Water Intrusion Into Keel Slot


Active Member
Last outing I was running at planing speed quite a bit. Noticed a fair amount of water finding it's way into the cockpit through the slot. What happens is that while running fast downwind the stern gets lower as the bow is in a planing trim, just like a power boat when it just starts to plane. When singlehandling and skipper is hiked out, I try to scoot my 190 lb butt as far forward as possible, but trim still remains bow up.
What this all does is force the rapidly moving water up through the slot to the point where it will spill over and accumulate at the rear of the cockpit floor. I know that those plastic strips which are secured to the bottom of the hull are supposed to keep the water from coming up into the slot. Mine could be needing replacement but I found a simpler way to solve the problem. I stuffed a towel into the slot and that choked off the water from coming in. In a perfect world it would be nice to replace the stiff old plastic with new flexible stuff, but I don't see the effort/benefit ratio there. This issue only happens on really sporty days, so I'll take the easy road!
On another note, I really enjoy having the reefed main when the winds are strong. The boat handles well with main only, and I have the jib ready for easy hoist/lower, depending how aggressive I feel. That day average wind speed was probably around 10-15 with gusts in the low 20's. I won't have the full main up on days like that. And it's also nice to have the Baby Bob at the top of the mast. Haven't dumped her yet, but had a few close calls.


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That sounds like a good problem to have. Actually replacing the strips is pretty easy, if you can roll the hull over in the your grass.
With three people, you can lift it off and on, which I have done in a pinch. But in my yard,I nudged it back on the trailer until just the bow was supported by the bunk boards, lifted the bow, and rotated it until it was clear. To get it back on, I lifted the bow and my son slide the trailer under until it was sitting on the bunk boards again. Be careful of the bow hitting the trailer frame.
It is pretty much the same operation you would do at a shallow boat ramp.
While it was off the trailer, I replaced the bunk boards and waxed the bottom. It was slicker than snot that year. :)