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Old 16-02-2014, 08:31   #1
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How is my keel made?

I am not sure off the construction of my keel. No problems, but nice to know.
My boat is glassfiber(grp?), lead keel. The sump has a flat surface, no keel bolts. The former owner told me that the hull was handmade in one piece with a hollow grp keel, that was then filled up with bits of lead and resin.
It has been grounded at some point, and a small chunck in the front end of the keel was lost and repaired, without any other damage. This winter i removed the paint around the damage, and what i saw was solid lead?
After what the former owner told me, i was supposed to find fiberglass and not lead! And especially not solid lead but pieces of lead in resin!
So how does this add up?
Maybe there ARE bolts, but covered with resin? This would take a lot of resin, and for what reason?
And if the keel is solid, why cant i see where the keel and hull are joined together?

The boat is Swedish made and the building quality seems excelent, and very solid.

Any ideas?
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Old 16-02-2014, 08:58   #2
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Re: How is my keel made?

Your keel is most likely made with a little love and a lot of apathy...

Maybe the lead pieces are "bigger" than you imagined???
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Old 16-02-2014, 09:06   #3
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Re: How is my keel made?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesperht View Post
I am not sure off the construction of my keel. No problems, but nice to know.
My boat is glassfiber(grp?), lead keel. The sump has a flat surface, no keel bolts. The former owner told me that the hull was handmade in one piece with a hollow grp keel, that was then filled up with bits of lead and resin.
It has been grounded at some point, and a small chunck in the front end of the keel was lost and repaired, without any other damage. This winter i removed the paint around the damage, and what i saw was solid lead?
After what the former owner told me, i was supposed to find fiberglass and not lead! And especially not solid lead but pieces of lead in resin!
So how does this add up?
Maybe there ARE bolts, but covered with resin? This would take a lot of resin, and for what reason?
And if the keel is solid, why cant i see where the keel and hull are joined together?

The boat is Swedish made and the building quality seems excelent, and very solid.

Any ideas?
This sound scary. I had a similar problem with my boat when I bought it. It has an encapsulated lead keel. It had a crack possibly from a close encounter with a hard rock. To fix the crack I kept cutting the mostly white laminate with a sawzall until I found green, good fibreglass. But I did hit the lead and it was solid. I was able to fill the hole and properly built up the laminate thickness.

If this is an encapsulated keel you should see a thick laminate before you find lead. If what you see is lead ingots and resin, this should have been covered with fibreglass.

To get more help, post some pictures and let us know what is the boat model, size and who made it.
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Old 16-02-2014, 09:09   #4
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Re: How is my keel made?

No worries

On the side of the keel, under water, are "pockets" where the bolts are exposed and the nuts go on. These pockets are closed with some light material like a single layer of fiberglass cloth and then painted to look like the rest.

You'll find it by searching for tell tails or knocking and detecting the different sound. Careful or you'll knock right through it.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 16-02-2014, 09:27   #5
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Re: How is my keel made?

The solid lead was at the bottom at the keel, absolutely no cracks or other things that looks wrong. I am pretty sure there are no bolts, if there where, why cover them totally with resin?
The damage was made in Germany, i guess i will write them to know how they made it and maybe the know the construction. The damage was, as far as i know, a minor damage like most boats have had.
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Old 16-02-2014, 13:25   #6
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Re: How is my keel made?

I just went down to the boat to have a closer look. I took of the paint on several places, and under that there was fiberglass, only on the one place i mentioned the was lead, and my guess is that the repair was made with lead. I dont now why, but have asked the people that made it. So i guess the former owner was right, Chunck of lead and resin...
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Old 16-02-2014, 16:50   #7
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Re: How is my keel made?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesperht View Post
I just went down to the boat to have a closer look. I took of the paint on several places, and under that there was fiberglass, only on the one place i mentioned the was lead, and my guess is that the repair was made with lead. I dont now why, but have asked the people that made it. So i guess the former owner was right, Chunck of lead and resin...
Well, you lost me now… I thought you wrote that you found that the boat had external lead ballast? I have never heard of lead to be used to fix damage in fiberglass; I would expect that fiberglass would be used to repair fiberglass.

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Old 16-02-2014, 23:28   #8
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Re: How is my keel made?

Sorry, maybe my english is to blame. No external ballast. The keel is supposed to be hollow gpr filled with lead and resin. Because of that i wondered why i could se lead when i took of some paint near the damge in the front, and i still wonder why, but it seams they have used some lead to make the repair. This is though the only place where i see lead. Yesterday i took of paint several places, and all the places i found gpr.
So i guess the keel is made of lead and resin covered by gpr, and this must be a very solid construction. I agree that the repair is very unusual, i will try to figure out why.
There are only few made of this boat, and the factory burned down several years ago, so information is very hard to get. It is a 37 foot sailboat with 3,5 ton lead keel.
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Old 17-02-2014, 13:09   #9
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Re: How is my keel made?

Jesper

Boats with encapsulated lead keel are made hollow, then the lead is either molten and poured in a mould then lowered into the keel or lead ingots are placed in the keel then resin is poured on top.
There is no way anyone can repair a keel like that with lead on the outside.
If you see lead, its either because the lamination was removed or its a lead keel bolted to the boat.
If you can, please post a picture so that we can help you with the issue, otherwise it will be a guessing game.
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