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Old 06-04-2009, 17:45   #16
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Randy, here is a link that shows the construction of the keel:
Caliber Double-Seal Integral Keel(tm)
And frankly I have queried Caliber to inquire further about this detail.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:46   #17
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Maybe the manufacturer is referring to screws , which could be used to mount the bilge pump, might pierce the upper layer of fiberglass in the bilge. If not sealed with caulk then bilge water could potentially leak into the keel envelope. If the water entered the keel due to damage on the bottom. The only possible remedy would seem to be removal of the damaged fiberglass AND any damaged ballast material, flushing to remove salt residue, drying it all out (maybe flush with a water soluble solvent like alcohol), and relaminating with new fiberglass.
My understanding is that currently Caliber optionally builds the keels using lead shot instead of iron. If so, then there is less to worry about. If the ballast is iron then rusting could be an issue because iron oxide (rust) expands and could cause problems with the fiberglass structure of the keel. If it is iron shot then something like a garboard plug is a particularly inappropriate IMO. I thought that Caliber used a polyester resin for the ballast matrix rather than cement. If it is polyester, that could also make it easier to dry out the ballast.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:24   #18
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I don't want ro create concerns but, Harmony; you stated that during a haulout you noticed water leaking from the keel didn't you. To my thinking if it's leaking out of the fiberglass shell it'd also be leaking in at the same point when the boat's in the water.

If I could offer advice get it fixed right beyond a shadow of a doubt, once steel is exposed to saltwater stopping the rust when it's not exposed & open is hell.
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Old 10-04-2009, 16:19   #19
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[quote=SteveZ;272278]Maybe the manufacturer is referring to screws , which could be used to mount the bilge pump, might pierce the upper layer of fiberglass in the bilge. If not sealed with caulk then bilge water could potentially leak into the keel envelope. ]
Steve...you nailed it. This is exactly what seems to have happened. We don't know how long it has been that way, since the boat came with the bilge pump already mounted. Now our concern is with also repairing the keel because water is weeping out the bottom. We first drilled a small hole in the keel where the drip seemed to be eminating from. It continued to drip but with larger drips. We then drilled a larger hole and shoved in a hose from the wet vac and sucked out several gallons of water. We let it sit overnight and sucked out about 2 cups of water the next morning. Today it stopped dripping and we inserted a heat lamp into the hole to help dry it out. And we are repairing the holes where the bilge pump was mounted and will be installing a new bilge pump.
Randy...yes, we, too, are worried about whether there is iron if so whether it will rust. Caliber insists the ballast is intact, but they have yet to confirm exactly what material makes up the ballast. Once the bildge is dried out we will face the decision of what to do next.
Thanks all.
EvB
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Old 10-04-2009, 20:50   #20
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This is what I'd do

I've got no expertise but this is what I'd do......strip the paint off the lower portion of the keel, inspect for damage, grind the glass away from the damaged area, allow the moisture to escape, fill the gap(s) with thickened resin, put several layers of glass over the whole base of the keel (cheap insurance), prime, paint, fill the bilge pump mounting holes, mount the bilge pump intelligently, be thankful it wasn't something real serious, get a good nights sleep, go sailing! Yes, I know it's a run-on sentence, sorry, it's late.
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Old 13-04-2009, 08:35   #21
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vacuum pump

If it is freshwater from the bilge, then that is probably good news. You might consider attaching a small vacuum pump to the hole you have already drilled in the keel. That should lower the vapor pressure and remove any remaining water in relatively short order. If you have already pulled out 2 gal of water, that implies a fairly substantial void in the keel You might also want to look into where that is at and injecting some epoxy to fill it.
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Old 13-04-2009, 11:50   #22
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Good advice...
Much appreciated.
EvB
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