View Full Version : Keel Finish
05-10-2006, 08:29 PM
Well, I apologize in advance but new builders ask dumb questions. I'm still trying to finish up my Devlin dinghy, the Pollywog (think I'll call her Little Wing, for Jemi). So anyway, the little keel, or I wanna call it a skeg, is about 30" long and 4" deep at it's max. How do I finish it? I hate to put bottom paint on it. It's mahogany with a quarter inch band of scrap iron wood on the bottom for abrasion resistance. Epoxy alone won't do for a dinghy, right, since they traditionally store bottoms up in the sun? I've got CETOL light but it says not for below the waterline. So what... varnish? Hate to mess with that (no experience) for the little thing but will if necessary. Embarassed to ask, but there it is.
05-10-2006, 08:38 PM
05-10-2006, 08:52 PM
Epoxy and some cloth, 6 oz would be fine (only over the skeg). Finish it off and paint it. Leave a bit of a flat for the ironbark. Now put that ironbark on, bedded in Sikaflex or 5200, soat the screw holes also. You done! :) Time to get 'er wet, since you already got 'er done! :)
05-10-2006, 09:11 PM
Finish it the same way you are planning to finish the topsides. Unless it is constantly in the water you won't need bottom paint. Regular primer and topcoat will do, or whatever oil finish you were planning on using on the topsides. No need to glass the skeg either. You can glass the bottom if you want for abrasion resistance, but it does little for the skeg.
05-11-2006, 04:48 AM
What do you want out of the boat Mate?
I like finishing keels, CB's and daggers, I find it is the most sculptural aspect of doing a boat. I like to finish them so that they reduce the drag, are less likely to stall going through the turn and allow a boat to point higher ... all while reducing weight if possible.
Don't cut corners ... otherwise you will not know what your boat is capable of.
ps, just thinking aloud.
05-12-2006, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the replies. Sorry for the delay in my response--workin' and had company come stay over. I should have been more clear in my question. The bottom is sheathed in glass. The skeg is on and the iron wood already on it. I kinda want to finish the skeq bright as I like the wood. How do you finish something bright that isn't topsides? That be said, I'm not gonna leave this dinghy in the water. I don't have the yacht it needs to tow behind for weeks at a time so I don't see it soaking for long periods. I may sell/give it away some day though and built it to be a real dinghy, ready to spend more than a day or two afloat. I'm thinking of using some of the CETOL light I used on the seats and gunnels. It's not for underwater but maybe that's the next guy's problem. Still, how would you finish a skeg bright that might see a week or three afloat at a time?
05-12-2006, 08:37 PM
For a bright fnish, coat it well with epoxy, sand and finish with varnish or a water based poly (DiamondKote is an example). It will hold up fine in the use you have described.
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