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Old 27-04-2016, 10:29   #1
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Iron Keel

Gooday lads have a interest in a baba30 nice boat but has a iron keel ..has anyone had experience with such keel was wondering about rusting in salt water and if there is more problems with these..cheers

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Old 27-04-2016, 10:54   #2
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Re: Iron Keel

We have a cast iron ballast here. A slab on a grp stub. SS bolts, paired, 10 pairs. Bolts are in pockets and can be retrieved and controlled from within the boat.

The procedure (where ours was built) was to dip galvanize after casting. Later it was epoxied (no glass) over. Once the galvanizing gets scratched, water can get in and the thing starts to rust. No problems in boats hauled our annually.

I have seen ballasts like this in pristine condition as well as completely rusty.

If you find a rusty one, sandblast to bare metal, epoxy. Depending on how much epoxy you use and how well you do the job, you are fine for 3 to 10 years or thereabout.

If you have a very seriously rusty cast iron keel you want to make sure the bolts are fine. If they are not, renew them.

Do do the job very very well on a very very rusty one it may require to drop the keel. You normally unstep the mast first then.

Level: easy.


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Old 27-04-2016, 22:01   #3
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Re: Iron Keel

Believe your boat has a glass encapsulated keel. They seem to last without issues. My old boat is over 40 years old and doing fine. There was some fear that water would intrude causing corrosion resulting in swelling of the ballast but that des t seem to have happened. There are a ton of boats out there with encapsulated iron ballast and haven't heard of any wide spread issues. FWIW, THEY've dug up iron instruments that are thousands of years old. They are rusty but still recognizable. Same goes for cannons from hundreds of years old shipwrecks.
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
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Old 27-04-2016, 22:32   #4
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Re: Iron Keel

My boat also has a cast iron keel that is just painted over I believe, may be epoxied around the hull joint. I haul out every 2-3 years, you can notice some rust in a few places but it is just cosmetic. The keel will outlast the boat many times over. If you are racing, you may want to sand it annually to keep it smooth but for cruising it is no issue. I would not worry about it at all.
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