o’day keel problems

Nov 6, 2021
oday 302 mahone bay
Recently purchased a 1989 O’Day 302. I have seen the posts with regard to potential severe problems with the keel not being properly secured to the hull. Is this a real “thing” with these boats? Thanks
May 17, 2004
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
It’s a real thing, but it seems to vary by year and hull. If you see any kind of gap between keel and hull that would be a definite warning sign. Even if you don’t it would probably be prudent to inspect the laminate thickness in the stub. @acarter has a pretty good write-up of how he did that at 322, my winter project
Oct 29, 2017
ODay 302 Kenosha WI
When I bought my oday 302 I had the same concerns. First time I pulled the boat out there was a 1/16 gap all around the keel joint. The bedding completely failed. I ended up taking the mast down, lifting the hull off the keel with jacks, cleaning the old bedding an resealing with 5200. Torqued the keel bolts down. If you are concerned you can always pull the keel to give yourself peace of mind.


Jan 7, 2011
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I have A 1988 O’Day 322 (hull #159). Yes it is a concern, but not necessarily a reason not to buy one of these boats.

i knew about the keel concerns when I bought my 322. I had the boat hauled out just for a below the waterline inspection and told the surveyor about my interest in the keel.

He found no items of concern, and I bought the boat…that was 6 years ago.

I torqued the 3 large bolts ( can’t find a socket yet that is deep enough for the smaller one). And I will check them again this winter.

If I keep my 322 in retirement ( I do have dreams of a 37-footer of some kind), I will probably drop the keel as @Voyager1 did. That would give good access to inspect the fiberglass thickness and layup in the stub (which I think has been the reason for the keel failure). The theory is that the quality of the boats built towards the end of the receivership period was poor. Checking the bolts and rebedding the keel should give some peace of mind.

I do not baby my O’Day 322 and take her out in some challenging Lake Michigan seas because I am confident in her ability to bring me home safely.

But, I would not sail her on the open ocean…

Search for the poster The Tanqueray. He did an exhaustive review and inspection on his O’Day 322 to prepare to take her to the Caribbean.



Jul 29, 2018
O'Day 35 Buzzards Bay
I had a 1988 302 whose keel fell off as the result of a soft grounding and the tide receding - the fiberglass at the bottom of the keel shoe ripped out. I was told the design called for 6 layers of glass in the keel shoe but in "some" of the 302's only 2 were applied (like mine). The bottom surface of the shoe was only about 1/4" thick, ones with 6 layers are 3/4". I would try to figure out the thickness and go from there. Mine was repaired and strengthened and I sailed it for many years with no problems.
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