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Old 20-07-2010, 11:07   #1
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Split Keel Repairs ?

There is a 30 footer in Chicago, that has a split keel.
From the look of the damage, it appears to be concrete inside fiberglass, with the fiberglass split open and the concrete decayed/crumbling out. The weight of the boat settling on it due to the cradle not supporting the boat properly, or the keel having water in it and freezing would seem to be the suspects here. Either way, the concrete is rotten to some extent.
How big of a job is it to fix something like this?
I emailed them and they sent me a set of instructions that called for drilling and using resin to stabilize the concrete, and then glassing back over that.
That might work on the outside, but does not seem capable of addressing whatever caused the rotten concrete in the keel in the first place.
What is considered a proper repair in a situation like this?
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Old 20-07-2010, 11:18   #2
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You're right in questioning whether the suggested instructions will actually address whatever caused the problem. There appears to at least the possibility that the suggested repair will not address the possibility of water remaining inside and eventually popping the fiberglass again with freezing.

With so many solid 30 footers on the market, and attractively priced, the boat would have to be very attractive, apart form the keel problem, to actually warrant consideration. Just my opinion, based on spending lots of time looking at boats on the net.
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Old 20-07-2010, 14:54   #3
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Why should there be concrete in the keel?

b.
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Old 20-07-2010, 14:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Why should there be concrete in the keel?

b.

Cheap low density ballast.

I think I first came across it with the Compac 16.

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Old 20-07-2010, 18:08   #5
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The boat is an Irwin 30 that the owner says is ready to go otherwise. The price is 2,000$. It has a cradle, but I am not sure if a four post cradle is enough to transport the boat on.
From the pictures they sent, it looks like it has been a long time since the bottom was done.
According to them, the boat has lead weights in the keel, and the whole thing is tied together with concrete.
I am disabled guys. Time I have. Money not so much!
Kinda scheming on repairing something and using that to trade up! Course, I am sure that is a common scheme!
Chicago Craigslist for the ad. The pictures of the split keel they sent to me through email.
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Old 20-07-2010, 18:25   #6
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personally,,, I would look for another boat,,, if it was such an easy repair why do they not do it themselves and sell for more,,, that is VERY cheap for a 30 foot boat

check out YACHTWORLD.COM there are LOTS of 30 foot Irwin for sale all over the U.S.

30 ft 1975 Irwin 30 US$22,900
30 ft 1978 Irwin Citation US$12,900
30 ft 1978 Irwin Citation US$8,500
30 ft 1975 Irwin Competition 30' US$8,900
28 ft 1975 Irwin 28 US$5,800
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Old 20-07-2010, 19:26   #7
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Concrete? That's just silly. Iron maybe. Lead would indicate a proper keelboat.
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Old 20-07-2010, 20:12   #8
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I've run into this problem twice before. Neither was fun to deal with.

In the first case it was steel scrap encapsulated in cement in a wood boat. The warning sign was both garbord strakes sprung and flopping in the breeze. After chiseling out all the cement and steel scrap, I found 31 consecutive pairs of ribs with the bottome 14 inches turned to powder. The top of the keel was powder down about an inch, and the 3 inch thick floors were about half gone. I ended up solidifying the keel with West System epoxy, and did the same with the floors. I then steam curved stub ribs and installed them by cutting the damaged portions out and butt splicing the new material in place. I then put SS straps of 1/8 by 1 inch material from the keel up to about 1 foot over the splice.

I got this about half done, then went bankrupt. I gather the boat was never finished after the original owner got it back.

In the second case it was boiler punchings in a sheet steel keel, with about 3 inches of cement troweled over it to keep the ballast in and give a nice finish. The differencial expansion of cement and steel led to water getting into the mess, and upon taking a core sample I found about 12 inches of water in the keel can which was about 28 inches deep. So out came the cement, and the steel punchings. I weighed all of it as it came out and was planning on replacing it with lead ingots and then putting water tanks over but never finished that before I once again ended up broke and unemployed. However, the can itself was in pretty good shape with minimal rust, so it would have worked out ok.

In the case of this Irwin, I'd say removing it will be a fun process, but again there will be water in there which will forever freeze and thaw, causing the fiberglas keel to get micro fractures all thru it. I'd say remove it and replace with lead. Seal it in with glass and epoxy and enjoy the extra space.


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Old 20-07-2010, 20:52   #9
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Sounds like more than a beginner type problem!
Was pretty much what I expected you guys to say!
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Old 20-07-2010, 20:52   #10
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Tell the owner that for $2500. you will take it off his hands.
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Old 21-07-2010, 05:07   #11
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The price in the ad is 2000. Offering 2500 seems to be bit off course! You mean offer 1500!
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Old 21-07-2010, 06:39   #12
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No, I mean if he gives you the boat and $2500. you will take it off his hands.
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Old 21-07-2010, 11:52   #13
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I repaired a Watkins 27' keel with similar problems.. The keel was concrete incased in fiberglass, one side bulged from freezing and the glass ruptured. First I cut the fiberglass skin back to sound material, about 6" back from the failed area in each direction, the total repair area was about 2' high by 3' wide, then chipped away the spalled concrete, some of the area was 2 or 3 inches deep. After cleaning all the loose material away I troweled epoxy mortar over the area with a 1/4" notched trowel fore and aft, let that set up, then troweled it again until the surface was nearly flush with the sound concrete. Final fairing was with WEST epoxy and 410 filler, faired and sanded then covered with fiberglass mat and cloth.
The cause of the leak was from the bilge pump installation.
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Old 21-07-2010, 12:55   #14
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This is a picture he sent me of the damage. By the way, the entire bottom needs to be redone.

http://i429.photobucket.com/albums/q...A_P7140004.jpg
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Old 21-07-2010, 13:30   #15
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