Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Keel moving???

Olivier Beaute

Good Morning,

Joel, I couldn't do better than you about the keel/ballast matter.
I remember when this Super Maramu had the accident in Canada. The owner related the story, almost incredible:
After knocking the rock, he lost the ballast (WOW!), but not the lower part of the C-drive although a big bit of the front pin that enters the keel was broken (WOW!). The vertical shafts were slightly bent and were very difficult to take apart. The incredible is that the vessel did not capsize (no wind) and he could motor (!!!) slowly to the next harbour, not very far away.
I still remember the picture of the vessel in the travel-lift slings, no ballast and the C-drive still there.
Then, we shipped a new ballast (!) and the vessel was supposed to be re-built, but then we had no news for a long time (in between, the owner died in a car accident).

This is only to mention that the keel attachment is very strong and that the AMEL boats are very strong too.
In my opinion, the ballast was lost because there was some unrepaired slack in the bolts after the hurricane (Ivan in Grenada).
The story of the hurricane and SM declared total loss is still available on www dot onda-yachting dot (in german)
September 2004.
For sure, if you experience a severe shock with a rock, all the keel/ballast/C-drive but also bonding of the stringers and bulkheads must be investigated in order a decent repair can be performed (not only a patch on the ballast...).


On Wednesday, July 29, 2015 11:18 PM, "Alexandre Uster von Baar uster@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:

Thanks for your reply Joel.

Sincerely, Alexandre
Taino Beach, Grand Bahama.

On Wed, 7/29/15, 'Joel Potter' jfpottercys@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:

Subject: RE: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Keel moving???
To: amelyachtowners@...
Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 3:49 PM


I was kinda waiting for Olivier to
chime in on this but he must be busy finishing off his work
list so he can go on holiday in August. Gary is right about
the Super Maramu keel removal. Amel had to cut off the
foot/bottom of the fiberglass stub keel in order to remove
the ballast assembly. This was after every possible method
and even some hair brained ideas were tried to remove the
iron by any other means. The keel is fastened to the boat
with 24 oversized keel bolts, twice as many as required by
several regulating bodies. The shape of the bolts and the
washers/receiver assemblies beneath the bolts are specially
configured to resist high impact shearing loads in this area
that would occur in a high speed grounding.Years ago, a Super Maramu lost its
ballast keel in a collision with a rock face outcropping off
the coast of British Columbia Canada. It needs to be noted
that the fiberglass foot of the stub keel was torn away,
probably as a result of previous severe damage to the keel
when the boat was knocked over while on the hard during a
hurricane where the hull and keel area were violated in
several spots. The boat was, at that stage, declared a TOTAL
LOSS by the insurance company and the policy holder was paid
off. The totaled boat was sold to an opportunist who patched
it up and sold it to the next owner, convincing him he did
not need a survey and none was done for months until the
boat was far removed from the ‘scene of the crime’ and
by a surveyor who not only had a white cane but had never
even heard of an Amel. OK, I’m just kidding about the
cane. The boat was subsequently repaired and has been sold
at least twice that I know of. BUYER BEWARE. Those of you
that I have had the good fortune to sell a used Super Maramu
to probably recall that just before the boat came out of the
water for the survey, I elaborated on three things. First,
there will always be a horizontal line of demarcation
between the fiberglass stub keel and the iron ballast if the
boat has been sailed and heeled even slightly. Second, there
should be a torrent of water emanating from the bottom of
the rudder blade as the rudder is hollow and designed by The
Good Captain to have water inside as it is impossible to
build a rudder which maintains watertight integrity for its
entire useful life, so The Captain invites the water in and
uses the weight of the water to act as a damper to provide a
solid feel to the steering. Third, on the starboard side of
the keel ( or is it the port side. I forget ) are two pie
dish sized round evidence of ‘holes’ in the boat. What
one sees is the actual fairing compound applied to the
outside of the ‘plugs’ that are cut into the stub keel
to attach two very powerful extraction fans used to suck out
all the nasty vapors that happen when laminating to this
area. The workers can perform better when they are not being
poisoned by these fumes. The plugs are eventually remounted,
laminated in position from the inside and faired from the
outside. Looks like two skinny torpedoes that hit but
didn’t blow up. All of this was taught to me by none other
than Jacques Carteau who was Amel’s ‘eyes’ and did
most of the interpretive drawings and the actual engineering
computations on many of Captain Amel’s ideas.Unless the keel’s fiberglass
integrity was compromised, I have never known of anyone
having trouble with the keel on any Amel .All The Best, JoelJoel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht
954 462 5869 office954 812 2485 cell    From: amelyachtowners@...
[mailto:amelyachtowners@...] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, July
27, 2015 6:19 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Keel
moving???    Alexandre:  I suppose this is a matter of
degree of movement/cracking you see.  Every Amel SM that I
have seen out of the water has some degree of cracking in
the bottom paint between the top of the cast iron keel and
the FRP (fiberglass) stub keel to which it is bolted.  I
believe this is more a function of differential thermal
expansion between the two materials while on the hard rather
than relative movement.  The cast iron keel (per Joel) is
attached to the fiberglass stub keel with a structural
adhesive as well as the multiple SS bolts.  I believe
significant movement between the two is extremely unlikely
short of having hit a reef at 8 knots, and even then I think
it would not move things much.    I once asked Joel about
replacing the SS bolts and he told me the story of a
customer who insisted on doing so despite Amel's
reticence.  After removing all the nuts from the keel
bolts, everything Amel tried to do to get the cast iron keel
off failed.  Eventually the only way they were able to
remove the cast iron keel was to cut off the fiberglass stub
keel and glass in a replacement, undoubtedly a less
satisfactory solution than leaving the keel alone.
 Where I
have seen cracking in the bottom paint at this joint, I have
ground down to bare metal and laid in 3M 5200 for fairing,
over which I used Interlux 2000 primer (multiple coats) and
my usual SeaHawk Island 44 (forbidden in USA because it
works) anti-fouling.  Not the gospel, but my two
cents worth and experience. (Joel correct me if I have
mis-quoted).Sincerely,   Gary S. Silver
Liahona    Amel SM #335    on the hard in Puerto

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