Stus-List Black goo in keel joint - 35-2 - +C&C smile fixed

john sandford johnsandford at
Sat May 4 20:40:04 EDT 2019

This may be relevant or not, but I recently (3 years) successfully fixed a
similar issue on my LF38.

In addition, we no longer have a C&C smile.

Have photos but have no idea how to get them visible to folks. Everytime I
tried to get a web based thing, they wanted $$ so I bailed.


Years ago, I was chief Engineer on a steam turbine ship and we had a gasket
leak between the LP turbine and the main condenser. Huge problem and
potentially likely weeks alongside while the condenser was dropped and
re-gasketted. GE showed up with a few drills, taps, grease nipples, HP
grease guns and RTV silicone. We were back on charter in 2 days.

Anyway here is the method;


 - 4200 In tubes. Have 3 or four on hand. Color not important, but white is

 - A small cheap grease gun from Craptyre or PA. Its sacrificial.

 -A number of grease nipples, NPT male thread. 1/8” is fine. (Keel Length /
25mm = Qty)

 - NPT Tap to suit nipple, and tap drill.

 - A long drill around 1/8” x 12” 

 - Acetone


 -Remove all fairing and crap at the joint, both sides, You want to see
Fiberglass above and lead below the joint.

 - Masking tape plastic sheet to the keel below the joint if you want to
save some work later on.

 - Mark out drill point along the joint, starting at the fwd centre of the
keel, and going down both side of the joint, at 25-35mm spacings.

 - Put a drop cloth under the keel. You will need it later

 - Drill all marks using the long drill bit, through to just over half
thickness of the keel. 

 - Drill and tap only one side of the keel using these holes, and fit grease

 - Load the grease gun with Acetone and pump it through all nipples until it
comes out the other side. Don’t smoke while doing this unless your insurance
is paid up.

 - ( I then removed the nipples and blew through with compressed air. If you
don’t have compressed air then just wait for the acetone to evaporate.)

 - Load the grease gun with 4200. Very messy, but stay with it.

 - Pump the 4200 into the grease nipples, and watch the other side. In my
case, the first thing coming out was water and then black goo. Then 4200,
which started out with a grey’ish tint and then got fully white.

 - Continue the full length.

 - Remove the grease nipples, Fill the nipple holes with more 4200

 - Putty knife off the excess and then go for a beer.

 - Drop the Grease gun in the garbage bin on the way out of the yard.

 - Drink beer until the 4200 is very dry.

 - The rest is obvious. You can Antifoul over 4200 and it sticks. Well mine
did. I think I used interprotect/Fibreglass Bottomkote/CSC


As I said, I did this 3 years ago and now am fully convinced that this IS
the ultimate smile fix.

Using 4200 keeps a little bit of flex at the joint, unlike fibreglass or
filler. It is waterproof for sure.


Hope this helps someone






From: Russ & Melody [mailto:russmel at] 
Sent: May-04-19 2:33 PM
To: cnc-list at
Subject: Re: Stus-List Black goo in keel joint - 35-2


Hi Shawn, 

Since you're hauled out for two weeks, why not do the keel joint properly?
It will mean using an amount of epoxy to warrant purchasing a 2 litre pack,
some fibre & tape. Leftovers go into general storage for cruising

Remember: cruising is simply the act of travelling to some other place to
work on your boat. :)

Try a solvent wash on the black goo. If it dissolves with a bit of exposure
to solvent or gasoline then it's probably butyl sealant.

For local epoxy & great customer service I have been using Fiber Tek
products for bulk epoxy.

Years ago my fave was Industial Formulatiors but they were bought up by
Systems Three many years ago. The Cold Cure formulation is still the best
wet cure repair epoxy, IMHO.

        Cheers, Russ
        ex- Sweet 35 mk-1

Next is a set of instruction from Dennis, provided many year ago. 
One thing to add, if you expose fresh lead while sanding/grinding it needs
an epoxy primer coat right away as oxidation starts immediately. 
My routine was: at the end of the day I would mix a small batch of epoxy and
freshly sand any exposed lead while the little woman would come follow right
after and brush on the neat epoxy. 

>From Dennis:
  Here's the revised, completed reply.

The pics on the photoalbum are of my 35-1, Touche'.  I repaired the smile
when I bought the boat in 1999.  Here's the words to go with the pics. 

