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Old 19-09-2021, 19:31   #1
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Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

Hey guys,
Need advice how to proceed with repairs of incapsulated keel de-lamination and water intrusion.
After sending the bottom part of the keel and finding water drops and subsequent digging into the laminate I have reached to a hole with water and sent. Got a cut off wheel and expanded the hole just to reach a lead.
I have not yet poured a water to the bilge to see if it will come out form the hole I have made but am sure it will.
Any advice how to proceed with repairs?
I have attached pictures. Looks like PO have put a very thick laminate on the bottom already is I had to dig more then 1 1/2 inch before I reached a lead.
There was a gap between lead a laminate about a 1/4 of an inch full of sand.
Please let me know if anyone have experience fixing this
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Old 19-09-2021, 19:40   #2
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

If your boat wasnt taking on water theres no connection between the bilge and the encapsulated lead.

The fix is simple. Grind out a large area around the cut to taper back to the hole and laminate glass over the area. I recommend rounding those cut kerfs out entirely so you dont introduce hard stress risers.
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Old 19-09-2021, 20:02   #3
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

Thank you Sailmonkey, I will try to get a few buckets of water into the bilge and see what happens.
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Old 20-09-2021, 06:36   #4
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

Can you elaborate about cur kerfs
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Old 20-09-2021, 16:39   #5
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsailor27 View Post
Can you elaborate about cur kerfs
He means rounding out the hole and tapering the edges back to get a nice cloth and resin buildup. Lots of videos on this procedure on YouTube.
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Old 20-09-2021, 16:42   #6
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

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Originally Posted by Oldsailor27 View Post
Can you elaborate about cur kerfs


The sections you cut with the saw blade. An abrupt edge or end of a cut doesnt allow stresses to pass around it.

So..when you grind out the surrounding fiberglass properly to taper back and patch the area be sure to grind out any sign of the cuts and youll be fine.
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Old 20-09-2021, 19:42   #7
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

Thank you. Much appreciated. I am planning to grind it tomorrow. Will post some pictures. The thing that bothers me the most is that there is a huge gap between lead and laminate. I can put a finger in between. Looks like I need to open a huge hole to get to the place where fibreglass is layer on the lead.
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Old 22-09-2021, 07:58   #8
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

Hi there,
I grind out all around the cut off are and there is a big gap between the fiberglass and lead filled with white sand. it's larger on one side and bump and on the other side its close to lead and dry. Not sure if I have to open it more as it might require a big opening.
Should I just fill it in and glass it over? Had anyone has experience with such a repair?
Please let me know. The white sand could be part of the the building process?
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Old 22-09-2021, 10:38   #9
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

I dealt with similar o previous bat thugh I had nowhere near the glass thickness you have. Wow! Anyway I would tap all around and see how far the void goes... Don't open the orig hole more but you can drill some small holes where void extends than squeeze lots of that gflex or 610 epoxy before sealing the holes. That stuff is structural and should care for any other voids.
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Old 22-09-2021, 11:10   #10
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

is it possible that sand was used to take up any void and was there originally? I don't know how keels are made, so this is a shot in the dark. Unless there was a significant opening, i just don't see how that much sand can make it inside layered fiber glass.
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Old 22-09-2021, 12:09   #11
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

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Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
I dealt with similar o previous bat thugh I had nowhere near the glass thickness you have. Wow! Anyway I would tap all around and see how far the void goes... Don't open the orig hole more but you can drill some small holes where void extends than squeeze lots of that gflex or 610 epoxy before sealing the holes. That stuff is structural and should care for any other voids.
Thank you, how big the holes should I drill. Some of the sand is wet. I think the water was taken through delaminates fibreglass, not from bilge. Should I try to get all the wet sand out? I think it will take forever to dry it out?
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Old 22-09-2021, 12:11   #12
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

Also, after drilling holes should I just fill them with thickened epoxy or taper and patch? Thank you in advance.
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Old 22-09-2021, 12:44   #13
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

not so quick....there appears to be a gap between the hull and the lead..

Step 1. I'd get some expandable foam....you can get this from any hardware store....and squirt it in around the edges of the hole, and then keep slathering it on until you bring it level to the inside of the hull.
Step 2. with sand paper, sand the foam smooth, until you have it as the same level as the original inside of the hull. It may help to cut a piece of wood and wrap the sand paper around the wood, so you have a flat surface.
Step 3. With a grinding disc, feather back the hole you cut by at least 6 inches or so each side, removing the gelcoat in the process and also making a sideways V shape, ie, the deeper cut on the hole side and feather back to the original hull.
Step 4. Measure the overall size of patch, out to the edges of the feathering, then you can cut a layer of cloth to fit this size and apply this layer of cloth and epoxy into place.
Step 5. Place subsequent layers of cloth until you have built the hull thickness back up to the original. Each subsequent layer will be a bit smaller than the one preceding it.
Step 6. Once the final cloth layer is on, you can sand it smooth to match the original hull.
Step 6. Apply bottom paint.
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Old 22-09-2021, 13:26   #14
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

You are lucky this is lead. If it was cast iron, you would have a major problem on your hands. Cast iron expands as it rusts and can destroy the fiberglass shell of the keel.

I am guessing that the sand was just poured in to take up the space between the lead keel and out fiberglass skin. I think you definitely want to get something in there to take up that space after you repair the hole in the fg skin as has been outlined above. You might be able to get in from the top (bilge) to get that filler in.
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Old 22-09-2021, 14:28   #15
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Re: Keel delamination, water intrusion Alberg 37 1975

yep, it's unlikely the keel was "poured-in-place" for obvious reasons, so those are likely lead ingots (or pre-cast lead forms) that were dropped into the keel void. The sand was/is there to keep the lead ingots (or forms) in place and prevent them from moving around.

That expandable foam I was talking about comes in a tube with a plastic hose that can be inserted into the void quite aways, before you squeeze the squirt lever....It will likely do a good job as sand replacement.
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