Why is this page here and not on the WOA website?Recently the Westsail Owners' Association website was moved to a new server that would allow the site to be more easily updated and maintained. While the basic content was successfuly transferred into the new site, a new Forum was started from scratch and the old Forum was converted to a collection of 41 PDF documents.
Most of the Westsails are somewhere around 35 years old. They were well-built boats and most of the boats that were built are still sailing today... many half way 'round the world. But like all classic sailboats, they will all have problems over time, and most of the problems are relatively similar from boat to boat. There's a fair degree of likelihood that any problem that might come up has already been tackled by another owner. It's also fairly likely that the solution is buried somewhere in the archives of the Forum.
Long ago, I started downloading and archiving the entire Westsail.org website, with periodic refreshes. I did this mainly because I wanted a localized version of the site that I could access while cruising remote corners of the world, with limited access to the Internet. Perhaps the biggest benefit, however, has been the major improvement in my ability to search more than 11,000 posts efficiently.
It's likely that the old forum data could have been integrated with the new application, creating one contiguous and searchable source of information. But this would have required substantial programming and data manipulation and the decision was made by the WOA to take the current course. I therefore created this application as a means to preserve the seven years worth of resources that I consider to be incredibly valuable information for current and future Westsail owners. I hope you find it as useful as I have.
1975 Westsail 32, Hull #438
Post: "Weeping Steel Shot Keel"
12,268 posts on 2,444 threads • From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012
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|Message Author||Message Content (1 of 1)
- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -
Rob and Janet Sutton
My opinion: if the holes have been open for a long time, you are probably not going to get it much drier. Yes, having it as dry as possible is desireable before the glass work.
One thing you might try is cut a hole in the plywood top of the bilge to fit a large shop vac hose and turn the shop vac on for a few days (longer the better).
That will at least help draw air through the keel and maybe dry things out some more. We did this to dry some of small areas of balsa core on our 28 Skookum and had limited success.
Another possibility is trying to "rinse" the keel with alcohol (isopropyl). Water dissolves in alcohol and it will help carry the water away when it drains. Left will be an alcohol residue that will evaporate quickly, especially if you can draw air through the keel. The trick is getting the alcohol through the keel, and you need large quantities (keep away from open flame!). So I dont know if that is practical in your situation.
Even after our keel repair two years ago, a couple monts ago I discovered trapped water in the lower skeg when I drilled holes for bolting the rudder gudgeon. It was only a trickle, but I was surprised.
I suspect expansion of the steel ballast due to rust would only become a problem if it went through repeated wet/dry cycles. Stale, standing water can only oxidize so much.
Even then, as Bud said, I cant see it ever compromising structure and strength given how much roving they used down there in the keel.
You probably have a greater risk of hitting a rock, puching a hole in your keel and spilling the ballast on the ocean floor (which I have heard has happened before, not Westsails).
More importantly is finding out how it got wet in the first place, and fixing that. In my case it was standing water in the bilge which eventually found its way into the keel. If it came in from outside the hull, that should be addressed of course.
Looking back, our solution of filling the keel with resin was probably a bit extreme, but it was the only thing we could think of (and the yard recommended) so that the problem could never "come back."
Moisture readings on our hull are now pretty much zero.