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Author Topic:   keel repair advice -i did it this time
frank posted 08-13-2000 02:56 AM ET (US)   Profile for frank   Send Email to frank  
hi whaler fans ,love the forum ,thanks jim. well i did it again yep i beached my 86 18'outrage (guardian)on a preforated concrete ramp(not smart) now my forward keel has a gouge , its not very deep (i guess only a few milimerers )but when i put it on the trailer i noticed water ,very slowly dripping from the gouge . that was three days ago and it is still dripping.must be lots of water in there(my poor baby) .i feel like an idiot . maybe someone has done the same and can offer advice. i know you guys wont let me down. i'm thinkin' epoxy????????????
jimh posted 08-13-2000 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

Let it dry for a while until you're confident the internal moisture is gone. Depending on your climate, the time needed could vary.

West System Epoxy is a good repair material. It will form a strong secondary bond to the original laminates.

If the area is not highly visible and not subject to a lot of UV, you could tint the epoxy to match the hull color, and then forgo a gelcoat topcoat. In fact, I would tint the epoxy anyway; if the tint material is small (less than 5%) the strength of the epoxy adhesion is not affected.

If you do want to apply a gelcoat topcoat, you must properly prepare the epoxy in order to get the gelcoat to adhere to it.

All traces of amine must be removed. Acetone--believe it or not--does not remove amine, but plain soap and water does.

If you need to add more structural material to the repair, you can thicken the epoxy with fillers or add some fabric fibers.

The West System Repair Guide the bible for this work, and at $3 the best bargain you'll find.

--Jim Hebert

frank posted 08-13-2000 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for frank  Send Email to frank     
hi jim thanks for the advice, and great job on the web-site. well as it turns out the keel is not where the water is seeping in it is the seal on the forward thru-hull. i took it out today and found the foam saturated with water. from the keel to the top hole of the forward bunk. there is standing water in the forward keel. (hopefully not the whole keel)well i'm trying to remove whatever water i can and then will replace the thru-hull and seal it right this time. then i will tackle the gouge in the hull which is basically cosmetic. if anyone can offer advice on how to remove the water from the foam i would really appreciate it. again thanks jim for the forum and the site -frank
tbirdsey posted 08-13-2000 11:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
frank: I had similar problems although not from thru hull - at least I don't think that was the cause. See my post "water from foam" in this thread. Look fast, its about to disappear - I wrote it back in May. Vacuum is the secret. My method was very crude - shop vac. I remember a more recent post using vacuum pump, etc, etc. I think bigz did something like this.

I used tinted epoxy ala jimh suggestion to repair gouges on keel - worked great!! Good luck

MikeG posted 08-13-2000 11:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for MikeG  Send Email to MikeG     
This is not the first post asking how to get water out of the foam. Within the first couple of sentences of almost every whaler catalogue I own there is a statement such as "this rapid expansion creates an incredibly tight-celled material, impervious to water...". What gives? At a marina near our place in Maine a Hydra-Sports dealer was bad-mouthing Whalers claiming he has encountered a number of Whaler owners with water-logged boats. I though he was full of it since my '71 13ft has suffered its share of beachings over the years (not always a dock available when you need it!). During that time I have seen the keel worn down to the foam in small areas below the waterline, but I have never witnessed water come out of the foam. Each time, it is patched and good as new. Could somebody please comment on how much water the foam can take on? Is the foam really saturated, or is the exposed part of the foam merely damp? Has the company ever commented on the claims that the foam can absorb water? I'm starting to wonder if I have glassed water into my old hull without realizing it. Either way, I can't imagine my whaler sinking or weighing too much (I'm sure I have put on more weight than the boat has over the years :-). Any insight is appreciated!
frank posted 08-14-2000 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for frank  Send Email to frank     
thanks for the advice i'm trying the shop vac now. in regards to the foam being impervious to water. when i push my hand on hull areas around the thru- hull opening water pours out of the opening . at first i thought it was a void between the foam and the hull ,which i have found but - the foam on my outrage around the hole is saturated. i did'nt want to believe it, after all it is supposed to be impervious to water. in the spring when i drilled 3 screw holes in the transom watter seeped out. i'm only left to wonder how much is in there.while i still feel safe out on the ocean i know im not unsinkable(like the titanic). thanks for the advice guys and for allowing me to vent. frank>>>>

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