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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    11

    Default Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Here are the pictures of my keel and keel bolts.

    Having noticed water leaking from the rear of the keel yesterday when cleaning the inside out today I went back to investigate further. You can see under one of the bolts there is a void. I thought the water maybe leaking from there as water was pooling under it, but doesn't seem to be that.

    I decided to start taking some of the antifoul off around the keel join to inspect and that appears all sound with no leaks or visible cracks and there is no movement in the keel.

    I found a crack at the rear of the keel and when I pressed on it hard, some water came out. So I dug out the crack which you can see in one of the images. It's about two inches long and is a hairline crack extending from the rear of the keel. I checked all the bolts and noticed the bolt directly above where this leak is wasn't tight at all, so I've tightened that up.

    How should I deal with this?

    https://ibb.co/M6Xq1jH
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    South Dorset/moored Poole/lay up Wareham
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Firstly I suspect the boat has grounded & tripped on her keel, pushing the back of the keel into the hull & straining the front of the keel down. Looking at the external photo I suspect there are further cracks radiating outwards from the point of the keel /hull contact at the end of the keel. Remove further antifoul & look much more closely.
    Looking at the internal photos it is plain that some GRP cloth squares have been laid on top of the hull skin without any proper preparation indicating the likelihood that this problem has been present some time and previous attempts have been made to stop leaks. The loose nut also suggests that the keel has been pushed up. There should not be a void as looks to be the case between the hull skin & the "plate" over the skin as it would be impossible to tighten the nut without causing damage as something would have to flex. Long & short, I think the keel will have to be dropped, all external cracks ground out , overlaminated with epoxy based resins & faired off to the cast iron keel shape, then the internals will have to be restructured by removing all previous overlaminates & finding out if the "plate" is over a void. It should not be.
    Ultimately a straightforward restrengthening job but most important to fully assess the damage in total before undertaking the repairs. This will also involve checking the front end of the keel looking for any damage that has pulled the structure & bolts downwards. You might need a local surveyor just to advise so you have all aspects covered. Fairly easy to reinforce with the correct procedure & materials & accurate advice. possibly too involved for accurate advice on the forum at this time, but certainly a good start.
    www.seasurveys.co.uk
    Surveying & Shipwright info on GRP, WOOD & so much more

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlilley View Post
    Firstly I suspect the boat has grounded & tripped on her keel, pushing the back of the keel into the hull & straining the front of the keel down. Looking at the external photo I suspect there are further cracks radiating outwards from the point of the keel /hull contact at the end of the keel. Remove further antifoul & look much more closely.
    Looking at the internal photos it is plain that some GRP cloth squares have been laid on top of the hull skin without any proper preparation indicating the likelihood that this problem has been present some time and previous attempts have been made to stop leaks. The loose nut also suggests that the keel has been pushed up. There should not be a void as looks to be the case between the hull skin & the "plate" over the skin as it would be impossible to tighten the nut without causing damage as something would have to flex. Long & short, I think the keel will have to be dropped, all external cracks ground out , overlaminated with epoxy based resins & faired off to the cast iron keel shape, then the internals will have to be restructured by removing all previous overlaminates & finding out if the "plate" is over a void. It should not be.
    Ultimately a straightforward restrengthening job but most important to fully assess the damage in total before undertaking the repairs. This will also involve checking the front end of the keel looking for any damage that has pulled the structure & bolts downwards. You might need a local surveyor just to advise so you have all aspects covered. Fairly easy to reinforce with the correct procedure & materials & accurate advice. possibly too involved for accurate advice on the forum at this time, but certainly a good start.
    Thanks for your feedback John. I'll strip back more of the antifoul to assess for any more cracks and take it from there.

    Cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    6,717

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    I agree with John entirely. I don't think you will achieve anything by patching this up. Bite the bullet and drop the keel. Then completely grind out the suspect area until you get to sound GRP then taper off both sides and layup new chopped strand mat to restore structure finishing the outside with woven rovings over as large an area as possible. finish with several coats of epoxy. The inside should be built up until that void under the plate is filled and bed the plate on wet laminate to provide a sound base. All sounds very dramatic but its well within the capability of a DIY guy even if you have never worked with GRP before. As a matter of interest what boat is this??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,441

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Looks like grounding damage
    Notify the insurance Co that you grounded & now have leaks. See what they say. May get costs recovered & a professional repair plus surveyor paid for.
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    8,617

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Notwithstanding the sage advice above.

    Bearing in mind the boat and your probable use of it...

    If you have your eye on immediate action, maybe a winter racing series, then you could blag it up and do it properly (or move the boat on) at your convenience. It looks like that is what the previous owner did. Certainly things will not get better but the thing is unlikely to drop off and you may want to get some use out of the boat right now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    36,648

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream believer View Post
    Looks like grounding damage
    Notify the insurance Co that you grounded & now have leaks. See what they say. May get costs recovered & a professional repair plus surveyor paid for.
    He only bought the boat last week! The insurance company might not play ball...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Firth of Forth
    Posts
    2,652

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    He only bought the boat last week! The insurance company might not play ball...
    Without digging back in the forum, did he get the boat surveyed before purchase? If so, I'd have thought a word with the surveyor might be in order (and preferably before any more work is done on the boat.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Second Coast, Ross-shire, overlooking Gruinard Bay.
    Posts
    7,384

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    He only bought the boat last week! The insurance company might not play ball...
    Especially if the damage/condition looks "not recent", which I think it does.
    Insurance companies don't like to pay out if they can possibly avoid
    Kay Sarah Sarah
    57°51.42' N 5°29.44' W

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,441

    Default Re: Pictures of my keel leak, what should I do next?

    Deleted --incorrect understanding
    Last edited by Daydream believer; 19-09-19 at 13:22.
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

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