Creekmore 45 keel project

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by boethius27, May 18, 2011.

  1. boethius27
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Boston

    boethius27 New Member

    Hello everyone. I've been trolling along in these forums for a couple years and it is one of the most informative boat related sites on the net. Thank you all for the time you put into answering all the questions on here. I finally have a question I need some more specific help with, so here goes.

    My wife and I have lived aboard our Ericson 35 for 3 years now and we just recently had our first baby. We plan to continue living aboard, however we are moving up to something larger and more family friendly. We have had the good fortune (in our opinion) of inheriting a Creekmore 45 in an unfinished condition. Somebody purchased it as a bare hull in 1980. They spent 10 years putting on a deck with a low pilot/charthouse and doing almost all of the interior woodwork. In 1990 they lost interest and moved on to other projects. It sat covered until last fall when we took over. It just needs the systems installed and it is a virtually new boat. He kept very good care of it, even in the years he wasn't working on it.

    One of the more unfortunate things left to be done is the installation of the lead ballast. Due to the deck and floor stringers it cannot be forged at a foundry and lowered it. It will have to be stacked in ingots and sealed together with molten (or epoxy) as carefully as possible. Debate on methods of doing this seems endless, but that is not my question. My question is in regards to quantity and distribution. The owner had very few specs or drawings left over. Not sure what happened to all his paperwork.

    Here is a basic drawing (the only one I have):

    Here is a small gallery with some photos of the keel inside and out: disregard the meager collection of ingots laying in the bottom ;)

    The PO said he planned on putting about 8,000 pounds in and then maybe needing extra to adjust after launching. Not sure where he got that number. One of the odd things he did while he was working on it was to bolt on 600 pounds of lead in v-shaped wedges and glass them in along the bottom edge of the keel. He thought the boat should sit just slightly deeper and have that much more weight at the bottom. Ok.

    So, my basic question boils down to how much lead would be recommended and where should I build the aft retaining wall? I have no idea where, fore to aft) to put the lead--aside from close to midships.

    Here are some measurements that may be handy (feel free to ask for any other measurements and I will do my best to get them):

    LOA 45'8"
    Draft (including bolt on) = ~6'8"
    Beam 13'
    The keel starts sloping down about 16'8" from the bow
    The bottom of the keel is 15' long
    The bolt on lead is 12'6" in length
    The full length of the interior open space in the keel is 212"
    Keel is roughly 24" deep at its deepest
    The leading edge of the keel is 72" long (the sloped edge, measured straight fore to aft)
    Mast will be placed 20' aft of the bow, which places it 4' aft of where the keel starts sloping down.
    Also of note is that the engine is very far aft, under the cockpit, and weighs roughly 900lbs.

    Please excuse my amateur terminology. Open to any and all advice, information, and suggestions. Thanks in advance.

  2. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: Oriental, NC

    tom28571 Senior Member

    You seriously need the help of a Naval Architect. Hopefully one familiar with this boat or at least with the work of Creekmore. Without knowledge of the designers waterline, guessing at the ballast and location of same is just that, a guess. Other Creekmore sailboats I have known were racing boats and all much smaller than that one. With the location of the waterline known, the displacement and volume distribution can be worked out and from that, the amount of ballast and its location. Of course the weight and CG of the hull must also be known, preferably actual weight rather than a design calculation. The later can be gotten with a crane and load cell or travel lift. These are only free guesses from an experienced amateur.
  3. boethius27
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Boston

    boethius27 New Member

    Yeah, I was hoping it wouldn't come to that, but that is the conclusion I am reaching too. I thought perhaps there might be some ideas floating around here that might be helpful though.

  4. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer


    Tom's suggestion is a good one.....there are some serious issues at hand here....the mast, rigging, and chainplates are all sized depending on the righting moment of the boat, and the righting moment is dependent on the immersion (sinkage and displacement) of the hull and distribution of weights (especially ballast). You really do not want that mast to fall down on your kid's heads.......

    Ballast for this boat might be about 8-10,000 pounds, perhaps as much as 12, displacement around 25,000........

    That said I'll suggest a seat-of-the-pants way to give your NA a bit more information........stack about 4-5,000 pounds of lead in the forward 2/3'ds of the keel....arrange it in layers as low as possible......then launch the boat and mark the waterline all around, and haul her back out.........This will give the NA a baseline weight and longitudinal center of gravity.......If you like you could do a simple inclining while she's floating and that will establish VCG (vertical center of gravity) as well.....These are far more accurate measurements than can be had from guesstimates of VCG, and it's perhaps the same amount of work as trying to weigh her with a scale.......
  5. Motivator-1
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: Jupiter Florida

    Motivator-1 Junior Member

    Hello Justin,
    Have you tried to contact Lee Creekmore, the Designer, for help with this? I believe he still resides somewhere in Southern Alabama.
    I was able to Google this:
    11120 WALLER RD W

    Theodore, Alabama 36582


    Phone: (251) 973-1846

    I hope this helps.

    For your information, more than 3 decades ago, I had ownership in Lee's 34' Sailboat molds.


  6. Cailte
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: New Jersey

    Cailte New Member

    I also have a Creekmore 45

    I saw your post and so I registered so that I could give you a reply. I have a Creekmore 45 that I purchased from a bare hull. I spent 7 years completing it including installing the ballast (10,000lb lead), engine, interior, rig etc. I have been living aboard and sailing her since the late 90's. I keep it in New Jersey and have sailed her to Maine five times now. Feel free to contact me with your questions. Tom
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