Sunday, 8 June 2014

Keel Repair

The plan to bend in plywood across the top of the keel didn't work, as there wasn't enough of the keel to fasten to. So I just started layering up the bottom of the boat over the keel with 3/8" plywood.
Layer 1:
Layer 2 (getting wider):
I finally figured out how to do what I wanted to do by layer 3, and used much less epoxy and more wood. One and one-eighth inches of wood and epoxy in total were added, with a layer of 9-oz cloth over all. The ground-away butt blocks were replaced with two or three layers of 4" glass tape in epoxy:
Next came a re-make of frame 5, making sure to keep the floor boards at the same heights:
And here's how it looked from the outside. I put one layer of 9-oz cloth over the wound. I'd like to put more layers on, but working upside-down under a trailer is not conducive.
John gave me a nice piece of fir to replace the excised keel. That's the next and final step in fixing the keel rot.

The new theory of how the rot came to be goes as follows: The boat was meant to be kept in a garage, and the corners of the decks and cabin weren't waterproofed. When the boat was kept outside under a tarp, water got in through the tarp (they always leak, especially on the tight corners) and collected in the bottom of the boat, eventually making its way out through the keel (maybe down a screw that had been worked loose by one of the trailer rollers) and allowing rot to start.

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