Repaired Things

Sailboat Keel
September 5, 2009, 8:42 pm
Filed under: metal, plastic | Tags: , , , ,

“This is a keel from a damaged 10 meter racing sailboat. J/105 design. The keel itself weighs about 2500 pounds. We ran aground on some rocks which simply mangled the lead bulb at the very bottom. Luckily we didn’t loose much lead; if any. It was pretty ripped up and a chunk of fairing compound or something was missing from the front due to the initial impact.

“Supplies: Epoxy/Resin, faring compound additive, vinyl-ester faring compound, acetone, Interlux yacht bottom paint, Barrier sealant additive (added to the epoxy mix just like the faring additive), cheap brushes and rollers, Beer.

“Tools: Sander (random orbit) plenty of sandpaper/pads, high speed grinder, spackle knives (metal and plastic), scraper, calipers (precision measurement), ball peen hammer, and plenty of drapes, masks, and stuff like that. Oh yeah.. and beer.

“Day1 – placed 2 1/4 inch screws into the front of the bulb and epoxy glued a roofing nail to the back point so I had something for the epoxy/compound to adhere to. flattened the mangled lead. Luckily I didn’t have to boil and add any lead. Made primary fills with high density filler. Fended off boatyard managers with EPA concerns. (lead was obviously exposed.. they tested when I was finished and found nothing =) ) Sand/grind out some stress cracks that may have resulted from the hit. Seems ok.

“Day 1 through 4 overall – Fill with high and lower density epoxy faring compound, let it cure, sand, drink beer. Repeat and measure, ensure smoothness and fairness. End of day 4 – lay in the 3M vinyl stuff. 15 minute cure perfect measurements to spec. (you can almost clean your fingernails on the point) Coat with epoxy barrier to keep water out.

“Day 5 – Antifouling paint, back in the water.”

— Kevin LeCompte


2nd layup of faring compound


A different view


Front edge where we lost the most material.


Finished with barrier (gray) coat


A different angle


Elmo (the patient)