KEEL RECONDITIONING part I

Published date: April 18, 2011
  • Boat Type: Boat Type

I just finished refurbishing the keel on my 1979 V25. Started by having the keel sandblasted by a local shop (charged me $60.00). I made a chain sling, using large shackles on the ends, to make moving it around easy (see picture). Next step, as soon as I got it home from the sandblasters, was to coat it with a phosphoric acid product to keep it from starting to get surface rust. This is the important step, brush on a layer of West Systems epoxy and then vigorously brush the keel with a wire brush. This lifts any rust that may have formed on the keel and suspends it in the epoxy. It also creates a better bonding surface for the epoxy. make sure you put newspaper all around the floor under the keel, as the expoxy will "flow" off the edges. Don't be concerned about the stalagtites forming on the other side, it is extra material on the edges and will help in the shaping steps later. When this layer of epoxy is just tacky enough that you can see your fingerprint add another epoxy layer, but this time use 407 fairing compound in the epoxy. Mix enough in so you can spread it with a plastic spreader (like drywall compound or Bondo). Use this to fill any casting voids (and there are plenty of them) and build up along the back edge (the knife edge sorta speaking) and the very bottom of the keel. Repeat this step 2 more times, these layers should not be thick clobs of material, rather thin layers, gently shaping the keel. When the final layer is completely hardened, flip the keel over and repeat the whole process on the other side. Now that both sides are covered you can gently sand the bumps and ridges down, shaping the edges and the bottom. I recommend hand sanding, as a power sander may remove too much, too quickly. You do not want to sand down to the metal!! After the keel looks like you want it too, one final coat of epoxy with 422 (barrier coat additive)added in is brushed on to act as a barrier coat. Then paint with the bottom paint of your choice ( I used Pettit's Horizons) and reinstall your keel! This being done, it should last a lifetime! (hopefully) I will post more pictures in Parts II and ??

Published by: THE CUSCUS


Model Year: 1979
Photo Caption: sandblasted keel

brushing in the epoxy

after 3 layers of fairing compound

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