Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Weeping Steel Shot Keel"
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Post: "Weeping Steel Shot Keel"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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Heartland

Our W42 (hull#10) has been on the hard for 9 years receiving a complete overhaul/rebuild. I had noticed a soft-spot on the bottom of the keel about 6 inches long that was weeping fluid (no smell). Thought it was a blister and opened it with a grinder only to find a "fisher". I abandoned the grinder and followed this "fisher" by drill and entered the ballist area. A couple of gallons of what appeared to be brownish water drain out. I then drill three more holes along the length of the keel. One of the three additional holes drained more water. I left these holes open for the last several years. I am just now getting around to plugging them with an epoxy/glass mix.

I am distressed to find that the first hole is still weeping moisture. I used the grinder and opened that "fisher", removing compromised fiberglass until I got to good hard glass. Now I have an opening in the hull is now about 7"X1". Anyway. when I entered the ballast area, I found a hard grey layer maybe 1/4" thick. It kind of looks like dry window putty. Passed this grey layer is hard foam, like the pour-in foam. I dug out an amount of this foam and it is holding moisture. It's not enough moisture to drip out but enough that when you crush the foam it drips out.

What do I do now? I can't repair the hole until I can dry out the fiberglass, can I? Any suggestions would help greatly.


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