I just wondered why sheathed keels are not allowed? The rule for not allowing them means everyone ends up with weeping rusty keels which in the longer term means a higher cost to maintenance. So why not let people sheath their keels to better protect them?
One of the problems with allowing sheathed foils is that it can allow re-profiling of the basic foil shape. This may give one profile an advantage over another. I solved my rust problem with Kurust from a car spares shop, clean thoroughly, lash this stuff on, prime and anti-foul. Cheaper and easier than sheathing.
When fitting out Ghostbuster at the beginning of this season we used the International VC tar product recommended by Mat Glasgow on this bulletin board (Keel Coatings).
The boat has been in the water all season and we have just had the boat hauled out for the winter. The keel is still in very good condition with only one small rust streak on the leading edge (probably where we hit something and chipped the paint) that will be a very small job to put right.
I suspect that this coating will last for several years before we need to clean the keel right back to the metal again.
we re condition our keel every year we take it back to the metal and re prime kurust etc and we find it a very easy and good way to do it we prob dont need to do it every year but as we scrub our underside very often in the racing seasons we find it good to re condition it every year when the boat is on dry land over the christmas period,
theres nothing better than a clean bottom boat
- 11 years later…
Is it possible to remove keel when boat is on cradle and the hull stub is on bottom support of cradle?
I note you asked about why we weren’t allowed to have a sheathed keel and I was happy with all the answers given regarding how it might lead to abuse if some owners were to use the sheathing as an opportunity for re-profiling etc.
However…………….I hadn’t realised that you were a lifting keel owner and personally I would be very relaxed if the class decided that whilst the fin keelers shouldn’t have a sheathed keel, the lifting keelers could. As a past Hunter Medina owner I can appreciate how a lifting keeler owner might benefit from a sheathed keel in those cases where the boat either dries out fully or partially between tides as the amount of abrasion on coatings will be significantly more than for a boat kept on a deep water mooring or in a marina.
It might be a complication too far for the rules team to accommodate fin keelers without sheathing and lifting keelers with sheathing………but I will leave that to others to consider!
Re Ghostbuster’s message, I too used VC Tar after clearing years of antifouling off the boat. The first couple of years were complete disasters with rust appearing in no time. Last winter I got the keel really clean and the same day applied the first of six coats. Result no more rust bug!
I think there are three messages
1) Get the keel seriously clean
2) Start painting the same day – do not give the rust process a chance to start
3) Get a good thickness of paint on it. From memory International recommend “at least three coats”. I recommend at least six coats.
I too am hoping yeard of hassle free service before I have to do major work on the keel.
- 2 weeks later…
Hi, I think we are allowed to sheath the keel. E 3.4 MATERIALS(a ) The keel shall be cast of fine grain iron(b ) The keel may be covered with paint,antifouling and/or non-reinforcing gel coat/ plastic. (b ) was added at my suggestion when I first bought Bear Cub. Prior to that you could not (in theory) even use plastic padding to fair the keel or repair a scratch. Martin Hartley agreed that was silly, and doubted it was ever the intention to prohibit plastic fairing materials. The RYA provided the wording, taken from some other class. The issue was “structural” – we were all keen to prevent someone fron building a keel which was not primarily constructed of iron. I believe sheathing the keel in a thin layer of glass to protect it from water would not count as re-inforcing and would be permitted. Martin (or the committee) is certainly entitled to decide on such a point. The keel profile is specified explicitely in the rules (though there is one massive typo) and the tolerance (+/- 3mm on each side of the section) is so big that it would allow someone to construct a much faster keel if they thought it worth the effort. You certainly are permitted to use palstic fairing on the keel. Peter
Edited by Peter Cyriax
- 2 weeks later…
like has been metioned before .. the rust is nothing that cannot be sorted out with some what i will call “Rust Beat” as its what i used in year one of owning wicked wookie.
that said …. since we can use plastic padding, and we have a 3mm tolerance ….. i dont realy see that stopping people using and epoxy type layer on the keel after makes any difference at all ….. I havent seen a well prepped sonata yet that doesnt have a nice shaped keel …. and anyone who “Has” actualy taken one back and did the donkey work knows fine well they dont come that way out the mould. I have prepped 4 in my time on sonatas outside of wickeds and not one of them didn’t have that massive hollow on the port side about 1/4 of the way down and 1/2 way forward.