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    Henk Van Der MeulenHenk Van Der Meulen

    A question about the keel of a Macwester malin.

    I own a Macwester Malin twin keel version build 1979

    What’s kind of material is the keel filled with?

    Can, leaking water come in the bilge of the cabin when  the keel leaks?

    It’s just a little bit, but I have to clean it regalary, because my water and beer and other stuff is stored there

    best regards,


    Linda NixonLinda Nixon

    Hi Henk

    yes this is quite possible. What you need to do (when the boat comes out of the water for the winter) – drill a couple of 1” holes in the keels (one at the front and one at the back of the keel you think is the problem) to let the water drain out over the winter. Lift all the seat tops and floorboards up and put a dehumidifier in the cabin and leave till next year. When the water has stopped dripping out of the keel, fill the holes with an appropriate filler. If you can put another layer on inside too this would be good. If this is all painted and you can’t get rid of all the paint layers then it is not worth doing this as the fibreglass will not stick to a painted surface. Also, inspect all the keels for any gel coat cracks where water could ingress and grind them back and refill them. Best of luck. Chris Nixon

    Stuart MarklewStuart Marklew

    I am hoping to replace the keel shoes on my Malin over the winter months, just wondering if anyone has a template for the profiles required to replace,

    Stuart Marklew.

    Catherine Fair No267


    The ballast is a shaped cast iron block, which is fitted into the glass-fibre hull moulding (that was done before the deck moulding was bolted onto the top of the hull). To stop it from moving, a resin and microsphere glass beads mixture was poured from the inside, around the keel block, to fix it in place.

    Over time, it is possible that the little hollow glass beads (they are a bit less than 1mm in diameter) could have crumbled, and allowed water to seep in, as it becomes more like a sponge. That might explain how water coming in from damage on the bottom edge or the keel can get up into the hull.

    Be aware that a few boats were purchased as bare hull and deck mouldings, and were entitely fitted out by the customer, incuding the possibility of filling up the ballast keels with iron shot, scrap steel, concrete, and pretty well anything available!

    Obviously the first step is, once the boat is out of the water, is to entirely remove the anyifouling paint from the lower edge, and the bottom of the keels, to see where the glass-fibre is damaged. Then, as Linda suggests, to let it drain out over the winter. Repair as necessary, when all has thoroughly dried out.

    As far as I know, metal “shoes” to protect the keels were never offered as a factory-fitted option. Over the years, many owners have had them made up and fitted. Hopefully someone who has done that will reply withe a description of how they went about that.

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