Welcome to the UKWA Home Page Forums Technical Keel Band removal and refitting….HELP!!

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    Hi all, looking for advice / help. I have removed brass keel band from my Mk1, which incidentally split in to four or five sections over the full length. Underneath this is what looks like a resin (rock hard) or similar of a thickness to approx 2 /3mm.
    What is it?
    How do I get it off wihout damaging the hull?
    Is it essential to replace?
    Is it an epoxy of some sort? If so what sort or what can I use?
    Where can I get a replacement brass Keel band from and drilled.

    Would be really grateful for your replies as a new to class sailor and looking forward to some winter projects…



    Don’t panic! You can sort most things out.

    First of all what does it look like? If it is a resin it could be one of two different types; polyester or epoxy. Polyester resin (like car body filler) will probably chip off as polyester resin does not make a very good glue, try getting a sharp chisel blade under an edge and lever it away from the surface (wear eye protection). If it lifts off cleanly you are in luck and it’s just a case of chasing the separation down the hull. But if it does not (and I suspect you will have tried that before posting), it could be epoxy resin with a filler powder; this is a bit more serious as that is a good glue and if the guy who stuck it there did a good job he will have keyed the hull so it will have a good grip.

    Assuming the old keel bands were fairly straight, ask yourself if the resin has to go, as it will provide a base for your new bands, you could bed them down onto it using Sikaflex 291.

    If you are dead set on removing it, and as the keel and bilge keels stand proud of the hull, your best bet might be to take a coarse file to the resin, keeping the file flat and parallel to the surface. Invest in a carding brush to clear the resin from the file teeth occasionally.

    The current material of choice is aluminium and Pinell & Bax or Sailboats.co.uk have it both drilled and undrilled in their catalogues. There is a plastic alternative available that glues on, this might be an option. Get some Sikaflex to bed them on , do not use silicone sealant, that’s only good for bathrooms and make sure some sealant gets into the screw holes.

    Post some images and let us know how you got on.


    Thanks Mike, I have tried lifting a little of it, It chips of in small chunks so I guess from your reply I can reasonably assume it is a resin.

    So, you reckon I could just tidy it up a bit and use sikaflex to do so.

    There is a section of keel band which remains on the hull which I cannot remove due to kn*****ed screws. If I drill them out, is it suitable to use the sikaflex to fill the holes ready for re-screwing with new screws?

    Also, is sikaflex a product I can use to run over the length of this old stuff to be happy a good seal remains if I choose not to remove the resin like substance?

    A really silly question maybe, are the screw holes in keel band of standard spacing given mine is an old W, so if I order a new band from the suppliers you suggest i won’t be worrying about that and chucking money out of the window??

    Light permitting on return from work and various parents / teacher things this week I will post some images.

    Thanks again and look forward to you reply



    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


    Thanks again Mike, so it is acceptable to leave the old stuff where it is and go over with Sikaflex, fill the old holes, get a new band and a happy owner I will be…!. Thanks


    You can buy sikaflex EBT from builders merchants at half the price – it is pretty well the same as 231. Check the use by date – all sikaflex goes off really quickly. Make sure you have plenty of damp rags to wipe off excess immediately – its terrible when its gone off!! (brilliant for gluing/sealing though). Good luck!

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