Andy, I have owned and sailed four different C&C's for the last 37 years, working in boatyards
full of C&C's, and I have never seen a keel or keel stub looking like this. Sure, I 'm used to seeing the "C&C Smile", or cosmetic cracking along the hull-keel joint, but this is a new level of damage. The cracking at the top of the keel stub implies to me that there has been a hard grounding, probably with a sideways impact vector. I would really want to know if those cracks penetrate past the gelcoat
and into the structural glass. Can you ask questions of any locals who would know the boat's history
The dribbles down the side of the keel seem to support this line of reasoning. It looks as though the actual seal of the hull-keel joint has been broken and bilge water
from inside the boat has been working its way out. This leads me to think that the bulge you are seeing means that water
has penetrated the bedding of the forward keel bolt, then gone through repeated freeze/thaw cycles until it has forced the side of the keel out, probably leaving the keel bolt loose in its socket.
My second boat was a C&C
25 Mk 1. After a number of years of ownership
I noticed some small bulges in the side of the keel, lower down and well away from the keel bolts
. When I finally bit the bullet and ground them out, I found pockets of rust from impurities that had apparently been introduced into the metal at the time of casting. After grinding them out and filling the divots, there were no further problems. It is the only time which I have seen such a thing on a C&C and those bulges did not look anywhere near as bad, or as big, as the one in your pictures.
Can she be repaired by a good shop? Undoubtedly, but at the very least they would have to drop the keel, and I would be sure to get a professional appraisal of the work
required and an estimate of the cost. Only then will you be able to judge whether she is worth the investment. There is a joy in bringing a good old boat back to life, but you need to enter the process with your eyes wide open and your enthusiasm balanced by realistic appraisals.