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Old 06-01-2008, 02:51 PM
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Default Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

I have a 23' Seacraft and a 2007 Venture aluminum bunk trailer for it. I trailer/launch it a fair amount, but keep it at a dock slip 95% of the time. I have had an issue with the front part of my keel hitting a cross member on the trailer when launching ro retrieving. I can see the marks on the trailer. I have repaired the gelcoat with Marinetex, but keeps happening. Maybe I need to raise the bunks a bit if I can. I think I can up one hole on the support brackets.

My question is this...how bad is it to have the boat in the water with the 12" of chipped gelcoat expossing the fiberglass down on the front of the keel????

Has anyone tried a keel gaurd?? Do they work?? Are they a pain and not worth it??

Thanks
PS- AS to the Seacraft thread on here right now...mine rides like a dream and is a 2004 in great shape!
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

I had the same problem and laid some glass tape over it.


For a fix I put rollers in front and in back of the crossmember.


I told myself I'd fix the gelcoat properly (about a year and a half ago), but can't seem to get around to it.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

If your keel is hitting the frame member, then adding an additional 3/8" of KeelGuard will only add to the problem and eventually the KeelGuard will get torn. Raising the bunk one hole is a final fix that requires a drill and a 1/2" bit, hammer and two wrenches or rachets, probably 3/4" socket.
Fix the chipped gelcoat ASAP. It's letting water get into the fibreglass matting of the hull. It's a problem for you.
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

I'd only raise the bunks as a last resort. Raising the bunks means you have to back further down the ramp (and submerge more of the trailer) to lauch / retrieve the boat. Add a keel roller to the cross member. As far as the gel coat goes, I wouldn't be too concerned about the water having absorbed into the glass. Give it a day to dry and repair it using a patch paste kit from spectrum color. No one will be able to tell where you fixed it.
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:28 PM
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Default RE: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

Same thing happened to me. I patched it with Marine Tex and installed a roller.

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Old 06-01-2008, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

Rather than raising the bunks, you *might* be able to simply lower the rear of the bunks one hole. That might change your boat's angle on the trailer just enough to clear the roller.

You should not be keeping the boat in the water unrepaired if your keel looks anything like the photo above.
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

I fixed the crack with Marinetex instead of launching/fishing last night...much to my dismay. I will laucnh it today real carefully and look into the roller in front of the cross member, as well as adjusting the bunks. I kind of like the idea of dropping the back ones instead of lifting the front. With the deep v on the Seacraft, I have a hard enough time getting the boat/trailer backed into enough water already!
Thanks for the suggestions and confirming that i should really repair that before putting it back in the water and leaving it at the dock.
Brad
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:18 AM
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Default RE: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

Quote:
wiggreb - 6/1/2008 7:28 PM

Same thing happened to me. I patched it with Marine Tex and installed a roller.
My keel looks exactly like that

Please tell me which Marine Tex to use:
This one :

http://www.boatersworld.com/product/377940069.htm

or this one:

http://www.boatersworld.com/product/377940010.htm

and any tips on application would be appreciated.

thanks

Bruce
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

OMG! The same thing happened to me! I also have a venture trailer. WTF. I thought it was just because I had a keel that dropped down low in the front. Anyways I sanded the gouge smooth, built it up with filler and gelcoated it. You can't even tell it was there. I also put a roller on that crossmember.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

Bruce. I use the second one listed. Anyone want to throw out a better suggestion??

I am pissed right now. I launched the baot this morning to get it off the trailer hoping I could slide it off without hitting my new reapir, and then be able to fix the trailer. No dice...it scraped my new repair right off! I am getting tired of all the little things to fix!!! I will have to fix the traielr with raising the bunks a bit and installing rollers, pull the boat, fix the keel, then relaunch...never ends!
Brad
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:54 PM
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Default RE: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

Try calling the trailer manufacturer. I had the exact problem with my Key West/Wesco trailer (used boat & trailer). I tried launching deeper, installing a pad, etc. but just kept tearing up the hull. I finally called Wesco - after looking up my hull, they gave me all the exact measurements for bunk heights and widths at each trailer crossmember. The existing setup wasn't even close to the new measurements. If I remember correctly - the bunks were too far apart, too high, and angled incorrectly. I made all the changes and not only did it solve the scraping - it was even easier to load. The previous owner must have had a shallower ramp as I know there wasn't any damage when I purchased the boat.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

Anyone keeping their boat in the water with the raw fiberglass exposed needs to have his head examined. That thing is sucking up water as we speak...................De lamination is around the corner.............Marinetex is not the answer. You need to grind away the loose gelcoat and reapply new............ASAP
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:13 AM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

Quote:
offshorebri - 6/2/2008 1:38 PM

Anyone keeping their boat in the water with the raw fiberglass exposed needs to have his head examined. That thing is sucking up water as we speak...................De lamination is around the corner.............Marinetex is not the answer. You need to grind away the loose gelcoat and reapply new............ASAP
Not only do you need new Gelcoat, you will probably need to fair the keel with something first.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

You guys need to not only fix the gelcoat you need to fix why its happening.

Same thing just happened to me when I switched trailers recently....

I could not move my bunks up any higher as the brackets were already at the top bolt

The first thing I did was get 100mph tape and tape every axle / crossmember and unload / load the boat a couple times to see exactly where it was rubbing on the torn tape next I looked at my options...


1. Move the rear bunks inboard (towards the middle centerline of the trailer) which will cause the boat to sit higher and keep the boat higher up when launching. Be careful not to move them too close or you will loose stability

2. I found this post installed installed forward keel bunks and now no scraping whatsoever. One of the best $100 I ever spent

http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com...42872&posts=11
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

bgreen96,
I use a wide variety of ramps...
I first put the roller in front of the crossmember - didn't always keep from scratching gelcoat.
So I moved the roller to the back of the crossmember - same problem.
I knew moving the roller up would have solved the problem, but I obviously didn't have room; so I put on a second roller - problem solved!

'Adjusting the bunks' is not the answer for my problem...on a steep ramp, the bow would always touch the crossmember...the rollers do the trick
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Keel Gelcoat chipped off a bit. How bad is this???

I had a similar problem with my boat (28ft Abaco). I tried the roller thing, but it still put too much pressure on the keel / repair area and it tended to "skid" instead of "roll". Instead, my repair guy suggested that we install some 5 ft long 2x4's (covered) that would act as guiding boards to both center my keel and help it rise the bow safely thereby not scraping the cross members. Since there are two boards and they are approx. 2-3" apart, it supported the repair area on EITHER side of it (and the keel) instead of all 9,000 lbs directly on the repair spot. This has worked perfectly and it only cost about $200 in parts and labor. I could have done it myself, but I think he only charged me $50 in labor. Also, the bunks do NOT rest against the hull when loaded.... they sit 2-3" below it. I hope this helps all of you with your issues.

Regarding having exposed fiberglass sitting in the water.... this is bad news. Fix it ASAP. You will get delamination before too long. I imagine it would be smart to fix the trailer problem first so you do not keep re-scraping the repair.

I really do not know much about the keel guard, but I have considered one myself. It would be an extra precaution though, not a fix to the gelcoat (if you are going to do it, fix the gelcoat and then install the keelguard). Also, make sure the guard is long enough so you do not scrape it at one of the ends causing it to peel. The manufacturer has guidelines to use depending on the size of your boat.

Good Luck!
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