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Old 21-10-2011, 21:09   #1
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Keel / Hull Joint

Hey All,

I was cleaning the bottom the other day and discovered that I've got a hairline crack (too small to get my fingernail into) at the rear of our keel that extends about 6 inches where the keel meets the hull.

We've had a little smile at the front of the keel since we bought the boat and the surveryer thought it was no biggie - said lots of boats our age (almost 30 yo) have some seperation there.

I described the issue to a friend who's a boat builder, and he said that the hull will flex underway, and small cracks can develop but that as long as they're just hairlines at the far edges of the keel, it doesn't indicate a problem.

So, I'm thinking I'm good here, but figured I'd throw it up for discussion just in case anyone has any thoughts. We're about to make the passage from Tonga to NZ, and I want to make sure that we're ship-shape.
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Old 21-10-2011, 21:30   #2
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Re: Keel/Hull Joint

I personally dont think there is much you can do or worry about. At the end of the day you could just try to squeeze in a bit of sealant but thats probably it because if you try any hard solution on it like resin it will just crack anyway as soon as there is a flex
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Old 21-10-2011, 22:18   #3
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Re: Keel/Hull Joint

As far the cracks are like you say airline cracks , nothing to worry , my old c&c have this cracks no matter what, i think is a good idea to find the torque of the bolts and retorque the keel bolts now with the boat in the hard, just to be sure are in good order -

A tip, now the boat is resting in the keel, with the boat in the travelift the day is going to water , see the joints at the same moment the boat is lifted, and see at the cracks to see if geting wider or not.
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Old 22-10-2011, 00:03   #4
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Re: Keel/Hull Joint

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
As far the cracks are like you say airline cracks , nothing to worry , my old c&c have this cracks no matter what, i think is a good idea to find the torque of the bolts and retorque the keel bolts now with the boat in the hard, just to be sure are in good order -

A tip, now the boat is resting in the keel, with the boat in the travelift the day is going to water , see the joints at the same moment the boat is lifted, and see at the cracks to see if geting wider or not.

Good call. There is a big difference between sitting on a ton of ballast and hanging a ton of ballast on the keelbolts.
You might be surprised at the difference if you exert the same type of harmonics and sidewards pressure on the keel as it would experience in a normal sea, while it is hanging in a travel lift.
Your haulout operator will normally assist you with the test to ensure it is safe. If the cracks dont change all is Ok but there must be a reason the cracks are there in the first place.
The one thing required for a keelboat to remain upright is a keel so you are wise to ask the question.
Regards.
Shiner
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Old 16-11-2011, 18:23   #5
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Re: Keel/Hull Joint

Mind if I jump in.How often should keel be lowered and rebeded?Could the wearing of caulk in the seam lossen the keel?What type of caulk is best if this is the solution,Thank you
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Old 16-11-2011, 18:31   #6
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Re: Keel/Hull Joint

The only time a keel needs to be removed/re-beded is if it shows signs of being loose, water intrusion or the sealer coming out. Some smaller keel boats have steel bolts. If they are crusty, then a removal may be in order.

It's best to consults a surveyor.

3M 5200 is fairly common for bedding.
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