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Old 20-06-2021, 11:19   #1
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Montgomery 17 keel problem

Bought a m17 with trailer. After working on boat interior I noticed a small crack in the keel. I put some duct tape over it and figured I'd glass it over later. Well....two years later I went to work on boat and now I have a full blown mess. Think it van be fixed or should I send it to Davy jones' locker?[/LIST]
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Old 20-06-2021, 12:04   #2
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

Almost anything is fixable.
This looks like a tough repair however.
If you can DIY, the boat will be usable but will likely take a resale hit.
Professional repair (if you can find the right person) may be expensive.
Where are you located?
I might buy it cheap if you are thinking of junking it.
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Old 20-06-2021, 12:21   #3
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/montgomery-17

That looks like fun pocket cruiser!

The crack almost looks like the drawing

How does the swinging part of the swing keel look/work?


http://www.msog.org/models/m17/m-17-cb.cfm



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Old 20-06-2021, 13:00   #4
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

You're a WWII German jet fighter?

As Spot suggests, somewhat tongue in cheek, that looks a whole lot more like a swing keel than like any underwater damage I've ever seen. However, it's hard to tell exactly what's going on from the one photograph - I can't even be sure that the stern is to the right. Could you add a few photos, including the swing mechanism? You may have a problem, but it may also not be the one you thought that you have.
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Old 20-06-2021, 13:55   #5
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

I am guessing water intrusion into a sealed cavity followed by either freezing or expanding rust on iron ballast.
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Old 21-06-2021, 08:23   #6
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

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You're a WWII German jet fighter?

As Spot suggests, somewhat tongue in cheek, that looks a whole lot more like a swing keel than like any underwater damage I've ever seen. However, it's hard to tell exactly what's going on from the one photograph - I can't even be sure that the stern is to the right. Could you add a few photos, including the swing mechanism? You may have a problem, but it may also not be the one you thought that you have.
Yes, some more pictures would be good. Is there an iron casting inside of the broken fiberglass skin? Are there keel bolts inside the hull? Asking some folks on the Montgomery website would not hurt either.
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:00   #7
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

It is a known issue with the Montgomerys. Steel slugs used for ballast get water in them, rust and swell up. There is a local guy here in Havasu who repaired a couple of them by grinding open the keel, removing the steel and replacing it with lead. It was a big job!
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:03   #8
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

Looks like possible damage from the boat's weight riding on the swing keel instead of the trailer supporting the hull.

Especially if the trailer went over some pot holes in its past motoring travels.
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Old 21-06-2021, 12:08   #9
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

A little/lot of elbow grease on your part may put it right, if you like her.
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Old 23-06-2021, 21:13   #10
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

Yes. I know the trailer was a converted power boat trailer but I never expected the keel to crack open like it did. Inside is steel shot...some rust but in pretty good shape. I have duct tape the openings to restrict any water intrusion. The swing keel was out of the boat when I bought it. I have since painted and sealed it.
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Old 24-06-2021, 06:34   #11
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

I would be tempted to make sure the bunk boards are supporting the weight of the whole boat and then lower the roller hitting the keel. On my trailer, similar bunks, the iron keel stub is guided to go straight on the trailer but is not resting with any any weight on the trailer, probably 2-3" of clearance.

There are a few more articles about repairing those on the owner's group website.
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Old 24-06-2021, 09:28   #12
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

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Originally Posted by Spot View Post
I would be tempted to make sure the bunk boards are supporting the weight of the whole boat and then lower the roller hitting the keel. On my trailer, similar bunks, the iron keel stub is guided to go straight on the trailer but is not resting with any any weight on the trailer, probably 2-3" of clearance.

There are a few more articles about repairing those on the owner's group website.

That is in contradiction to the usual recommendations where the majority of the weight rests on the rigid heavy keel with bunks mainly for support and balance. The fiberglass hull is somewhat flexible and meant for full support from water, not spot loading. Look around and you will see boats with hull deflection from improper loading or support.


The rollers are intended to allow the boat to move onto the trailer, usually V-bottom powerboats. If they are used as primary support, they should be closely spaced. Ideally there is a longitudinal support under the whole keel.
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Old 24-06-2021, 09:50   #13
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

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Originally Posted by me262 View Post
Bought a m17 with trailer. After working on boat interior I noticed a small crack in the keel. I put some duct tape over it and figured I'd glass it over later. Well....two years later I went to work on boat and now I have a full blown mess. Think it can be fixed or should I send it to Davy jones' locker?

I've heard nice things about those boats

The damage looks significant, but repairable. It will take effort and considerable time... therefore expensive to farm out, but reasonable if you can do the work yourself. I've found hull and other fiberglass work to be slow, but not especially tricky if you're cautious and don't try to rush. It might take most of the summer .

Best advice would be from other owners. I went looking for the website of Sage Marine, where Jerry Montgomery moved to, but they seem dormant, and no contact info. The Sage forum is here.
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Old 24-06-2021, 10:39   #14
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

I'm betting a lot of epoxy and fiberglass cloth can fix almost anything. Big issue might be stopping the rust under the fiberglass - before repairing. If you're not making ocean passages in her, I'd slap her back together and sail her. Good luck however you go-
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Old 24-06-2021, 10:43   #15
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Re: Montgomery 17 keel problem

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Originally Posted by Hardhead View Post
I'm betting a lot of epoxy and fiberglass cloth can fix almost anything. Big issue might be stopping the rust under the fiberglass - before repairing. If you're not making ocean passages in her, I'd slap her back together and sail her. Good luck however you go-
On second thought, could you just remove the rest of the keel fiberglass, and paint the metal keel with a few coats of a coal tar epoxy, or some other surface epoxy? Might be easier.
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