Monday, May 19, 2008

Keel Work

This spring I undertook what could be considered a rite of passage among sailboat owners: refinishing the keel.  The steps (shown in the video below) were:
  1. scraping down the keel with paint scrapers (didn't work very well)
  2. grinding the keel with an evil-looking twisted wire brush attachment
  3. grinding the keel some more with a rough fiber sanding disk
  4. more wire brush grinding
  5. wash-down with Metal-Ready (phosphoric acid)
  6. 3 coats of POR-15 anti-rust paint
  7. 1 coat of Interprotect 2000
  8. Epoxy fairing compound in hull-keel joint and pitted areas
  9. 4 more coats of Interprotect 2000
  10. VC-17m on anti-fouling bottom paint
  11. Launch, and watch all that hard work disappear underwater


Anonymous said...


Just a note from a fellow T-22-er over at NSC. I scraped and gouged off about 35 years of ablative bottom coats, etc, to get my hull down to gelcoat and keel down to bare metal when I brought mmy boat up from Connecticut two years ago. Like you, POR x3 then Interprotect 2000 x4, VC tar x1 and finally VC17m x 2. It was a thing of beauty and came out of the water at then end of the first season with nary a blemish.

But, last year - being a naughty boy south of Little Aylmer Island, I foolishly trusted my GPS and overruled my local knowledge and hit a rock about 3 feet under at about 5 knots. After a quick check to change shorts and lift the bottom boards to see if we were taking on water - we weren't - I thought wow what a strong keel.

When I hauled in October there was a fist-sized boink on the leading edge of the keel about a foot up from the bottom and a scrape along the bottom of the keel. No deformation of the keel though just all the coatings removed down to bare metal.

But, when I did my bottom coatings I had covered everything including the keel joint filler. The Interprotect had formed like an eggshell, which isn't flexible, and it had cracked all around the keel joint when it had done its flexing thing when it hit the rock.

This Spring, I discovered that water had made its way in to that crack and got under the Interprotect. (Maybe some freezing thawing but I don't know) It left a bit of a mess to clean up and re-Interprotect. But I will probably take some time next year to take off all the Interprotect in the way of the keel joint and leave the flex material open to the elements so that It can do its thing in the event that I have any other untoward touches.


Darren said...

Hi Trevor, that's some good advice, I'll think about leaving the joint open. I think my neighbor leaves his open and paints VC-17 right over it. Sounds like you hit Table Rock. I've done the same. It seems no damage was done to the keel, fortunately.

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