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Old 05-02-2013, 13:13   #1
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Keel Crack Assesment

Hello All,
I just boat a heavily discounted sailboat, knowing that it will require a lot of work. In addition to recoring the top deck, the major problem is a split in the keel. The crack is interesting because it is only along the forward edge of the keel for about 6-15 inches. Any thoughts on what this could be? How would you go about repairing it? Is this a bang in place and seal with epoxy job?
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Old 05-02-2013, 13:30   #2
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

Depends on what the ballast is. If iron of any type, that won't work and the crack is caused by corrosive expansion. That means you'd have to peel the glass off of the keel, treat it with a rust killer and reglass.
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Old 05-02-2013, 13:45   #3
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

It might help if you told us what sort of boat she is, and if the keel is a bolt on or encapsulated and what material the ballast is. All of these factors will bear on the repair technique.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 05-02-2013, 13:52   #4
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

More details would be useful - but forward edge suggests collision damage, at least for the start of the problems!

Likely that the fix will involve investigation - with an angle grinder! and fingers crossed the affected area is limited to that leading edge and therefore can get away with a reglass / epoxy fix.
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Old 05-02-2013, 13:56   #5
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pirate Re: Keel Crack Assesment

It does not look like an encapsulated keel... all wrong where it joins the hull... seen rudders like that but never a keel..
Got a feeling its something like an old Morgan...
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:03   #6
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

I have heard that during boat construction boats are built in halves then put together. This looks like the seam where the halves were joined. Yes one should investigate how or why the separated. If collision is the cause I would have no problem grinding and sanding the seam and adding substantial layers of glass to rebuild.
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:27   #7
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
It does not look like an encapsulated keel... all wrong where it joins the hull... seen rudders like that but never a keel..
Got a feeling its something like an old Morgan...
G'Day Phil,

I agree that it doesn't really look like an encapsulated keel, but if not, why is there such thick glass around the ballast? I suppose that it could be a cast iron fin in there and the glass is supposed to keep it from rusting... and didn't!

IF it is collision damage, I'd expect more signs of crushing along the edge, but it isn't a great photo for that detail.

Interesting...

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:30   #8
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

I would look closely at all the interior structure in the bottom of the boat that supports the keel. If this was a result of hitting something it may have cracked or broken some internal members. If not then you're just dealing with a keel repair job.
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:42   #9
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pirate Re: Keel Crack Assesment

Hey Jim... agree about the glass but that looks amuteurish and like a few years after 1st launch job... doubt a builder would turn out a hull with that matt standing proud the way it is...
I've had 3 boats with encapsulated keels and the hull form flowed into the keel on all of them.. this does not..
But then... I'm often wrong..
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Old 05-02-2013, 15:06   #10
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

My wooden nickel worth of advice...If digging deep into this issue, you find out that the damage is internal from here x--------------x to there, laterally/parallel to the floor/sideways, that keel is done; not worth repairing. If the damage is perpendicular/90 degrees to ground level (up/down damage), it is repairable, but very costly. Mauritz
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Old 05-02-2013, 15:37   #11
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V_Surya View Post
I have heard that during boat construction boats are built in halves then put together. This looks like the seam where the halves were joined. Yes one should investigate how or why the separated. If collision is the cause I would have no problem grinding and sanding the seam and adding substantial layers of glass to rebuild.
This is unlikely the case when you look at the hull form. The hull looks a one piece popout with the keel attached.

Perhaps the keel was rubbing against (mooring? / chain?) and the leading edge of the laminate got chafed thru?

As said above, repair will depend on the damage extent and the ballast material.

More info? Boat type? Ballast type?

b.
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Old 05-02-2013, 15:49   #12
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

Doh, if you grind some more off you will see how much of a damage there is as well as what the material is (looks a fine cast iron fin to my eye).

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Old 05-02-2013, 20:13   #13
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

Wow Thanks all for the plethora of opinions! Sorry for the lack of detailed info. I am picking up the boat this weekend so have not seen the crack first hand. This boat is a 1971 Luders 21.

LUDERS 21 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

It says a bulb keel, but honestly until I get my hands on it, no idea about what kind of ballast it is. I am hoping grinding it out will reveal more. I will post additional pictures once I get to it. If you have any additional repair ideas for now let me know.

John
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Old 05-02-2013, 21:13   #14
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

All thanks for the replies! This is a Luders 21. I am picking it up this weekend so not sure what kind of ballast it is. I will keep you posted with more pics when I grind it out.
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Old 05-02-2013, 21:26   #15
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Re: Keel Crack Assesment

Oh man I hope they are paying you to take it away.
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