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Old 18-04-2010, 16:15   #1
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Fiberglass Keel over Steel

My buddy had a bit of a car wreck when trailering, now there is a separation of the fiberglass from the keel. I am relatively sure that the keel has a steel core, and the fiberglass wrap is the only thing that is damaged in one spot. We hammer tested the entire area for hollow spots and determined that there is one area approximately 8 inches in diameter that needs to be repaired.

Because it is the keel, and separate from the rest of the hull; Instead of cutting out all of the fiberglass in this area and rebuilding it, is is possible to drill several holes in the damaged section and inject fiberglass resin directly to the damaged area?

If it is possible, the time, materials, and equipment required to repair the keel would be greatly reduced.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 19-04-2010, 10:19   #2
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Yes it is, but I would use Epoxy instead of Polyester. Fibreglass seperating from the steel keel is a common problem as Polyester has no real adhesive properties. Firstly make sure that the damage and delamination is minimal and not structural. When most keels get a bang either on the trailer or in the water the resulting damage is usually at it weakest point around the hull joint and the keelbolts. Look closely at the surrounding gelcoat for telltale stress fractures if they are evident it may need to be looked at, if not, a diy job of injecting epoxy mixed with microfibres into the delaminated area should do it. Make sure there is no moisture or water trapped in the damaged area, flush it with acetone, heat the area to promote curing (a 500w Halogen works well) inject it and brace it under pressure.
Hope this helps.
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