For some sailors, there is a common maintenance ritual that occurs every spring—repairing the ballast-hull crack or cracks where the leading edge of the ballast keel meets the hull. This annually reoccurring crack is sometimes referred to as a “Catalina Smile” because it often occurs on Catalina sailboats. But we’re not here to pick on Catalinas because ballast-hull cracks are hardly exclusive to them.
The crack can form due to a number of causes but probably the most common reason is the hull isn’t as stiff as when it was new. Continue reading →
The advantage of repairing a keel with G/flex Epoxy is that it is a toughened system that has a tensile elongation of more than 30 percent, which would prevent cracks from reappearing in the fairing compound. A local boat owner called our technical line and asked about repairing his cast-iron wing keel with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. He asked if a technical advisor would be willing to take a look at the cracks on his keel and recommend the best way to repair it. After looking at the boat I gave the customer a callback and recommended using G/flex® Epoxy. He asked if I knew of anyone in the area that could do the repair. I told him that I would be willing to take on the job and thought it would be a good opportunity to write an article about repairing a keel with G/flex Epoxy. Continue reading →