Catalina 22 fiberglass repairs needed – Keel weldments and torn cleat damage

As you all know, since I have almost no fiberglass experience, I’m hesitant to jump into the repair by myself.  Fortunately, I’ve had an offer of help to get the weldments fiberglassed, so with some luck I’ll get the project finally moving.  I’ve already posted pictures of removing the weldments, but these new pics have rulers in them so give an idea of the size of the repairs needed.

Here you see where I’ve cut into the sole of the cabin to get access to two of the four weldments.  The other two were accessed by going through the dinette seat and don’t show in the cabin.  Above the 2″ mark on the ruler there is a dark rectangle with a darker round hole in it.   The post of the weldments will be inserted into the hole with the backing plate sitting flush into the rectangle left from the old weldments.  The horizontal dark marks above the rectangle are places where I cut through to the bottom of the boat in the process of cutting out the old weldments.  The side fiberglass is VERY thin there. (Although it won’t be when the weldments are glassed back in.)

Starboard keel weldments 1

The photo below shows another view of the starboard weldment, this time showing that the depth of the cut was about 1 and a half inches;

starboard weldments - 2


Below is a view of the port weldment cutout from below.  You can see a much bigger cut through.  This was the first weldment I cut out, before I realized what was happening, and thus was the biggest cut through.  Even though I knew what was happening, there really isn’t much room there.  Out of the four weldments I cut out, only 1 came out without cutting all the way through the hull.

port weldment from under the boat

Below is a picture of the same area, just from farther away.

Weldment location from below

And here is how the keel will be attached to the boat.  These are things are solid and heavy!  But then again, they have to hold a 550 lb keel on.

Keel hinge pin


The other fiberglass repair that is needed is to repair where a cleat was ripped out.  Probably small repair, but still outside my experience level.  This is on the top of the port gunwale, near the stern.

Ripped cleat


4 thoughts on “Catalina 22 fiberglass repairs needed – Keel weldments and torn cleat damage

  1. Just to note- The bracket as shown in the photo is upside down. I actually found my first C22 had this bracket install as your picture shows which is wrong and dangerous as you are putting a lot of sheer stress on the bolts and risk sheering the bolts off.
    I’m sure you “could” use an angle grinder with a metal cutoff wheel to make the cut, but personally I’d mark them and take them to a metal shop as they have a chop saw which cuts metal and you’ll under up with a clean and even cut.
    I made a comment on another page on your blog about the bushing my buddy used and secured it in-place using JB Weld Iron. The bushing stays with the keel and pivots on the pin.

    • You are correct. I think I was just holding it up to see how much the brackets needed to be cut down. I will DEFINITELY install them with the humps fitting up into the cavity for them.


  2. You probably know this already from when you ordered or received your hanger brackets, that you’ll have to cut the inner faces of the brackets to fit the thickness of your keel. So do that last after you refinish the keel and can get a close but not tight fit to either side of it.

    And are you planning to epoxy the pin into the keel hole or let the keel swing on the pin (the original design)? Mine is epoxied in. That way, you can easily monitor any wear between the pin and the brackets and replace them if necessary without having to completely remove the keel for a machine shop to repair the worn, hidden hole, which is way more expensive and time-consuming.

    The brackets will also hold some grease for the wearing surfaces. I’ve had good results with Sta-Lube staying in there an entire season. You’re also less likely to develop the legendary keel klunk as the hole first rusts and then wears out.

    Best wishes glassing the weldments back in. You’ve already done the hard part. I’ve not done it, but it should go pretty well for ya so long as you get a watertight seal and the weldments are aligned to the bracket bolts. I’d wipe a light film of mold release (e.g. Vaseline or grease) on the brackets and bolts so they’re easy to remove after the glass has set and then attach the brackets to the weldments before pouring in the glass. Tape over the holes in the exterior to get a flush fill. Mark the brackets so that you can install them in the same orientation with the keel later.

    The cleat repair will be trickier, cosmetically speaking, because of the non-skid. But it will be good experience for you in making deck repairs that you might have to do again someday.

    Happy holidays!

    • Thanks for the comment. It’s pretty obvious that the brackets will have to be trimmed in order for the keel to fit up in there. What I’m not sure about is how to do it. Use an angle grinder?

      Regarding the keel pin: I also got a bushing for it. (I’ll show photos in my next post.) I had thought I would epoxy the bushing in, and let the bushing rotate on the pin. What do you think?

      Thanks for the other tips too.

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