Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cutting a Keel: Deep to Shoal Draft

CSY utilized a concept within their hull design, that allowed 2 models of Draft. On the 44' model the drafts were 6' 6" or 4' 11", deep or shoal. Similar differences were available for the 37 and 33. So, the 19" difference could either NOT be originally built in to the hull, by way of inserting a plug into the mold to take up the space, and then laying up the interior glass works, without the deepest section, or, cut it off sometime later.

Certainly there are fans of either shoal or deep drafts, but this modifiable keel gave CSY an edge on their competition. You could have your cake and eat it too, leasing your boat to the Caribbean Charter fleet as a deep draft and then if you required less keel to bring the boat home, you could cut it off. There are pros and cons as to the handling of a CSY as deep or shoal draft, initial and overall stability of either, leeway with the shoal keel as well as whether or not ballast was put in at the factory or added later to make up for the weight lost when 19" of keel was the cut off, or omitted from the building process.

I took these photos at Embree Marine, on Salt Creek, St. Petersburg, Florida, back in the very early 90's. At the time, the charge was between $3-3,500. for the modification. It seems the concept this yard used, and it was a yard that did many CSYs in the past, was to cut into the side of the keel at 3 places on each side and remove a small square of fiberglass about an inch deep. One block forward, one aft and one near center. This gave them a visual indication of where the fiberglass inner, "2nd bottom" was approximately. Then they marked a line around the keel and began to cut off the bottom section with a circular saw. I suppose they had to leave the hull slung in the Travel Lift and add jack stands to be somewhat stable and safe, but the keel drop should have separated without too much effort after the glass was cut.

Once the lower section was removed, grinding the rough cut somewhat, then fairing the seam, seems next. I cannot verify now if it was done by Embree, but if I were to do this, I would grind off some of the outer glass above the cut, and layer a good amount of new fabmat material over the seam and bottom using epoxy resins for the best bond, to effect a total cap on the project.

Finish off with some fairing and bottom paint.

*Note: I recently stopped by Embree Marine, 201-16th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33701 and spoke to the yard manager about this work. He said, Chad Shakespeare is the guy to talk to as he has knowledge of the prior jobs done by them. 727-896-0671.


ed said...

Just cut our keel down so we can get in to a bunch more places and she's looking good. Hope to have her outta here for New Years...Got great pictures of the whole process.

Ron Sheridan said...

Hi Ed,
If you'd like to share any photos or text, that can increase our grasp of this process, I'd be glad to incorporate them here. Also any hints at prices today. Some CSY owner's will certainly be curious. I'll update this blog with what you send to my email address.