Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Preparing for Sailing Season '04
The Keel  Restoration Project
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Click thumbnails for a larger picture


After pulling Chip Ahoy out in September, I crawled under the trailer and found the keel in much worse shape than I'd anticipated. Note the gray discoloration at the bottom of the keel -- the trailing edge when retracted. On my mooring, the keel would settle some 4"-6" into the bottom silt at mean low tide. Once I realized it, I started cranking the keel up a few turns each time I moored.

The surface was so bad I was able to pull off hunks of the keel's surface with just my fingers.

The keel eye bolt for the cable. The cable itself had begun to fray earlier in the season. I've got a new replacement ready for installation before next season, along with a new turning ball, hose and clamps.

The keel removed at Marblehead Trading Company, the boatyard (Sep. 26, 2003).

The boatyard will first sandblast the keel down to bare metal, then  seal it from further corrosion.

Note the new zinc plate, in the water of Salem Harbor for less that two-and-a-half months and well eaten away.

Lots of work ahead to bring this keel back to life.

The keel, returned from sandblasting, now hangs in the Fraser Welding shop. Tommy, Marblehead Trading Company's yard manager, got it back yesterday (Nov. 20) and the yard has begun refinishing it with a barrier coat and filler.

The good news is that it was in better shape than I'd thought once they blasted off the layer of rust. There were a couple deeper spots, but I'm told it'll be as good as new once it's sanded, faired and painted. The pin and hanger are "like new" I've again been assured. (Nov. 21)

The keel has been moved across the yard to Marblehead Trading Company's main building in Little Harbor. Here it's being sanded and faired. (Feb. 2)

The keel being sanded and faired. (Feb. 2)

Moving on with Season 2004 improvements
It's never-ending ... and the best times have ended again for now!

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