View Full Version : A look at the other side (keel)

Ed Harrow
02-23-2004, 01:38 PM

So, thanks to The Lurker, we flipped this tired hunk of oak over Saturday night. I ran a chaulk line from ~center at forward to end to ~ center at the other. Certainly no (at least to my untrained eye) indication the the forward end has a hook, twist, warp, etc. I suspect from day one that one of the sides wasn't the same. The string runs pretty much straight down the center. It's only if these first few feet that there is something amiss.

Seems like I should continue that tradition?

Pete Dorr
02-23-2004, 04:30 PM
Can you make a pattern with 1/4 ply from the boat to see if the old keel has not moved since coming off the boat. Also, can you leave it a little oversized and do the final shaping in place?

Matt J.
02-23-2004, 05:02 PM
I typed up a long response, but hit escape instead of 1... and lost it.

I had a similar problem with Saga's keel. I recall there being a lot of areas where so much keel was missing that there was no way to compare the two sides. Where there was enough material, including up forward and on the aft end, there were some small discrepancies between the measured distances from centerline to the edges. I did as you have done. I struck a chalk line on the best guess of the centerline. I then measured out from that centerline on 2, 3 or 6" stations, depending on what was going on along the edge.

I know I've said it a thousand times, but Thad's advice and procedure he sent me were absolutely invaluable in cutting our keel; and it came out pretty good IISSM.

I'd crawl under PHEONIX, and try to eyeball whether there are very slight differences in her shape up forward where you're seeing what may be little more than a minute variation, or it may be an optical illusion. In cutting Saga's keel, I reproduced whatever was found in the original keel, and when we lifted it into place (I had to see if it fit, before she left)... I was depressed. It was as near perfect as I could have ever hoped for. There was, I think a similar area up forward, where one rabbett came out slightly aft (port?) of the other side (stbd). when lefted into place, they matched the remaining planking and frames perfectly.

After taking my measurements, I put them into cad, and toyed with them to see if I busted any measurements (I did transpose a few fractions, which I may not have caught on the new timber). I also splined them, and tried to find a best fit, just for fun. It showed that regardless of the atrocious condition of the old keel, the measurements depicted a good shape.

I don't know if I just said anything or not.. don't think so.

Look at Pheonix again, and look carefully at the keel... it's not too different one side to the other, and maybe she's just got slightly different sections. If you don't see a reason to beleive the keel's warped or twisted, I'd replicate the old keel to fit the old girl.


Ed Harrow
02-23-2004, 06:33 PM
Yaaa, looks to me like a combo of mock-up and fitting of the respective planks ought to indicate things pretty well. Wonder when I'll get around to doing that! ;)

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
02-23-2004, 09:38 PM
Great to see an update with photo's Ed. smile.gif
It makes the problems with my 16ft. outboard seem small. :D
Peace---> Kevin in Ohio

02-25-2004, 01:17 PM
Gee Ed,
It's a nice sunny day smile.gif , "Our Lady of Phoenix" should be warming up with this nice sunshine beating down on it. Wouldn't it be a pleasant day to take Finbar, and a nice micro-brew outside. Crawl under the boat :eek: , maybe fit a chaise lounge in there for comfort, & ponder "what to do next," while staring up at the keelbed & slowly sipping your brew? :rolleyes:

I only say this due the severe boredum I'm suffering from :( , being "office-bound" today. As a service engineer who spends 99% of his time on the road, busy. To be stuck by, "lack of broken machines &/or parts." Dreaming of working on "any boat!"


02-25-2004, 04:28 PM
you definitely don't want me around....

When the local "Custom Builders" wuz doing my house...and just after drywall wuz in and not yet painted...I stopped by fer a "look-see"..
I remarked that the room (14 x 16) wuzint quite sqaure...and I thought the old boy wuz gonna blow a gaskittt.(he prided himself on really fancy work)...
After very careful measurements and placing the factory jigged kitchen cabinets in place..he discovered he wuz off by less than 1/4 inch in the entire room....he did manage to fixit so it wuzzint noticable......

02-26-2004, 03:50 PM
Paladin, don't feel so bad, my home was built in the 1880's, when chalklines seemed to follow the curvature the the earth. Not a room or a wall is "square," the whole building sits on a fieldstone & mortar foundation, and shakes :eek: everytime a big-rig goes by. All the frames are "real 2x4's" and some 12x16" beams of doug fir & red oak (trees that were close by back then).


Ed Harrow
02-26-2004, 10:13 PM
Rick - "Come on down." as Mr Boch would have said. Seriously. You'd best call to be certain I'll be here, but you are more than welcome to drop by.

You'd love Mum's house; built in ~ 1750 (for years it was thought 1790, I don't know what happened a year or so ago that it suddenly was 40 years older... I messed up on its bicentennial party, but we had a blast ;)

It's got small trees, adzed off on one side, for floor joists. They still have the bark on them! The back stairs are solid (ie the tread and riser are different surfaces of the same hunk of wood, cut on the bias and laid on two long tree trunks!

02-27-2004, 01:27 AM
The temp's to be in the fifties this weekend, so get to work.
Call me if you need a lift.
I'll be showing at the MBBS.


02-27-2004, 03:16 AM
How about one of those cheap laser levels on a pivot, set to swing from the center at the bow to the center of the aft joint. As you swing it up/down it will define a plane perpendicular to the ground/waterline, and centered on the boat's "centerline" as required for your fitment. As you swing it, you can stop as it passes through each station, and measure out to the frames/rabbit- the light will hit on your tape measure. It essentially allows you to "jig it up" without ever touching a piece of ply, etc.

I used one to set my waterline, shaft bores, and new cockpit height. $25 from www.harborfreight.com (http://www.harborfreight.com) There is some time involved in adjusting the swivel, setting the tripod, etc. but then you have an accurately defined reference plane as a zero point for whatever measurements you need to establish.

Matt J.
02-27-2004, 08:58 AM
I'm getting curious. Does anyone have a real answer for Ed? Does he recreate the perceived twist/warp; or does he straighten it out?

Aside from Pete's method for checking it's accuracy and my doofy ramblings, no one's addressed the basic question... :confused:

Ed Harrow
02-27-2004, 11:15 PM
LOL, the way things have gone this week it will be 80 degrees (F) before I get to checking out the two related planks, and maybe drag one or two people by who know more than I on this topic (It's hard enough to drag people in, LOL, but to find someone who knows something, well I gotta tackle and hog tie 'em first.)

George Roberts
02-27-2004, 11:36 PM
Ed Harrow ---

Matt Joyce wrote:

"Does anyone have a real answer for Ed?"

Use the old keel as a template - curve and all. Leave enough stock to fair the keel after it is in place.