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Old 26-06-2015, 19:45   #1
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Catalina smile on a Newport 30

Today when diving on the boat to clean off a few barnacles I noticed hairline cracks on both sides of the keel with what appears to be some rust beginning to form there. The boat was hauled last year and there were no sign of cracks then. The keel bolts are completely bedded in epoxy deep enough that they are not visable. The cracks are much lower than where I thought the ballast would begin but I guess thats the joint where they meet.

Newport manual says:
The ballast on Newport boats is a solid lead and alloy keel. The galvanized iron keel bolts are permanently locked in place by positioning them in the keel at the time it is poured. An epoxy adhesive is applied to the top of the keel before it is bolted to the keel recess in the hull. A fiberglass cloth is bonded over the entire joined area to further seal it. A resin filler mixture is poured into the keel recess. The covered keel bolts and their nuts are now permanently locked and insured of never having water come in contact with them.
The area of the hull to keel joint and the entire keel is now coated and faired in with a resin based fairing agent.

Seems like pretty solid construction. No wood to wiggle or rot.

I'm looking for advice and experience regarding this issue.

Repair approach?
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Old 27-06-2015, 04:43   #2
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Re: Catalina smile on a Newport 30

The “Catalina Smile” refers to a problem exhibited by all the Catalinas built prior to mid-1988. With time a separation occurs between the keel and the keel stub, usually at the leading edge of the joint. The defect was attributed to the use of a wooden insert in the bilge between the top layer of fiberglass and the keel stub proper. The keel bolts pass through this insert, and it's thought that compression of the insert allows the keel to pull away from the stub, leading to the separation.

A yearly treatment is performed by cleaning out the keel gap and caulking it. For a more permanent fix, the top layer of fibreglass is removed from the bilge and the wood insert is removed. The bilge is subsequently built back up using epoxy fibreglass or sometimes metal plate. The keel bolts should be cleaned, recaulked, and retorqued with new washers and nuts. The keel joint itself should be ground out, covered with epoxy and fiberglass cloth, and refaired. The smile is not critical assuming the keel bolts are well preserved, and several affected boats are still in use today.

The smile can also be exacerbated by improper support of the keel when the boat is out of the water, particularly during long storage periods.

Andante: 1984 C30 - The Catalina Smile -

Catalina 27 - Factory Keel Drawings - Judy B's Bijou
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 27-06-2015, 11:29   #3
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Re: Catalina smile on a Newport 30

Thanks Gord. I'm aware what Catalina smile refers to. It is not limited to, but rather popularized by Catalina. My keel does not have a wooden insert like the catalinas.
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