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Monday, July 18, 2005

Tilling the Keel

So this last weekend saw the removal of the top of the keel. After about six sawzall blades, the fiberglass and plywood underneath was removed. The loose ballast was very dry. I stole some of my wife's gardening tools and started digging through the ballast. I could dig down about 3-4 inches before I hit the recently infused cured resin. Very solid, which is good. While I was tilling through the ballast I found a few interesting things in there. I hit numerous 3" x 4" x 1/4" steel plates that were near the surface. This is the main reason I went through so many sawzall blades as I hit them as I was cutting the top of the keel off. Also found in there were a few odd pieces of steel pipe or machinery. One looks like an old pump or drum brake. I couldnt identify it positively and I could not remove them entirely as the lower half was embedded with the recently infused resin. It was clear that the ballast was not graded evenly as there were large gaps between the plywood laminate. After pushing it around with garden tools, I was able to reveal a small 2-3 inch area at the center of the keel. So, the plan is to fill this area with lead shot (or equivalent), to bring the ballast up to the same level where the plywood was, even it out, bag the top of it and do the final infusion. Later, the glass mat will be installed when the floor is done.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you have time to mess about with a blog site I think I know one Westsail 42 that will never be finished! 'Hope I am wrong, though. As an owner of 'Elan, a W42K, and knowing the time that just maintenance consumes with a boat this size, you have a full time job with the boat!

robert said...

Gee thanks for the words of encouragement. Yeah, this blog takes up ALL of my day. 5 minutes to make a post. I sleep the rest of the day.

Between my wife and I, we have over twenty years around boats (much of it maintaining them, if not replacing systems). So, I guess were stupid. We dont know anything.
You're right, we should just quit.

You wanna buy the damn thing?

Anonymous said...

Different Anonymous.. Me thinks Elan may be close to the truth. 5 years is quite ambitious considering what has been completed in the last 4 months. I hope you're able to do it. We're putting the cabin sole in Elysium and it's taking two months of full time work for two people and it's still not completed yet. We expect to be varnishing next week but the work on these boats is tremendous.

robert said...

Well, A lot has been going on besides what is being posted. Much of it has been design work, planning of hardware, mechanical, stuff like that, before we can get on with the floors. This unexpected keel project has taken this long because of the difficulty in estimating how much resin was needed. You run out, you have to stop, and you cant just go down to the local hardware store and buy more. The floors are the next big milestone, as, you cant do much more inside until you have the floors in. Still, work is starting on rudder parts and other exterior bits in paralell (not by me).