Keel Step Repair Advice

Moderator: GreenLake

Keel Step Repair Advice

Postby Saltatrix » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:45 pm

Hi All,

I'm seeking some advice on repairing the keel step on my DS1.

When I got the boat, the screws were stripped out and I re-glassed the keel to attempt to reinforce and install new (longer) screws. This worked okay last season, but after getting beat up in a hurricane last year, the mast step ripped out again. Now, I'm thinking about cutting into the keel and installing a pressure treated 2x4 to drill into. I may see how this works for the summer and then glass over the whole deal this winter if it holds well.


I'm wondering if anyone has done this or has advice?
Many thanks,
DS1 #3312
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:59 am

Maybe this will be useful

Postby Marv Irwin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:48 pm

Check out my post in the Day Sailer I forum of June 08, 2011 for a repair I made. Greenlake`s comment about epoxy is good advice if you`re in a more salty environment than I am. Pretty paint job (inside/out) by the way....

Marv Irwin
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:12 am

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:30 pm

+1 on the paint job!
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
Posts: 2783
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Postby Saltatrix » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:30 pm

Thanks for the replies and for the compliments on my paint job :D

Before cutting into the keel, I think I'll try the suggestion from Greenlake / K.C.

If the fiberglass is sound and it's just a matter of the screws having widened the holes they are in, you could use the method K.C. has been advocating:
    Wax the screw
    Fill the holes with epoxy
    Insert screw

Having the screw in the hole will let the epoxy cure and take up the extra room, while the wax will prevent it from bonding to the screw, so you should be able to remove it later.

Will let y'all know how it goes!
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:59 am

Postby K.C. Walker » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:39 pm

That epoxy trick with the waxed threads works well. With thickened epoxy you can build a little stalactite on the inside of the keelson by repeatedly dipping something like a tooth pick in your epoxy and scraping it on the edges of the hole. This gives you a little more thickness for threads.

I used a cut off of ipe decking lumber on top of my keelson. It's superstrong. This way I spread the load out and was able to use more screws in different locations. I just trimmed a little bit off of the mast to compensate. The mast was kind of corroded at the end anyway.
KC Walker, DS 1 #7002
K.C. Walker
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:50 pm
Location: North Stonington, Connecticut

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