• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Venture 17 - Cracked Keel

KKP

Nov 23, 2019
6
1971 Venture 17 New Orleans LA
Hello! We've got a new-to-us 1971 Venture 17 and are unsure which direction to go with this keel. Repair it? Get a new one? (I read Blue Water Yachts may still have a few.). Pictures tell more than I can so I'm attaching some. Thoughts? Thanks! ~Kim
 

Attachments

Sep 25, 2008
284
1970 Venture by Macgregor 21 Clayton, NC
I am not sure when if the keel is the same but on my 1970 Venture 21 is made of two pieces of sheet steel that are roughly in the shape of the visible keel. The plates are then encased in fiberglass. The bolt for the winch cable and the pivol are through the plates. So there is no question of it breaking off.

If you are experienced in fiber glassing I would cut the broken area out and re rebuild the that area with fiberglass.
 

KKP

Nov 23, 2019
6
1971 Venture 17 New Orleans LA
I am not sure when if the keel is the same but on my 1970 Venture 21 is made of two pieces of sheet steel that are roughly in the shape of the visible keel. The plates are then encased in fiberglass. The bolt for the winch cable and the pivol are through the plates. So there is no question of it breaking off.

If you are experienced in fiber glassing I would cut the broken area out and re rebuild the that area with fiberglass.
Thanks, Knuttle! We've got a friend who's experienced in fiber glassing and he's offered to help us tackle it. I'm sure it will be fine but if y'all hear a story out of New Orleans about a Venture 17 named Scarlett plunging into Lake Pontchartrain, that'll be us, LOL...
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,990
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
That is not a very badly damaged keel. Take a look at these two pics.... before and after...

Keel - Starboard.jpg
Ready.jpg


I like what @Knuttle suggested. Simply cut away the damaged glass, fill it in with some copped mat and epoxy resin, fair, barrier coat and paint. You are good to go. If you can get the boat lifted off of the trailer and remove the keel. It will be a simple long weekend type job.

If you need suggestions on how to lift the boat... start another thread. There are a great many of us here who have done that a number of times.
 
  • Like
Likes: KKP

KKP

Nov 23, 2019
6
1971 Venture 17 New Orleans LA
That is not a very badly damaged keel. Take a look at these two pics.... before and after...

View attachment 172448View attachment 172449

I like what @Knuttle suggested. Simply cut away the damaged glass, fill it in with some copped mat and epoxy resin, fair, barrier coat and paint. You are good to go. If you can get the boat lifted off of the trailer and remove the keel. It will be a simple long weekend type job.

If you need suggestions on how to lift the boat... start another thread. There are a great many of us here who have done that a number of times.
Oh good, thank you so much. I was quite worried but feel more secure now that we'll be fine. I'll look for the previous threads about boat-lifting; I appreciate the suggestion.
 
  • Like
Likes: rgranger
Jun 25, 2016
57
Venture 21 Minter Bay
That looks like it was previously repaired/rebuilt as the shape is a bit unique. I have a V21 that was cracked due to rust expension on the steel bar at its core. Water leaked in around the pivot bolt... I had to do some major surgery to get it unstuck from the keel pivot well.

Mine is a steel bar enbedded in lead at the bulb end, then glassed/filled to create the shape. I intend to use the old keel core and recast the filler, then glass, fair, coat, etc. I've pieced the the old bits back together and plan to make a 1/2 mold from the shape. Then I'll lay the core in it, fill, shape, glass, fair, sand, seal, and paint/gelcoat. I had no luck finding any keels ready to reinstall (from BWY or elsewhere), so I think the standard path is to repair/remake. Most of the Venture boats seem to have had repaired keels and the various stucture (cast iron to custon welded plate faired to shape) dictated how the rebuild process goes.

Here are some of my photos online:

Let us know how it goes!
 
Jun 25, 2016
57
Venture 21 Minter Bay
Looks like you are well on your way.

It appears the damage was dine while the keel was riding on the trailer support, perhaps due to one side of the cable harness being detached at the bolt? Mine had two pieces of stainless strap loosely attached to that bolt and to a single winch cable.

What does it look like in the cabin around the pivot bolt and lock pin? You are essentially set up to drop the entire keel at this point, if it rotates freely and you can easily access the pivot bolt. I used a 2" ratchet strap around the beam of the hull to hold the top end of the keel when removing the bolt. (It was swollen in the well due to the rusting core and not going to drop, anyway...lots of banging, levering and careful sawing with the reciprocating saw to get it out!) When loosened, I lowered the lead bulb end onto a dolly and then loosened the ratchet to lower the upper end.

How do you plan to build up the cut out section?
 

KKP

Nov 23, 2019
6
1971 Venture 17 New Orleans LA
I'll be real blunt, as a new-to-sailing sort, that this kind of keel scares me to death. I envision this thing flopping around and halfway breaking off and dragging me to the bottom of the lake, LOL! VenturED, can you tell me more about that cable? I'm going to take some more pics of ours. We just have the one cable and bolt on one side, and a metal rod on the other that sticks down from inside the cockpit. Something about self-bailing and keeping that hole clear.

