Rust and Keel Well issues

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Mcbeth, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. Mcbeth
    Joined: Jan 2014
    Posts: 8
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    Location: Houston BC Canada

    Mcbeth Junior Member

    I am doing a total refit on my steel 41' ketch 1973 vintage

    I have encountered considerable rust in certain places as I have been gutting the cabin/head/aft cabin. The biggest issues with rust are around the 10 porthole openings, the seal has been leaking for years on all of them, creating a perfect environment for rust, one window has pinhole below the porthole, where the rust has penetrated through.
    Over all, and with my considerable experience with steel I am confident I can restore the hull to excellent condition by sandblasting and replacing/sizing the corroded steel areas, I will use rust converter/sealer, primer and International intertuff epoxy for final finish.
    I intend to use the original portholes, mfg by The Fuller Brush Company. They are hard white plastic with 1/2" Plexiglas windows large thumb screws to secure hinged window. Surprisingly no UV or oxidation damage! The bezels were the culprits, cracked, ill fitting. I intend to get new bezels made with automated plasma cutter, Aluminum or stainless steel.

    I am open to suggestions on shortcomings or alternate solutions related to my plan so far.

    I have recently located a part of this boat which must be the rectal area!
    You guessed it... the Keel well, It is directly behind the fuel tank, and ahead of the rudder this has been the most disgusting part of a not so glamorous job, and I just got started. I think this is where most of the indescribable vile odors are originating from.
    There is considerable corrosion in there, there was a small bilge pump buried in five inches of jelly like black sludge.
    This area is almost impossible to get at, everything that has fallen into it is still there, the engine is directly over it giving its offerings from time to time. i I think the previous owner poured linseed oil in there, hence the jelly like texture.
    I want to eliminate it. Why is it there? I see no use. My thought is to cut a window in the side (from the outside) sandblast/replace steel too badly corroded, coat with epoxy and fill it with concrete... or maybe nitrogen, cap it off and weld it shut.
    Your thoughts Please, I really need some light on this. Cheers, Keith.
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You could fill it with concrete to prevent corrosion. However, if that is the lowest point of the bilge, you may need to make a new pump well somewhere forward.
     
  3. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Delta BC

    JSL Senior Member

    Portholes (portlights) in the hull (below the weather deck) should be as strong as the adjacent structure. Plastic is not as strong as steel. Get some proper portlights (metal) fitted with a deadlight. or, if you want to keep the plastic ones, make provision to fit a deadlight or emergency closure.
    A 'punched in' portlight can let in a lot of water in a very short time.
    Been there- done that
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  4. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Hobart

    pdwiley Senior Member

    Yeah, I agree. Eliminate it, if it's not doing anything useful for you. Concrete is good. Weld a lid over it, forget about it.

    Except for the one keel well I left for the bilge pump, in the lowest part of the hull, I capped all of mine. Some with welded caps after a good internal paint job (and yes, I know the paint will have burnt along the HAZ but as no more oxygen can get in there, no rust), the rest I capped with bolt-down lids with sealer.

    PDW
     
  5. Mcbeth
    Joined: Jan 2014
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    Location: Houston BC Canada

    Mcbeth Junior Member

    portlights

    I do have some reservations on the portlights I have, I did do some checking for new ones. All the portlights I have found so far are a flange mount and do not allow for inner wall thickness, the ones I have, have a snout that protrudes about 2.5 inches.
    I am sure there are portlights out there that will fill the bill, but I haven't found them yet.
     

  6. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Hobart

    pdwiley Senior Member

    I had mine cast in bronze by a local foundry - they had a suitable pattern. Not cheap. I get to do the machining. It's on the job list.....

    PDW
     
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