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Keel hull joint crack

fergus

New Member
Hi all,

I just had the boat hauled out and noticed some cracking in the forward part of the keel. The yard is recommending to grind it back and put an additional layer of glass in, which seems sensible. it doesn't seem too deep but I'll have to see how far it goes when they start grinding it back. Anyone else have experience with this?

I checked my photos from when I last had the boat hauled for its survey and the slings covered this exact spot, so it might have gone unnoticed before. I haven't been hard aground in the boat since I've had it but I did get an assist out of some mud - it didn't seem like we used excessive force so seems unlikely that would have caused it?

Best,
Fergus
 

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Fergus

That point where the forward end of the keel meets the hull is a notorious weak point. By the different colors that show, it appears to have been patched before in the past. Grind down to a place where the cracks are now longed visible, then build back up with glass. Don't be afraid to build out further. Then fair it smooth. Of course, try to stay away from the bottom.

jim
 
Welcome to the board.

Ouch. That is much worse than what I have seen before. It looks like it hit something. Or, maybe if the rigging was far too tight? More normal is a hairline crack just at the centerline where the two halves are joined together. In that case it is mostly cosmetic. In your case it is structural. Were you not seeing water ingress?

You need to grind all the damage out, which in your case I think will leave you with a hole. Then grind a taper and apply new cloth. I would also remove all the paint on the joint around the whole keel to inspect.
 
I didn't see water ingress and its hard to tell but it seems to have gone through a couple layers of glass then there is are what look like some pre-existing voids, and then undamaged glass I think. I'll update after some grinding!
 
Had the same damage. Jim is right, grind and do the best layup you can afford.
If it hit the bottom hard, check the trailing edge of the keel as it would be forced up.
This is a 2-piece clam shell hull.
 
John Harris

Here is a drawing of the proper blocking for the Morgan 38s. For the jack stands we use 4- 5' Brownell type SB2 stands on each side. Plus two small V-top stands, one under the bow and one under the stern just forward of the skeg. A total of 10 stands.

Jim
 

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I'm curious to see a picture of how the boat is supported by stands and blocks hauled out.
This is the best photo I have - if you zoom in you can see the blocking. The keel is only blocked on the forward part. The yard and I followed the diagram that someone on this site prepared and we also tapped the keel to identify where it is solid. Its possible we could have blocked quite a bit farther aft but didn't want to chance it as I still have an intact holding tank. Given the discoloration of the crack I don't think the damage occurred on this haul out, its been that way for some time.

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Fergus
I don't feel that damage was caused by improper blocking. That had to be from a hard grounding, or as Warren suggests, too tight rigging.

Jim
 
The damage was caused by the original build. The boat was built in two halves port and starboard and then bonded together. They glassed the joint on the inside only. They did not want to glass the outside because it would have required a much larger gelcoat repair the whole lentgh of the center seam. I suggest you repair as the others have suggested above. I have done that repair to the entire center seam. I did the bottom when did the blister repair and the topsides in another refit when we painted the topsides. I had a crack at the forestay attachement as well as a similar to yours at the keel.
 
The damage was caused by the original build. The boat was built in two halves port and starboard and then bonded together. They glassed the joint on the inside only. They did not want to glass the outside because it would have required a much larger gelcoat repair the whole lentgh of the center seam. I suggest you repair as the others have suggested above. I have done that repair to the entire center seam. I did the bottom when did the blister repair and the topsides in another refit when we painted the topsides. I had a crack at the forestay attachement as well as a similar to yours at the keel.
I'm not sure about this. I noticed on my last haul-out a hairline crack at the seam forward of the keel. I am sure that is what you are talking about. The crack pictured goes *across* the seam. Forward of the crack on the centerline to the bow, and down the centerline of the keel, are both fine.

But since it apparently was not letting water in, it sounds as though the inside taping held. That is a good thing and will hopefully make the repair easier.
 
When I had a gelcoat peel and barrier coat a few years ago, I found, as David Buckley says, that they did not put glass on the outside to join the hulls. There was a 1/2 inch gap between the two sides that had been filled in with some kind of fairing compound. I had the yard glass over the whole joint with several layers. Years before, I had gone aground and chipped the glass in front of the lead. I was concerned when I saw how thin the glass was on the leading edge of the fin. So, on my vessel, the forward end of the fin also has several extra layers of glass.
 
To me, the photos indicate a hard grounding or striking a hand object. I suppose another possibility could be a bad blocking at a haulout.
 
Hello,, in the picture of the crack i notice some Black color. Did it had any funny smell like Black water?
I did a repair of the blisters and when grinded down i notice also a crack fowarr of the keeli but with the direction to the bow, also aft of the keel.. Both cracks where re enforced with glass (ok job here in Panamá where im at the moment) and i notise whyle grinding, a very unike smell and Black water ossing out.. Very strange.. Let us know how your repair goes, i Would love to see
Cheers
 
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