Here's the keel after some welding and then epoxy and fiberglass.

IMG_20191202_185013.jpg
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,990
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
I'll be real blunt, as a new-to-sailing sort, that this kind of keel scares me to death. I envision this thing flopping around and halfway breaking off and dragging me to the bottom of the lake,
Looks pretty good to me. Did you clean the rust off before you closed it all up?

I've sailed a lot of different swing keel boats. I've owned two Macgregor V21s and a Mac V22-2, a Balboa 26, a Rhodes 22 and I now own a Hunter 26.

It is not going to fall off. The real danger is the keel winch handle. When dropping the keel, make sure you do not let go of that handle or it will spin around real fast and break a finger. Or invest in a self breaking winch so it won't free fall if you let go.
 
  • Like
Likes: KKP
Jan 19, 2010
6,990
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
You will want to fill in the grooves of the cloth with some fairing compound and then seal it up with some epoxy barrier coat and last paint it with a quality enamel paint. I like rustoleum. If you plan to keep it on the trailer, then you do not need to deal with antifouling bottom paint.

Also, a cheaper way to get barrier coat is to go to a pool shop and get the epoxy barrier coat from them. If the word "marine" appears on the can, it will cost 50% more.
 
  • Like
Likes: VenturED

KKP

Nov 23, 2019
6
1971 Venture 17 New Orleans LA
You will want to fill in the grooves of the cloth with some fairing compound and then seal it up with some epoxy barrier coat and last paint it with a quality enamel paint. I like rustoleum. If you plan to keep it on the trailer, then you do not need to deal with antifouling bottom paint.

Also, a cheaper way to get barrier coat is to go to a pool shop and get the epoxy barrier coat from them. If the word "marine" appears on the can, it will cost 50% more.
Yes, the rust was all cleaned off and some welding was done before the epoxy and fiberglass. I'm sure the fairing compound is next, and thank you so much for the advice re: the epoxy barrier coat and for the reassurance that the keel isn't going to fall off, LOL! Yes, we do plan to keep this on the trailer so no antifouling paint needed but I DO want to repaint the boat itself as it's been painted a few times and there are chips that show the previous two blue colors, and it's now banana yellow. I want it to be red. That may or may not happen. ;) We're in New Orleans and our version of winter is chilly with lots of humidity and rain so if the painting does happen, it's a few months down the road.
 
Jun 25, 2016
57
Venture 21 Minter Bay
KKP,

You askEd about how the keel attached. In the initial link to my photos, the first one where thw keel is suspended by a chain in prep for angle grinding, you can just make out two stainless straps. I believe there was a short bolt in the upper holes that passed through an eyelett on the end of the which cable. It formed an inverted "V", or "Y" if you included the cable. As I recall, the ends of the straps/bolt/eyelett pulled up into the hole in the hull leading to the cockpit and winch - that seemed to be a tight fit and have potential for damaging the hull. That may get reworked when I get back to finishing the keel and installing it.

Do find some form of padding for the keel on your trailer. Common wisdom is it ought to clear the trailer when loading and launching, but then you lower the keel so it gently rests on the trailer and relieves most of the weight so the hull (at the bunks) and pivot bolt don't take all the 400# load as you jostle down the road.

Cheers!
20160822_154838.jpg
 
  • Like
Likes: rgranger
Jan 19, 2010
6,990
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
... I DO want to repaint the boat itself as it's been painted a few times and there are chips that show the previous two blue colors, and it's now banana yellow. I want it to be red. ...
You can get the old paint off of the boat by making some inexpensive "home made" peel away. Take a 5 lb bag of garden lime and mix it with about 4 cups of potassium hydroxide (drain-o, canning lyme etc). Put it all in a 5 gal PVC bucket and add just enough water to give it a melted peanut butter consistency. Roll it onto the paint you want to remove and let it dry. The longer it takes to dry the better so a cool humid day is not a bad choice. Pressure wash the paste off of the boat and about 80% of the old paint will just sluff off. Reapply to the stubborn spots and you will get about 95% of the old paint off. Then hit the few stubborn spots with citrus strip and a scrapper and you will have a nice clean surface to start with. DO NOT GET THIS PASTE IN YOUR EYES OR YOU WILL GO BLIND! Wear goggles.

These old swing keel boats are fun because you can run them up on a beach, bang them into docks etc and not get overly concerned about your investment... but you still want them to look nice. For that reason I have been a big fan of using Rustoleum enamel paint. Ten years later you can always find an exact color match, so touching up scrapes and dings is easy. Here are pictures of four old boats I have restored. The first is a Macgregor V21. All of the paint on the hull sides is Rustoleum. The second boat is a MacGregor V22-2. The brown "bottom paint' is also Rustoleum. The third and fourth boats are a Rhodes 22 and a Balboa 26 respectively. Both the red and white paint in these photos is Rustoleum. To get a really great finish, you need to use the "roll and tip" approach. Google that and you will find some great "how to" pages on roll and tip.
image034.jpg
image035.jpg
insun.jpg


2011-wax1.jpg
2011-wax2.jpg


NewPaint_front.jpg
File_001.jpeg
File_002.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • Like
Likes: VenturED