So, we weren’t the first ones with this problem…

Thyme Hyssop & Wry arrived at Torresen’s boatyard in Muskegon 2 weeks ago. We had initially thought that if Annwfn didn’t sell by the time we were ready to go cruising this summer, we would store Thyme Hyssop & Wry for the summer and launch our Niagara 35 in Mackinaw City. However, our broker encouraged us to give him another couple of weeks before we launched her as he thought he had an interested buyer. So, we held off. And then we made the decision that we might as well take the Gulfstar north since if we take Annwfn cruising, the broker can’t show her, therefore she won’t sell… right?

Remember our leaky keel issues last winter? Interestingly, there was no moisture seeping from our keel repair when we hauled out in March nor when we were in Florida preparing Thyme Hyssop & Wry for her trip (via truck) north in May. (Can almost make one cocky, eh?) We want to make certain that any moisture trapped in the keel is out as our Gulfstar 36 will be stored this year through a freezing winter, something we’ve not had to worry about before now. Trapped water will expand as it freezes, and can create serious (leaking) cracks in the keel, something we most definitely want to avoid! And so, Ron drilled 2 holes in the bottom of the keel to allow any moisture to escape. Nada. Great news! However, within a couple of days of being reblocked here in Muskegon, we noticed a bit of moisture–a drop–making its way from the top of our winter repair. Oooh boy. Ron drilled one hole, two holes, finally 3 holes along the top of that repair, and we watched drops of water slowly finding their way out.

In an effort to dry/force the water out, we hooked up an air compressor and over the past 8 days or so, have spent several hours each day forcing air in/water out. We’re not talking about a lot of water, just a drop here, a drop there. There can’t be much water left in there!

Over this past holiday weekend, we worked on various projects, getting the boat ready to launch. We arranged to hang in the slings today so that we can get at the underside of the keel to finish her repair before launch. As Ron sanded the area for additional fiberglass work, he uncovered this (taken with air compressor running, forcing water out):    

And once fully sanded, this (those filled holes are not ours!):  

 Obviously, we are not the first owners of this boat to experience problems with the keel leaking. We now know for certain that the leak issues are only on the port side of the keel. Thing is, we can’t figure out what this previous repair might have been. If any of our readers have an idea, please share!

And no, our Niagara 35 has not yet sold. At this point, we’re wondering if we’ve made the right decision on the sailboat we’re keeping…


2 thoughts on “So, we weren’t the first ones with this problem…

  1. Jo,

    We had the same problem with “Class Act” a number of years ago. At the recommendation of George McCreary, the owner of Caliber Yachts we drilled a hole at the bottom rear of the keel but rather than patch it, we had it configured for a plug. We pull the plug every fall when the boat is hauled and screw it back in when launched. This was at least 10 years ago and so far so good.

    We still don’t know what caused it. But water has a way of doing strange things.


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