Friday, 16 May 2014

Keel Rot

When I took the several pieces of trim off the bottom of the keel back in the winter, I discovered a small area of rot in the keel. This is what it looked like from underneath after a little digging:
(The green is the tarp seen through a hole in the keel.)
And here it is from the inside after starting to dig there:
(The green light is from the tarp.)
Below is after more digging. All of the wood exposed here was wet. This is the only photo I have that shows the keelson and the #5 frame before I took them out (#5 frame is at bottom of photo):
So I ended up taking out the #5 frame and the keelson pieces between frames 4 and 6.
Pretty harsh when you have to destroy the boat you've put so much time and effort into!
The epoxy and glass on top of the keel between frames 4 and 6 eventually got peeled back all the way so that the underlying wood could dry out. The #5 frame in the middle will be cut back even further. Some of the area next to the keel is just the glass and epoxy on the outside, with no wood left on it! I've found that since I glassed all of the corners of the cabin, there's no water in the bilge after it rains.
The view above is looking aft. The plan is to bend in a couple layers of ¼" ply in the marked area, after taking the frame and the butt blocks back further, then re-build the #5 frame and the keelson on top of that. Lots of epoxy goop will be used, of course.

I'm glad I didn't do this part before doing all the glass taping on the outside, as I might have got too discouraged and quit. As it is, I'm now quite experienced with the grinder, and I know my back can handle the amount of work I'm putting in daily, so I feel confident that this is going to have a positive ending. :-) It's been great to have a boat builder on hand to give me his input. I wouldn't have thought of bending the ply in, but it makes total sense, since it joins the sides in one piece.

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