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Hurley 20 leaky keels

gtrunxwd

New member
Joined
29 Sep 2009
Messages
4
Hello :)

I have a 1969 Hurley 20. She has encapsulated bilge keels. They leak. I would say the more leaky of the two fills up to about 3/4 in about a month if left to do so. I have searched the net on the subject of encapsulated keels that leak, and there seems to be varied opinions. But I can't find enough information to satisy me, so I'm posting this here :)

My concern really is that of safty - I don't fancy loosing a keel and sinking! From what I have read some people think this is the beginning of the end for a boat with encapsulated keels, but I am more on the side of DIY repair.

I think the keels are cast iron, as they have a coating of rust (not thick flaking off rust, just a brown color). They do seem well made as they look to be very snugly fit into the fiberglass, so I don't know if there is a huge amount of water in between the fiberglass and the iron. The water is probably coming in from various small chunks/chips that have been knocked off the bottoms of the keels (not since I have had the boat, dammage looks to be many years old).

I have been thinking what to so as a repair and I have thought of the following:

1 - Grind out the areas of dammage, repair, and add a layer of glass to the bottoms to add some strength

or 2 - Repair then glass over the entire keel area on the outside, as well a bit inside.

3 - For extra safty, install some kind of water tight lid on the inside of the keels, so that if one fell off, the water would not come in... crazy?

Any thoughts, suggestions etc would be greatly appriciated!
 

Pasarell

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18 Jan 2007
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1,303
Location
Greece
Hurley Keel

Firstly I suggest you have a look at the Hurley web site - huge amount of information there and a lot of people willing to help.
www.hurleyownersassociation.co.uk

As far as I know all Hurley keels are encapsulated lead although some are thought to have an iron strap to hold the lead in place. A problem can come if the keel is damaged and water gets inside when the iron rusts and expands which can cause a split in the fibreglass. Apparently this is pretty obvious.

Hurley keels are bonded onto the outside of a watertight hull after the hull was removed from the mold. It is very unlikely it will drop off but in that unlikely event it should not sink the boat - although I guess it would develop quite a list!

My thought would be you need to drain the water and flush with fresh water to remove as much salt as possible. This may mean drilling new holes high on the keel to flush fresh water through. Allow it to dry very thoroughly then seal all damaged areas to prevent more water ingress. You could build a plastic tent around the keel to keep it airtight and run a dehumidifier inside to aid drying.

First, though, go onto the owners website and get thoughts from other H20 owners.
 

gtrunxwd

New member
Joined
29 Sep 2009
Messages
4
Hi. I have contacted people on the Hurley site as per your advice, and between that and your post, I have a better idea on how to repair the keels, thanks :)

I should say that my keels are not bonded onto a watertight hull, the keels are part of the hull mold, so no keel bolts holding them on. The ballast is just sitting in the bottom of the bilge cavitys.

Basically, what I am still trying to figure out is the structural integrity of the keels.

One thing that might be relevant is when I bought the boat, she still had pleanty of water in her, the bilges were about full. She had been sitting like that in a dry shed for at least 5 or 6 months, and the water had not leaked out. To me, apart from the fact that water sitting in there is not good for the boat, this possibly says that structurly she is not bad. The water must only come in under pressure when afloat, but the entrance point can't be clear passages or she would have leaked it all out and been dry when I got her. Also, no marine life in the water. Cany anyone comment on this theory?
 

gtrunxwd

New member
Joined
29 Sep 2009
Messages
4
Just remembered I have these photos I took at various stages while I was stripping the old antifoul and applying new. You see can some chunks missing, and along the bottom it looks like the fiberglass is a bit bloated and crumbled. I am wondering about the condition of the underside since since she has been on a drying mooring (soft mud) for many years, I suspect over a decade.





port:
 
Last edited:

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
34,212
I expect those scrifiocial shoes are replaceable. This is a similar construction method to many bilge keel boats of the period except you have the advantage of lead ballast rather than iron or steel punchings.

Are you sure the water is coming in from the outside of the hull? It could just as easily be coming in above the waterline through badly sealed fittings.
 

Sniper

Member
Joined
9 Jul 2001
Messages
857
Location
East Coast
I would bet that your leak is coming through the bottom of the keel. If the boat has been on a drying mooring for many years, that can be a very corrosive cocktail. Even if the mud appears soft, don't forget that every tide she's going up and down and twisting a bit with a lot of weight on a small contact area. its also likely that underneath the mud is an even more corrosive mix of pebbles and shell. Its likely that one end and/or one side will lift first, making the weight transferance even more focussed. (Dumb lighters on sandy foreshores are a great example of this sort of wear; over the years they gradually wear away the turn of the swim, resulting in a major leak eventually.)

If you do have sacrificial plates on the bottom, they may have worn through or they may mask wear which already existed when they were put on. As said above, its worth taking them off, seeing whats underneath and then replacing them with new.
 

Rhylsailor

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21 Sep 2020
Messages
8
Hi does anyone know how to replace the draining taps on hurley signet the ones under the cockpit where the steps are
 

Fantasie 19

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23 Mar 2009
Messages
4,276
Location
Chichester, West Sussex
Hi does anyone know how to replace the draining taps on hurley signet the ones under the cockpit where the steps are
Better to start a new thread than tag your question on a 10 year old one about an entirely different boat and problem.. :D Having said that the advice above is sound - Google "Hurley Owners" and join up for the excellent technical advice you can get there from other owners of the same boat..
 
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