Restoring 1969 Alberg 30 Questions about Encapsulated Iron Keel

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by wesley Sherman, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. wesley Sherman
    Joined: Jan 2020
    Posts: 77
    Likes: 10, Points: 8
    Location: New York

    wesley Sherman Junior Member

    20190815_183809.jpg I am working on a full restoration of an Alberg 30. Been sitting on the hard now 3 years while I work on it. 2 years ago while stripping the keel down I decided to drill some holes in the lower 8 inches of the bottom keel. The first couple of holes starting from the aft of the keel showed no results of wet fiberglass or water. However, a couple of inches lower I started getting a bit of wet fiberglass and some drips of water. In the end, the holes I drilled about 6 inches from the bottom of the keel dripped a small amount of water for a couple of days. Lower than the 6 inches seemed to reveal nothing other than a solid layup. The water that came out was not rusty or discolored was just clear water. All said and done was only 3-4 cups of water and that was it.
    I did a few holes today to check to see if anymore any wet layup or more water in other locations and nothing.

    I am looking to see if at this point as I tear up the bilge floor completely to the encapsulated area if I should be concerned about any further maintenance. Such as pouring in alcohol in to the encapsulated area, opening up a section of the outer keel wall to look inside? I believe the water came from the bilge under the engine that still had some standing water when I brought it home from the boat year 5 years ago. all the water only came from the area limited to the rear of the keel and forward about 2 feet.

    Since the water wasn't rusty should I just seal it up and let it go. ? There were no other signs of rust in the holes I drilled as in dirty water or rusty-looking layup.

    Thanks for any comments.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Wesley, I am thinking that you are worrying yourself far too much here.

    I am a bit worried by this comment -
    Have you started to cut out the fibreglass covering over the ballast in the keel? I hope not.

    My take on it is that the more holes you drill into the hull, the more potential problems you have when you decide to seal them up again.

    I think that I would be inclined to seal up those holes that you have made and concentrate on the other things that need doing to make the boat seaworthy again.

    Especially as you have no rusty water coming out, and (I presume) you see no obvious areas where the fibreglass is bulging (perhaps as a result of the iron inside rusting and expanding) or even fracturing (it can happen).
  3. wesley Sherman
    Joined: Jan 2020
    Posts: 77
    Likes: 10, Points: 8
    Location: New York

    wesley Sherman Junior Member

    No, I have not cut into the covering to the keel.. There are no bulges or rusty water, I was just posting a question due to the fact that about now, This summer is when all the real cost starts going up and I don't want to miss something that I should have looked into. This boat is not a repair project is a more or less total restoration and more. Yes I know I will never get my money out of it and it will never be worth what I put into it. I don't do projects because I will get investment money out of it, or break even.
    The holes I've made are 1/4 holes and easy repairs. I am glad I did them as there was a bit of water in there a couple of years ago.
    Thank you for your reply to my anxious post lol.
    bajansailor likes this.

  4. Asleep Helmsman
    Joined: Jul 2008
    Posts: 241
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    Location: Republic of Texas

    Asleep Helmsman Senior Member

    Fill the holes with epoxy.
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