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Keel repair sufficient?

BroKen

New Member
Here are some pics of my cracked keel repair so far. I have filled the holes and put one layer of fiberglass over the cracks. My question is, would another layer of fiberglass be prudent or overkill? Thanks in advance for all your help.
 

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From the pictures, given the size do of the repairs, I would go and ahead and lay down another layer (or two) of fiberglass. It certainly isn't going to hurt anything but should help reinforce those areas which are most likely to see some more abuse.
 

shorefun

Well-Known Member
I going to start with I may be completely wrong and I dont have a lot of experience.

First off it looks like you did not grind back enough for the types of cracks. I say this because I would expect it to be feather down much more. In the pictures, which could be a wrong view as pictures are not always the best of show what is true.

Next the glass job looks funny too me. I would have expected a mix of glass cloth and matt. It looks like only matt was used and it is too clear, maybe too much resin?

I like to really grind the keel back. Get down to the last layers of the glass. Then build it up. You need lot of over lap for a good bond to the hull and you really want the strength of the mix of mat and cloth.

So tell us more about how many layers and types of glass you layed down.
Do you know about just wetting the glass out as opposed to having a lot of resin and a little glass?

Again I could be wrong. I have removed some glass that looked like yours because it was failing, but that does not mean yours is wrong.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Why not buy a roll of 3- or 4-inch fiberglass "tape" and lay down about 13-feet--the whole length of hull?

Once you've got the sander out and plugged in, just keep going! :cool: (What I should have done a few years ago on my retired racer-Sunfish).

The Sunfish "keel" is scarcely thicker than any other part of the hull bottom. :eek: (...and "vulnerable").

Considering how little weight would be added from this repair, Peace of Mind would be the end product. (Oops...sounds a bit like the message inside a fortune cookie). :oops:
 

gzblack2

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
Probably a little late, but I used this technique from shoreline and It worked out great. Getting the shape correct and fairing the repair was much easier, plus the patch is probably strong than the original hull.
 
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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Nice try, but I'm sorry to say you haven't addressed the structural damage long term. She'll sail okay for a few seasons, but that crack will continue to grow and work the patch loose. Next off season I'd remove it and do a proper blind patch inside the hull, then build that up.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Nice try, but I'm sorry to say you haven't addressed the structural damage long term. She'll sail okay for a few seasons, but that crack will continue to grow and work the patch loose. Next off season I'd remove it and do a proper blind patch inside the hull, then build that up.
If we "repair advisors" enlarge the many good photographs, we'll see the full extent of the damage--which is severe-to-grave. It's even worse than the winter storm-hit on my retired Sunfish-racer! (Which I couldn't have duplicated even with a mighty whack from a wrecking bar. :( )

Blind patch, Shoreline, or simple 2- or 3-over-laid external patch, I'd extend the repair area wider, and use 4" biaxial cloth tape and epoxy resin rather than polyester.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Mulling this over further, there's another alternative which combines the best features of the above "fixes".

This "composite" repair would proceed by cutting three inches width of keel out, and transplant a five inch "donor" keel in by tucking it in from underneath. (Length as needed).

The underside of the hull (the existing original hull "roving") would need roughening, and the donor (mating "gelcoat") section would need rough abrading.

THIXO the contacting surfaces--align--then proceed as above.

Donor parts can be reasonably shipped by USPS from the few of us regulars who "part-out" Sunfish hulls.
 

gzblack2

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
L&VW that sounds like another very strong repair. Unfortunately in this case I don’t think the “hybrid” would be viable option due to the fact the repair is right above/below the tub. As it happens when I used the shoreline method it was on the stern side of the daggerboard trunk. Half of the patch was over the tub area. In that spot I was able to glass the patch directly to the tub.
 

gzblack2

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
“Well” I couldn’t find a pic of the actual repair, but here is a shot drying her out using hole for the patch to vent the moisture.9821418E-CCF0-4D74-B87B-771789BA4C02.jpeg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Half of the patch was over the tub area. In that spot I was able to glass the patch directly to the tub.
Interesting. Mine had a good-sized gap. 3/8 inch?

"Interference" from any factory "spacers" would have to be cut away (then restored with "mat").

Now that I've just finished restoring a beat-up "Hurricane Irma" Sunfish hull, I'm not going to mess with my very-latest newly-aquired Sunfish rescue hull! :mad:

Anyone got three feet of "donor" keel for sale? I'm going to re-do that winter storm bashing on my 1976 Sunfish ex-racer. :)
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
While re-fixing that keel, I'll bolt in a bracket to hold the tail end of a hiking strap. (Bolted from inside the hull).

I'll leave the bolt heads exposed, so everyone will wonder how that bracket got installed! :)
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
I also had a gap after ‘Shorelining’ a section of damaged keel, but I glued in a couple old sail battens to create a lip for the repaired (from both sides) cut out section and epoxied all back in place. I might have done a blind patch for this hole, but there was also a crack in the cockpit that I could access from the back with the Shoreline method. With proper fairing and paint (cause I like a shiny boat) the repair isn’t noticeable.
Less intimidating than it looks, and bulletproof!
 

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BroKen

New Member
"She'll sail okay for a few seasons ..." Well, that is the best news I've heard in a while! If I get a year or two out of this repair I will be pleased. I have put another layer of fiberglass and more. I thought I might try to put some fiberglass inside the fore crack. There is an inspection port through the deck near there. I really can't get to the aft inside since the cockpit is there. Would it help to thin some resin and pour it into the keel from inside? I can't really get much access to it to sand or prepare the surface on the aft section. Still, some of it might stick, maybe?

I had seen the video that cuts out sections of the keel and repairs it from both sides and then reattaches them with screws and sail battens. I just thought I wouldn't be able to pull that off; lining up peices when I reattached them.

If the repair fails after a year or two, I can probably remove the repair and cut it out and either repair the crack or get sacrificed pieces from some of you guys. Thanks again for all your advice and support. It means a lot.

Oh, another thing. The styrofoam on one side by the fore crack is gone. The hull flexes on that side about a half inch. I had thought I would cut several shafts of styrofoam (kind of like a pool noodle) that would fit through the inspection port and try to glue them in place (and together) to help support the hull. Is that likely to work? Is there a better solution? Is it even important to fix that problem?
 
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