1.	Tighten the keelbolts.  If you don't properly torque the bolts, any
attempts to fix the smile may fail. The torque specs are on the photoalbum
site under the "Technical Info" button.  Keelbolts should be backed off then
torque dry (without lubrication) to the proper spec. 
2.	Dig out and loose crumbly keel material at the hull/keel joint back
to solid material. 
3.	Preparation is critical.  Rough up the fiberglass and make sure all
dust and loose particles are removed. 
4.	Fill the area with thickened epoxy.  You can use epoxy thickened
with microfibers if the gap is fairly narrow (1/4 inch or less).  If the gap
is wider, I would use epoxy thickened with chopped fiber or "kitty hair".  I
used chopped carbon fiber (whoohoo! high tech!)  If the gap is wide, fill in
a few layers rather than one large fill. 
5.	After curing, fair out the repair. 
6.	I covered the entire hull keel joint with a strip of 4 inch biaxial
tape and epoxy. 
7.	I then covered the first layer of tape with 2 overlapping strips of
biaxial tape and epoxy.  Probably overkiil if the bolts are properly
8.	Fair out the repair.

This repair has held for 12 years.  I have had a fairly hard grounding or
two with no noticeable effects.

I am familiar with G-Flex having used it to re-attach the floor in an
inflatable dinghy (worked fairly well).  As this repair involves a joint
that is under significant compression, I think I would want a material that
was rigid and did not compress.

Now for the caveats.  This assumes that your hull, keel stub, keelbolts,
washers, spacers and keel top are all in good condition.  

If the washers and/or spacers under your keelbolt nuts are not stainless,
change them now.  

A chronic leak could have deteriorated the keelbolts.  A friend of mine with
a Tartan 33 had a chronic leak at the hull/keel joint.  When the yard
dropped his keel, a few of his keelbolts were deteriorated.  The keel was
shipped to Mars Metals for bolt replacement.

Problems with the integrity and construction of the keel stub have been
reports for some boats.  I'll let other listers describe these issues.

Dennis C.
Touche' 35-1 #83
Mandeville, LA

At 09:03 AM 5/4/2019, you wrote:

Thanks for the info. The fellow I spoke with owns a Landfall 42, and
suggested for the small amount I will need, they should have some at the
club that I can use, rather than buying a whole tin. I will see if it is
G-Flex that they have.

Although I will need to haul again next year for a new survey, I'd prefer to
do this job right this time, and not have to dig into it again. I'm also
planning to check the keel bolt torque. Should I do this before applying
epoxy? The joint seems very tight, with no sign of a smile - just a bit of
lead corrosion at the leading edge. I suppose I could take some of the
weight off the keel with the stands to see if it opens up, but I doubt it
will based on the tight sealant I pulled out.

On Fri, May 3, 2019 at 8:20 PM Josh Muckley via CnC-List
<cnc-list at> wrote:

I have not heard of anyone using Sikaflex.  I would recommend G-Flex and
follow the prescription in the link below.

Josh Muckley

S/V Sea Hawk

1989 C&C 37+

Solomons, MDÂ 

On Thu, May 2, 2019, 10:59 PM Shawn Wright via CnC-List
<cnc-list at> wrote:

Hello all,

I spent the day wet-sanding the bottom of Callisto and she is nearly ready
for a coat of paint. I also cut out the old keel joint rubbery sealant, in
preparation for some Sikaflex 291. I plan to scrub the gap a bit more and
clean with lacquer thinner before letting dry. 

All the through hulls look good, bronze with marelon valves.

I have two depth transducers, one for a Standard Horizon DS30, and the other
for a Garmin 140 Fishfinder, both working. There is a plug for the old B&G
speed sensor, but I was pleased to find another newer speed sensor in good
shape, it appears to be a Garmin like this:

The specs show either a NMEA 2000 or analog cable, but I haven't traced it
yet to determine which one I have. Of course, the B&G H1000 system I have
only does NMEA 0183, so I will need a signal converter, I think. I'm
hesitant to spend any money on the old B&G system until I verify the pieces
I have actually work though.

Also, the plug for the old B&G sensor is very thin plastic, about 2mm thick.
I'm thinking of filling the hollow plug with epoxy so it doesn't sink the
boat if it ever cracks. Or maybe just find a better one? It's 1 3/4"


Shawn Wright

shawngwright at


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Thanks everyone for supporting this list with your contributions.  Each and
every one is greatly appreciated.  If you want to support the list - use
PayPal to send contribution --Â  Â

Shawn Wright
shawngwright at

Thanks everyone for supporting this list with your contributions.  Each and
every one is greatly appreciated.  If you want to support the list - use
PayPal to send contribution --

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