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Old 17-03-2021, 14:27   #1
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Crack in Keel for boat under contract

Hi,

I am under contract to buy a 1997 41 foot boat that is in great shape except for a weird crack in the keel. I am looking for opinions as to what this could be and if it is something to be concerned about. The surveyor (accredited, for what itís worth) wasnít sure what to make of it, so why not let the internet have some fun. I am going out to look at the boat again, with an in-depth look at the bilge to make sure everything looks ok but this doesnít look like a grounding issue to me (plus the boat has been on the Chesapeake for some time so I canít imagine a bay grounding would cause this). Given the orientation of the crack, it couldnít be a keel/hull issue.My only thought then is it could be the keel bolt, though I would expect the loads generated by those bolts to create a field of cracks rather than one like this. I really have no idea. So any advice on how to proceed would also be greatly appreciated!
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Old 17-03-2021, 15:07   #2
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

Notyetsinking, you need to really grind away all the paint and see what is causing it?
Could it be a bit of fairing on the front of the keel, but then why is it not part of the keel mold in the first place?
I have personally never seen anything like it and have surveyed countless keels.
Cheers
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Old 17-03-2021, 15:16   #3
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

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Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
Notyetsinking, you need to really grind away all the paint and see what is causing it?
Could it be a bit of fairing on the front of the keel, but then why is it not part of the keel mold in the first place?
I have personally never seen anything like it and have surveyed countless keels.
Cheers
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I don't think the owner would let me do that, as it is not yet my boat. Is there some other way I could get a more definitive answer through a less invasive means? Maybe some sort of imaging that can be done to see what's happening under the skin? The couple times I've visited the boat I didn't notice it, so I am happy with the surveyor for the catch. I suspect it may be cosmetic, but that is not really an area I would be comfortable leaving to suspicion.
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Old 17-03-2021, 15:31   #4
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

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Originally Posted by Notyetsinking View Post
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I don't think the owner would let me do that, as it is not yet my boat. Is there some other way I could get a more definitive answer through a less invasive means? Maybe some sort of imaging that can be done to see what's happening under the skin? The couple times I've visited the boat I didn't notice it, so I am happy with the surveyor for the catch. I suspect it may be cosmetic, but that is not really an area I would be comfortable leaving to suspicion.
I wouldn't want to count on it being cosmetic, because the difference in repair costs would be huge if it were not cosmetic. I would go ahead and ask the owner to have that area ground down to identify the cause. If it's cosmetic, you'll take care of the paint. If it's not cosmetic, you'll walk away, or adjust the purchase price accordingly. You're correct, the owner might not agree.
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Old 17-03-2021, 15:37   #5
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

Looks like the fwd keel bolt is too close to the surface of the keel ,poor casting or poor fairing ,either way must be investigated .⚓️⛵️
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Old 17-03-2021, 16:57   #6
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

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Looks like the fwd keel bolt is too close to the surface of the keel ,poor casting or poor fairing ,either way must be investigated .⚓️⛵️
This unfortunately is the line of thought Iíve moved towards. Iíll know more when I actually see it later this week, but surely there has to be a way to get some sort of measure for the depth of the crack? If itís structural the crack would need to start at the keel bolt, so if I can get some sort of idea how deep it is (if any depth at all) wouldnít that be a better indication of how bad the problem is?
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Old 17-03-2021, 17:09   #7
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

Hi. There is just not enough information here at this point. What make of boat.
What do the keel bolts look like inside the boat.
Has anyone tapped the keel with a small hammer for dead sounding spots?
Vertical cracks are very unusual and Iíve only seen one from a keel repair which was improperly done.
Something seems very odd here. Can you walk away legally?
More info please.
Mark and his crew of manatees
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Old 17-03-2021, 17:49   #8
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

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Originally Posted by Manateeman View Post
Hi. There is just not enough information here at this point. What make of boat.
What do the keel bolts look like inside the boat.
Has anyone tapped the keel with a small hammer for dead sounding spots?
Vertical cracks are very unusual and Iíve only seen one from a keel repair which was improperly done.
Something seems very odd here. Can you walk away legally?
More info please.
Mark and his crew of manatees
Keel bolts look fine, the surveyor used a moisture meter and sounded the entire bottom and reported back everything being good. I struggle to believe itís Kee bolts with the crack stopping mid way up, but who knows. I could legally walk away but that seems drastic for my current understanding, or lack thereof.
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Old 17-03-2021, 18:04   #9
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

I canít believe that could be from a keel bolt given the location. Keel bolts donít go down nearly that far. Is this an iron keel?
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Old 17-03-2021, 18:28   #10
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

Hi. There is just not enough information here at this point. What make of boat.
What do the keel bolts look like inside the boat.
Has anyone tapped the keel with a small hammer for dead sounding spots?
Vertical cracks are very unusual and Iíve only seen one from a keel repair which was improperly done.
Something seems very odd here. Can you walk away legally?
More info please.
Mark and his crew of manatees
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Old 17-03-2021, 18:33   #11
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

Sorry for the double post. Iíve seen some home made keels where the pour was bad but nothing like this in a commercial keel.
Any additional information?
Mark
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Old 17-03-2021, 18:36   #12
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

The crack seems to run parallel to the leading edge which makes me think it is a fairing piece that has cracked?
That is why you need to grind the paint away and see what the issue is?
Cheers
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Old 17-03-2021, 18:49   #13
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

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Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
The crack seems to run parallel to the leading edge which makes me think it is a fairing piece that has cracked?
That is why you need to grind the paint away and see what the issue is?
Cheers
The keel shape makes me think this might be an Oceanis 411?
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Old 17-03-2021, 18:53   #14
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

keel bolts are typically installed in pairs, so I'd try to determine if the crack lines up with a bolts head as seen from the inside....
you could take a level and try to run a vertical marked line from the crack up the hull to give you a reference point.
if the crack does indeed line up with a bolt head, my guess is that it is a keel bolt that was installed a bit to close the outside of the keel.
The material of keel boat varies...with stainless steel the most common

I've added a short explanation for you :

Stainless steel: The most common keel-bolt material in America is stainless steel. This is dismaying to many, because stainless steel suffers rampant corrosion when immersed in stagnant seawater. Using it for keel bolts anticipates that the bolts will remain dry—which is optimism bordering on delusion.

Stainless steel comes in various varieties....type 316 is the most well known to sailors as rigging wire is made from this...316 is not the strongest, but is the most corrosion resistant......the keel bolt is likely a type that is not 316...

If the crack lines up with a keel bolt head, I would say you've found the source of the problem. Unlike steel, which rusts, stainless steel corrodes...

my 2c...
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Old 17-03-2021, 19:19   #15
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Re: Crack in Keel for boat under contract

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
The crack seems to run parallel to the leading edge which makes me think it is a fairing piece that has cracked?
That is why you need to grind the paint away and see what the issue is?
Cheers
I definitely understand what you are saying here, but I came up with a different process that I think should properly determine the full scope of the issue:
1). Hit the area with a water gun and wipe down the surrounding area and watch for drips, with a piece of paper (or something else water absorbent)taped immediately below to help catch anything I might miss
2). If I see water dripping, order an electronic digital pit and crack depth gage to see how far the crack extends from the surface to determine if itís a casting issue or generated from the keel bolts. Iím not sure peopleís thoughts on this, but I canít see any downsides to this approach vs grinding it down?
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