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Monday, May 23, 2005

Surprise! Water Ballast!

So, after hearing some ominous thumps as I tapped the top of the keel, I took a hole saw and cut a couple inspection holes. Its WET IN THERE! Oh geesh. After removing all the flooring, we were commenting about how there could be no more surprises. WRONG! So I cut some more inspection holes every few inches further aft. With each new hole, more water started gushing out like a spring! (The boat is blocked slightly upward at the bow). Next, I drilled a small hole at the bottom of the keel as far aft as I could. Water came streaming out! And it didnt stop for about 15 minutes! As the previous owner simply allowed rainwater into the hull, and never pumped it out, it must have found its way into the ballast. The good news is, that, since he never pumped it out, the steel ballast remained wet and never got a chance to rust. The water that came out was fresh and very clean. I cut out a large piece of plywood/fiberglass atop the ballast to see the steel punchings. Somewhat dirty and damp, but not really rusted. So we got a new problem to deal with. No big deal. We will flush out the ballast with acetone or alcohol, let it dry thoroughly, infuse as much resin as we can, reskin the top good and water tight. Click here to see a video of the water draining from the keel. Fun...

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