoxy and be okay. If you closely examine the ends of the crack, you may get an idea as to how actively and recently itís expanding.
I believe it is encapsulated iron in the keel
It is dry now, it seems to be the skin of the keel that is cracked it is flexible right at the site. I was thinking I might cut the damaged part out then fill with putty and glass
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Old 25-04-2018, 22:22   #10
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorik D Jester View Post
I believe it is encapsulated iron in the keel
It is dry now, it seems to be the skin of the keel that is cracked it is flexible right at the site. I was thinking I might cut the damaged part out then fill with putty and glass



Sounds like a plan to me; could be itís the continuous flexing that is lengthening the crack. It would be fast and relatively easy to fill it in. It might just work and you could move on with it.

However, given the facts, like this boat is new to you, I think that Hamburkingís suggestion to find a way to drill a hole in the bottom of the keel has a lot going for it. The integument of the keel has been breached. If the boat has been in the water since that hole has been there (and it looks like it has given the rusty color of the wound and the apparent age of the crack) then water has gotten in, and probably canít get out. Since youíre already going to be doing some patching and glassing anyways, drilling a few weep holes at the bottom of the keel and seeing what comes out seems like a good investment of time and energy. Even if youíre unable to come up from the bottom like Hamburking suggested, just getting within 3-4Ē of the bottom with a 1/2Ē hole would let you know where you stood. If water streams out, you made the right move and can probably get most of the rest to wick out with some cotton line. If itís dry, you just have a couple more small spots to fill in addition to your primary repair and you can be confident of your repaired keel. I can imagine a scenario where the area near the crack has dried out completely but below the water has pooled, and may cause further problems down the road.

I like this thread and want to know how it shakes out! Please keep posting!
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Old 29-04-2018, 05:03   #11
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Re: Alberg 30 keel repair

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Originally Posted by liquidice View Post
Sounds like a plan to me; could be itís the continuous flexing that is lengthening the crack. It would be fast and relatively easy to fill it in. It might just work and you could move on with it.

However, given the facts, like this boat is new to you, I think that Hamburkingís suggestion to find a way to drill a hole in the bottom of the keel has a lot going for it. The integument of the keel has been breached. If the boat has been in the water since that hole has been there (and it looks like it has given the rusty color of the wound and the apparent age of the crack) then water has gotten in, and probably canít get out. Since youíre already going to be doing some patching and glassing anyways, drilling a few weep holes at the bottom of the keel and seeing what comes out seems like a good investment of time and energy. Even if youíre unable to come up from the bottom like Hamburking suggested, just getting within 3-4Ē of the bottom with a 1/2Ē hole would let you know where you stood. If water streams out, you made the right move and can probably get most of the rest to wick out with some cotton line. If itís dry, you just have a couple more small spots to fill in addition to your primary repair and you can be confident of your repaired keel. I can imagine a scenario where the area near the crack has dried out completely but below the water has pooled, and may cause further problems down the road.

I like this thread and want to know how it shakes out! Please keep posting!
Thanks for your suggestions, this has been helpful. This is my first large boat and I'm very excited about it.
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