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If it shatters into really small pieces and if pressed hard takes bits of the original gelcoat with it, then it is epoxy. My boat is upside down at present so it is quite easy to take a file to it, which is what I have been doing to remove the excess filled epoxy resin after my repairs to the keel and I have laid a 100mm wide new glass tape over the full length of each of the bilge keels using epoxy resin (I’m a bit of a fan of epoxy).

If you can’t remove some screws, just hacksaw a new slot into the stump of the old screw (through the knackered brass strip) give the screw a sharp tap with a hammer and try to remove it. Failing that use mole-grips to remove it. Just cut the old keel band away and be brutal!

If it was me I would not want to use the existing holes, better to fill the old ones (with an epoxy filler) and drill new small pilot holes for your new screws, you can then be confident that your are making a good fixing into fresh hull material. The spacing of holes in the new band is not important but you can buy it undrilled (from P&B) and decide where you want the fixings to go.

Sikaflex is lovely stuff for bedding fittings and I will be using it for my new bands. The only seal it has to make is around the screw-holes. Put masking tape either side to limit squidge, then fit the band but do not screw it all the way home. Remove the tape and clean up with a little white-spirit (don’t flood it or you might dissolve the Sikaflex), then once it has cured (about 12 hours) go back and give each screw another half-a-turn to press the band into place. Make sure the leading edges are well faired (bent) in so that they do not catch on stones and stuff when you pull her ashore