8 SibLim - the keel (20)

Created on: 01 May 2016
As far as possible - showing the construction and fitting of the keel. Largely done by others, so the photos won't tell the full story.
  • 4th July. The keel has been tack welded together and Anton is grinding the bow to fit the pattern.
  • At this stage there is some uneveness, not easy to see in the photo, about 1/4 way from the forward end.
  • When they first stacked the three plates together, the top plate was twisted well to port at the stern. Anton has applied heat and got them pretty well matching, now.
  • 6 Jul - grinding off the obvious lumps and bumps before the final welding.
  • Anton has marked a high spot with chalk.
  • 14 Sep. Once I started building the deadwood, I decided it was time to get the keel sand-blasted. As soon as that was done, I took my WEST epoxy along and coated it.
  • I was surprised at its appearance: I expected it to be silver and shiny; in fact it looked as though it had been sprayed with a grey primer.
  • Because the boat will dry out often, and the steel is corrosion resistant anyway, I decided not to bother getting the bottom blasted. Any coating would just get scraped off.
  • I had perfect conditions. A warm, dry day following a chilly night, so the metal was cold, which stopped the epoxy kicking off too quickly. I could get away with fast hardener.
  • The epoxy brushed on perfectly. The sand-blaster operator kindly let me leave it there overnight to harden.
  • The keel is composed of three pieces of steel, each of which have to be shaped at the bow, because the cutter could only cut vertical lines. SibLim Club member, Marcus, made an accurate pattern.
  • The separate pieces of the keel were taken into the workshop.
  • Using the wooden pattern, the keel was cut and ground to shape.
  • I bought a large slab of steel: 14m long and 50mm thick and about 300mm wide. I didn't take a photo of it, but it's not hard to imagine. Special steel for bridges, uncoated is guaranteed for 50 yrs.
  • A big wagon picked it up, took it away to Auckland and brought it back as a kit of parts. Now the top piece needs tapping and all three welded into one keel. After which the front end will be shaped
  • 15 Sep. When Kevin brought the keel back, he asked if I'd in fact asked the people to spray paint it. "No, I did it with a 2 inch brush!"
  • WEST epoxy's magical self-levelling properties.
       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

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