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H23 Keel

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Sep 24, 2010
34
Beneteau 321 Edgewater, MD
I recently purchased a 1987 Hunter 23 that has been sitting on the trailer unused since 1992. I am in the process of putting her back together, and it has been a major project. I have replaced almost all of the wood inside since water was left inside it for a number of years and rotted away. The only original wood is the main bulkhead around the mast support and the mast support. For some reason, that wood cleaned up and is in good shape.

Now for my questions.

Besides the rear bulkhead under the cockpit (which appears to be structural to me) and the mast support, is any of the other wood structural?

I rebuilt the shelves as they seemed to stiffen the hull. I rebuilt the v-berth for the same reason. They have been glassed back into the hull for strength and support. Either way, the reason for my concern is the next question.

Having sat on the trailer for so long, is it possible that the keel could be pushing up and flattened the hull?

I have noticed that there is significant stress cracks around the bilge area around the keel bolts. I know that the Hunter 23 can leak around the keel bolts, and I have not yet put it in the water. Also, the the middle of the part that supports floor board that cover the bilge access seems pushed up. For example, the floor board do not touch on the port and starboard sides, but instead rest on the middle bow and stern point of the floor access opening. I am slightly worried that I removed all of the wood which allowed the boat hull the flexibility to flatten out, or it sat for so long that it pushed up. It is my understanding that the keel supports most of the weight when on the trailer, and the side boards not so much. I have looked on the bottom of the boat and it does not look flat, and I do not see any cracks on the bottom of the hull around the keel (or any where for that matter).

I imagine that this is hard to visualize, but any suggestions or comments would be helpful. I am sure that I will have more questions in the future. Thanks in advance.
 
Apr 27, 2010
1,156
Hunter 23 Lake Wallenpaupack
I have a 91 H23, and the floor boards above the keel bolts sit flat. The hull parts that go side-to-side, forming the "divider" between each recess where the keel bolts sit, are more or less even with the sides, so the floor boards sit pretty flat and flush. In other words, all 4 "lips" of each recess are in a flat plane.

I can't comment on what may be going on with the keel. On my trailer, I'd say the keel does support most of the weight, though I can't measure the pressure on the hull bunks. If the exterior hull near the keel seems well-formed, and the right shape, I wonder how the interior could be pushed up. Does the glass in that area seem solid?
 
Jun 27, 2004
122
Hunter 25.5 Cocoa Beach, FL
The hull does change shape while on the trailer. I have replaced most of the interior wood of my boat (see my profile) and had the same questions. I would suggest launching the boat to find your answers regarding hull shape and keel bolt integrity. Once those questions are answered you'll have 100 more. To make a long story short; after going through all of this I can confidently predict that without any interior wood other than the mast support the boat would probably sail just fine in up to "moderate" conditions.
 
Sep 24, 2010
34
Beneteau 321 Edgewater, MD
Thanks for the replies. I am going to get it in the water soon so I can see what is going on.
 
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