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Old 12-04-2021, 15:39   #1
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Lead Keel, to patch or not to patch, that is the question.

Hello kind people,

1988 Cal 22

To keep the intro short, I am in the process of prepping the bottom for a paint job. I discovered that the lead keel is chipping what appears to be resin at the bottom then fiberglass up top. My thinking is that initially the keel was likely fully encapsulated in some sort of epoxy material that blended into fiberglass at the top. See photos attached.

I am looking for recommendations on what should I do with this?
I am thinking grinding into the fiberglass, laying a few new sheets down about to 3/4 of the keel then epoxy all the way to the bottom.
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Old 12-04-2021, 15:52   #2
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Re: Lead Keel, to patch or not to patch, that is the question.

Hello there Melnik! Welcome to the forum!

Doesn’t seem like a bad plan to me! My C&C was similar, ended up applying exposure to the bottom. Then applied bottom paint just after the epoxy kicked. Sometimes there’s issues with bottom paint adhering to fully cured epoxy.

There’s plenty of books on the subject, and will be more useful than I can say in a single post. A good start might be the boat repair bible. It’s short, and not nearly broad enough to cover many things specifically but has a couple pages with photos for all the common stuff. Done fairly well.

Have you checked for keel bolts? I am not familiar with Cal 22s but it looks like the keel bolts would be taking the majority of the force, and the fiberglass and epoxy would mostly be for peace of mind and fairing.
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Old 12-04-2021, 16:24   #3
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Re: Lead Keel, to patch or not to patch, that is the question.

Thank you for the welcome! So excited to finally be a part of this community.

I haven't located the keel bolts yet, I think they are either fiberglassed in, or I just havnt seen them yet.
I think you are right about the bolts taking on most of the weight. My concern with this repair and the best way about it is for the purposes of moisture and water going up into the fiberglass that is separating from the keel (you can see it in one of the photos)
The boat has been on the hard for several years so everything as dry as it ever will be, so if there is a way to keep it dry, now is the time to do it.
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Old 12-04-2021, 17:09   #4
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Re: Lead Keel, to patch or not to patch, that is the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelniK View Post
Thank you for the welcome! So excited to finally be a part of this community.

I haven't located the keel bolts yet, I think they are either fiberglassed in, or I just havnt seen them yet.
I think you are right about the bolts taking on most of the weight. My concern with this repair and the best way about it is for the purposes of moisture and water going up into the fiberglass that is separating from the keel (you can see it in one of the photos)
The boat has been on the hard for several years so everything as dry as it ever will be, so if there is a way to keep it dry, now is the time to do it.
Well, itís always exciting to have new members as well! I hope you enjoy your stay. When you have a moment you should pop over to the meet and greet and create a post there. People love greeting the new members, and it gives us better context for any advise.

Keeping the rest of the hull dry is exactly why I barrier coated the C&C lead. I donít know if it made a lick of difference, but I felt better about having done it.

Sometimes that matters as much as the next thing. As far as executing the repair, Iíd just watch some videos and read 3 or 4 pages out of a book on the subject. Itís bottom sides, so fairing is for performance not looks. Which just means you wonít have to be bothered by paint matching or anything.

The guys over at Free Range Sailing have videos of them doing repair and refit work to their old boat and seem to really know their stuff. Having a watch of some of their videos will give you a general sense for how to expediently do things. Granted, for the actual tasks I would follow the directions on the bottle (of resin) to a T and pick up a book to advise me on how much resin to use for a weight of glass, what type of matte, roving, or cloth to use, what additive to thicken the epoxy with for bottom side fairing and such things. As detailed as videos are, most of the time they lack critical bits of knowledge. Watching them is still worth it, Iíve learned many tricks and ways around the tough parts.

I am not a glass specialist, so grain of salt here. I trust the books I have, and a few people on YouTube. Iíve seen suggestions as outlandish as galvanized standing rigging on the web, which to me just shows the importance of my books and opinions from experts. Few are found on the web, I have a trust but verify policy.
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Old 13-04-2021, 09:46   #5
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Re: Lead Keel, to patch or not to patch, that is the question.

Get the lead sand blasted and immediately paint it with a a few coats of a barrier epoxy like Interprotect 2000. Fair it with a compatible fairing compound and then do what you want with sheathing it or just antifoul.

Getting something to stick to oxidized lead is difficult to impossible, thus the need for sandblasting.
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