Before 2005 launch, I resolved to finally deal with the rusty keel. Note that it took five years for this to percolate to the top of my list of repairs. It was mostly OK, but the many layers of paint were now starting to flake off.
Most of the work was done with a 1/2" carbide scraper from Lee Valley, which you can see in both photos below. The size of the blade allowed me to apply significant pressure to the keel to remove the old paint. Even so, it was two long arduous days of work to get the keel clean.
Here I'm cleaning out the last bits of the keel/hull joint. I'm not wearing a respirator, as the keel has been scraped clean by this point. I am still wearing safety glasses, as it's all too easy to lose track of where you are under the boat and get something in your eye.
While doing the keel scraping, I was wearing full safety gear. As well, the photographer was on orders to stay away and upwind. I didn't see the need for a roped-off area, as the safety gear mostly scares away bystanders, being that I look like an alien while wearing it.
I scraped the old sealant out of the gap at the front of the keel, which left this void, visible from both sides. After painting with POR-15, I filled the gap with 4200 sealant.
Here you see the keel prepped for painting. Steps completed by this point:
A quick break for that Great Canadian Pastime, drinking Tim Horton's coffee.
Mixing the POR-15. The instructions say to NEVER paint directly out of the can. In this case, one 4 oz can was almost exactly the quantity I needed to paint both sides of the keel, so I didn't worry about it.
Since then, I've taken to using POR-15 in much larger quantities in my Volvo restoration project, so I'll buy a 1-litre can and split it up into glass jars used for canning. This makes it possible to remove the lids (the paint acts as a glue on the metal lids of normal paint cans) and the paint keeps longer as I'm only working with 125 mL at a time.
Painting the keel. This was all done with a 1" bristle brush. Cosmetic finish is not an issue for the keel, and this paint goes on so thin that brush marks are typically not evident.
The final result. This is one coat of POR-15, as that's all I had time for before launch. I believe the yellow tinge in the last photo is from UV. This only affects the appearance of the paint, not its' integrity.


Applying bottom paint is usually No Big Deal, but sometimes all it takes is a moment of inattention for disaster to strike.
Here I am mixing the copper powder into the main can. Note the safety equipment:
I start with the keel, as it's the farthest part under the boat.
Next, I move on to the bow, working my way aft.

When things go wrong

I was painting the hull, working partially overhead. There was probably a bit too much paint on my roller, or I was working too quickly with the roller.
At any rate, a large drop of paint flew off the roller and into my face. In photo 2, you can see the copper paint on the safety glasses and the nosepiece of the respirator.
Without this safety gear, I would have been on my way to the hospital. I don't even want to speculate on what damage this could have caused to my eye. VC-17 contains some nasty solvents.
Finally, two photos of the boat next to mine that winter, Tony Bertram's "Yes, Dear". In photo 1 you see him completing the POR-15 and VC-17 on his Tanzer 25, under one of the cradle pads. Photo 2 is Tony and I, the "Michelin Men".
© 2018 Melissa Goudeseune