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Old 21-08-2007, 15:11   #1
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replacing a steel keel.

hi all.

Well i have been asked if i can replace a keel on a roberts 34. according to the owner it has had various repairs and it is his wish to get the whole keel replaced next time it is out of the water. the issue arose from a leaking water tank in the keel that made it rust from the inside (as steel boats do). Now my plan of attact would be to try to obtain an origanal set of plans to build a new keel before the boat comes out of the water. once the boat is out cut old keel of put lead in new keel ,weld it on and hey presto all done. this is of course assuming the origanal builder buit the keel to the measurements. What do you all reckon sound like a fair plan or what?????????
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Old 21-08-2007, 21:24   #2
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You would be tempting Mr. Murphy...

Doing it this way would be tempting fate.

Even small variations from the original would make the job very difficult.

Initially I would suggest looking at the problem very carefully and then giving the matter lengthy thought.

This normally involves hanging upside down in the boat with good lights and suitable mirrors. A camera or video recorder together with sundry tape measures and suitable sized rulers and other measuring euipment would be useful. An assistant is necessary, particulary one who can take good notes.

Then if it were my boat I would suspend the boat in a cradle so there was no weight on the keel and then cut inspection hatches as needed so that the inside of the keel can be seen/worked on as necessary.

Then I would make up my mind on what to do.

It may be that the entire keel needs to be replaced but it may also be that reinforcing, patches and the necessary persuasion will do a job that is stronger than the original design.

It sounds like the owner wants a quick cheap job when what should be done is a slow expensive one.
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Old 21-08-2007, 22:15   #3
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yeh it was my original thought to pull it out of the water and thickness test the keel cutting and inspecting and thin or irregular spots. but the problem also lays in the fact that apparently the keel has been looked at before and is stuffed but has just had make shift work done to it to keep it in the water. i have not inspected it myself out of the water yet. yes more thought and investigating will go into before a decision is made though.
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Old 22-08-2007, 02:49   #4
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Since your plan requires original plans, I’d contact Bruce Roberts, to determine cost ($486 Aus ?) & availability of plans.
BRI has a forum which might be a source of advice and information: Bruce Roberts International Australia - Discussion Forum on boatbuilding
Bruce Roberts Internatuional: Bruce Roberts International Australia. Boat designs plans kits and boat building books
Roberts 34: Roberts 34
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Old 22-08-2007, 14:41   #5
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yeh i have been in contact with BRI and for all the drawings i would require they have and comes to a total of $75 so i think that is very reasonable. Still in discussion with owner so we will see what happens.
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