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Faster pussycat! keel! keel!

A couple of days ago I showed a very much unfinished repair to the keel where I had cut out a small section of badly repaired damage. Today, it is all sanded smooth and is now completely hidden beneath the largest repair to date, the trailing edge of the keel itself.

After discovering the damage and the subsequent bad repairs, I dragged out my angle grinder and cut a slot from bottom of the keep to where it meets the bottom of the boat. This semi-cylindrical part of the keel was where the rudder’s leading edge would fit into to discourage turbulence when in a straight ahead of close to straight ahead position. It was also cracked from top to bottom.

I then showed the repair panel I made out of CarbonFibre and how it would fit into this slot I cut. Today, I wetted it down and attached a foot and a half wide piece of CarbonFibre cloth and after letting it cure, placed it into position and attached it with resin. The unresined cloth was tucked around the keel and secured with fresh resin to make a tight and strong seal to the roughly ground glassfibre hull. I then carefully wetted the C/F to make sure the resin was fully embedded into the fibres and walked away to let it dry.

Carbon Keel P

Carbon keel

Carbon keel SB

I still need to do a little more C/F work top and bottom to get a good and smooth surface between the original keel and the repair. I also need to get inside the keel to add some more CarbonFibre to properly bond it front and back.. but no doubt this will be the strongest part of Flirt when I am done. I wonder how many other Fifty-One year old sailboats can boast of having space age materials used for repairs?

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A long time sailor who has been away from the water for too long, I am working hard to bring an old and abused boat back to life. When not working on my boat, I can often be found working as a Stage Hand in Atlantic City or just out and about on my Mountain Bike. I really come off as a quiet and boring person when people first meet me.

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