Keel Refurbishment…..!!

To my surprise, one of the most frequently downloaded documents on the FF Blog is the one about Keel Refurbishment, written by Phil Tinsley, Commodore of Datchet. Setting aside Phil looking at it often, it was still downloaded 905 times in the last three years…..

Keel SupportWell, it’s a serious job as we all know.  One of the problems is the handling of the keel once it is off the boat.  At Datchet we have a frame in which the keel can sit, but it’s a bit Heath Robinson to tell the truth.

David Williamson has kindly sent in a couple of photos of the very neat keel support they used to mount the keel on his new boat.  Very simple – needs to be tailored slightly for each trailer maybe, but very effective.

wooden keel support

Flying Fifteen Keel Platform….

When I helped VC Phil Tinsley get the keel off a 20 year old boat ready for refurbishment, it wasn’t half as difficult as I thought. You can see Phil’s description of how we did it elsewhere on this website. (look along the black bar under the banner photo. You will see “About Owning” there. Hovver your mouse over it and a drop down menu appears – click on “Keel Refurbishment”…)

I distinctly remember as we took the keelbolts out, a steady trickle of water emerged – and not from within the hull either, which was bone dry…. I guess the keel platform, the hog, was made of hardwood and was gradually giving up the ghost and letting water in. In fact, when we had the boat back together we found that the keel did a sort of reverse cant operation on each tack – a bit like a 505 gybing centreboard ! Much bar talk ensued afterwards about whether it would improve the upwind performance – the keel being more upright no matter how much we heeled!

So how do they give us a rot proof keel platform in new boats?? This is the keel platform in Charles new Composite Craft Fifteen. You can see how well bonded in the platform is. It doesn’t look like wood, so I’ll have to ask Charles what it is made of next time I see him…..

Flying Fifteen – Trailer-Keel Protection….

We have always padded our trailers with carpet strips to protect the keel. This is what kiwi Graham Brown is up to….

Venturi Placement

  • This photo shows the placement of the venturi (super sucker) 100mm aft of the keel flange.
  • This is the lowest part of the hull when sailing and thus captures all water in the boat (no added weight).
  • It also strategically placed to create the least drag by being in an area of low turbulence and disrupted water flow.
  • Note the large launching pads and keel protection box. These totally reduce launch and retrieval damage, especially when launching into waves.

(Thanks to Graham Brown)