J/24 Keel repair - heavy delamination, repairable?

Discussion in 'J/24 Talk' started by Sarge, May 23, 2016.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge New Member

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    I'm looking at purchasing a J/24 that needs some seemingly major keel repair (along with vermiculite repair), and am wondering if anyone has seen damage similar to this. I'm looking for some guidance as to what will be involved with the keel repair, in particular (the vermiculite replacement procedure is well-documented on the internet).

    The boat also needs part of the decking under the winch and between the traveler and cabin repaired (soft), but that's also well-documented.

    It appears that water began working its way into the keel possibly via cabin/deck and down through the vermiculite, and then went through quite a few winters of freeze/thaw cycles in Montana (extreme cold in the winter) which lead to the ice pressurizing and breaking the keel open where the water had collected. This makes me concerned that the entire structure of the inside of the keel is a mess, and will need some serious surgery to restore its integrity. I do not know what the internal structure of the keel looks like (all glass with some lead somewhere?) or what the implications are for this type of damage.

    The boat will be used in Jackson Hole to teach local kids to sail via our nonprofit Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team (we train kids locally and take them to California to race on a Santa Cruz 52). I do not want to chance having the keel fall off with other people's children on board, so the repair would have to be done right. The boat won't be raced, so it doesn't have to be the fastest J/24, but it does need to be safe.

    Based on these photos, what is likely to be involved with the keel repair? Anyone have any experience with something of this magnitude? Any insight as to the internal structure of the keel?

    I know many would say 'walk away', but we don't have a lot of funds to buy a boat, and we can do repairs, and most of the other boats are much further away (making acquisition/inspection more difficult). Walk away may still be the answer...

    Thanks in advance for any insight...

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    Seems straight, though:
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    Typical Vermiculite:
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  2. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    Looks like it froze with the hull full of water... its fixable but it might cost more in repairs than buying one that doesn't need fixing.

    I'd strip it for hardware and scrap metal.

    Note the hull repair lines... that thing is done.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  3. Sarge

    Sarge New Member

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    The owner says the lines on the hull are water running down from the rain.

    He's asking $2500, but trailer has no title or working lights, the four stroke Suzuki 4hp is reportedly in good shape, and it comes with what sounds like two full sets of serviceable sails. It's an eight hour drive away, so I won't know much more until I inspect it in person.

    I'm just concerned with how much work will be needed to make it seaworthy.

    I'm not convinced that keel is even repairable. The vermiculite is clearly compromised and in need of the overhaul kit.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  4. fhhuber

    fhhuber Member

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    Parts boat. Probably has everything you could need to replace hardware on a good hull.

    The 4 HP and a potentially serviceable trailer (if you can deal with registration.... some states that is easier than others) along with a good supply of fittings, sails, mast/boom, etc....
    Might make it worth getting even expecting to need to scrap the hull.

    ANYTHING is repairable...
    It turns into a question of how much repairs will cost vs the cost of a different hull.
     
  5. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    It looks like the Jackson Hole program is a 501c3 organization. If true, the current J24 owner should just donate the boat and take a tax deduction. The boat needs so much work that it really should be a freebie to the program.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge New Member

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    I did mention the donation possibility, but there was no interest. This boat happens to be closer than any other at reasonable prices ($5k range), but a solid $5k boat from CA is looking like a better option. The original ad said "slight delamination on keel", but apparently it got a lot worse over the past winter.

    I'm just not sure what is involved with repairing a keel in that state so that it will be roughly as strong as new, and we don't have any yards anywhere near here that could handle a repair like that. I'm a little concerned it's too much for a first time DIY (I've done minor repairs in the past, but this looks like a serious engineering/structural issue).
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge New Member

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    Has anyone seen keels in this shape repaired, and/or what it involves?

    Alternatively, is it possible to buy a keel in good condition?
     
  8. Sail944

    Sail944 New Member

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    Personally, I think $2500 is way too much for this condition. I'd keep looking...
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge New Member

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    After further consideration, and further shopping, I've found another older one in good shape, complete with gear and good sails, that has no delam or soft spots (always dry sailed), needs no repairs (still has vermiculite), has a tandem axle trailer with new tires and is $4k. Seems like a no brainer compared to the one above.
     
  10. Geo. Cushing

    Geo. Cushing New Member

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    Is that filler or lead delamination?
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge New Member

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    I don't know, I never looked at the boat in person. It really needs a new keel. No idea if the guy sold it or not. It looks like the glass delaminated from the lead IMO, but I'm just going off the photos.
     

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