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To template or not to template - That is the question

Ok, it is winter, boat is put away and I know my blades need work. I am an avid club level racer and my blades do not measure into class rules The keel is too far forward (and too thin) and rudder is just too thin. Did I mention I do not have a big budget for this project? The rest of the boat is in great shape.

I would be interested in hearing from the group their approach.

1) Would you spend the $$$ and have it done professionally
2) Try it yourself and at least make them minimum thickness
3) Leave them alone and enjoy the boat as is.

My biggest concern is doing it myself and making them worse than they are now.
How important is it to be PERFECTLY fair? I could probably get them close, but not perfect.

I am looking forward to reading this discussion.


Where are you located? I'd suggest getting in touch with your local class measurer, who should be able to provide you a smaller work target than "too far forward" and "too thin." As a measurer, usually when I encounter those two issues it's not typically a "start from scratch" type of project. By working with a measurer, you should be able to develop a plan of action which will correct your measurement issues with the least amount of invasive work, which should also limit the chances you'll make things worse than they are now. This discussion will also help you focus in on the exact areas of measurement issue, and whether or not they're "pay a pro" type fixes.

For example, if you're only too far forward at the trailing edge, and you have sufficient margin in the chord length measurments, then the position correction is relatively straight forward (build up trailing edge, shape, paint). This can be DIY, depending on the severity.

On the other hand, if you're too far forward AND have no margin in the chord length measurements, the amount of artistry involved in re-shaping the keel entry while moving the keel back goes up exponentially for each mm of adjustment required.

Similarly, if your keel is "too thin" from the J-bump and through every measurement point on both templates, hire a pro, because you're starting from scratch . . . . but in all likelihood, you're not talking thin-all-over, but just slightly hollow in a specific area, which is DIY depending on your comfort level with filler and paint.

Perfect is overrated in the J24 class, both above and below the waterline. It is easily overcome by time on the water and having fun with friends.

Measurer, owner, driver, crew.


New Member
Since it is winter, I would go to the lumberyard and pick up some luann plywood (doorskin material), and if you are familar with lofting, loft the measurements in the rule onto the plywood. Mark the stations on the keel, and see how the templates fit. If you are with me so far, you can fair the keel yourself. I did this on a keel that was from the factory (1990), and had an extremely fast keel. Just remember that the templates you created are minimum thickness. It isn't a computer keel shape, but the class measurements are good enough to hunt with the big dogs.