No. 71 - February 1987


by Chuck Hansen #91 "Sejlboard"


The following information concerning care of a cast iron keel comes from the August 1986 issue of "Better Boat" Newsletter PO 971, Farmingdale NY 11737.

To minimize rusting, the entire keel should be sandblasted to white or near-white metal, then immediately primed with a suitable vinyl wash primer such as Interlux 353/354. The keel should then be painted with several coats of coal tar epoxy, which should be applied as smoothly as possible since it doesn't sand well. The thicker the build-up, the greater the protection.

Paint the bottom with a tin-based paint, rather than a copper paint, to minimize the possibility of galvanic action between the iron keel and the bottom paint.  Not all tin anti-foul­ing paints are usable on iron, however, so check the directions.


It is very important to get the entire keel, which may mean shifting the keel blocks or supports or suspending the boat in a sling while the job is done.


If you don't want to go to this much trouble, you can grind rusted areas to bright metal, then prime and coat with coal tar epoxy. However, you are just prolonging the big job until later.

I have not tried this method but I have been using Loctite "EXTEND" on my keel for two years and it does keep the rusting to a minimum, but a new coat must be applied every year. This is a polyester product and is not waterproof. Sooner or later it will absorb water and disintegrate. Only epoxy products should be used below the water line.



from Bill Murdock


I'm sure no other Tanzer owner enjoys hanging upside down holding up the berth cushions in a seaway while trying to find the Dramamine that is in the first aid kit as it slides back and forth in the storage area under the main cabin berths. To make that space a little easier to get into, I built and installed two good sized hinged hatches under the berth cushions. They have a leg to hold them open and are big enough to pass the largest plastic wash pans that I could buy. Each of the wash pans is a different color, so my stuff not only stays out of the bilge water, but it is also easy (?] to find.

The hatch covers are each made from three pieces of 1/4" lauan exterior plywood glued together with waterproof glue and then stained and varnished. Building them up makes it possible to have a lip all around the cover without having to have a router to make the cut. The rounded edge was made with a rasp and sandpaper. The leg was fashioned from a short piece or lauan base molding that was 1/2" thick and finished to match the hatch. The leg pivots on a compound hinge made from a pair of 1 1/2" brass hinges soldered to a small piece of copper. They allow the leg to swing down and out and rest its end in a small notched teak cleat screwed to the surface of the bunk. When not in use the leg is held against the hatch cover with a piece of Velcro tacked to the leg and to the cover. A 1" finger hole makes the hatch easy to open. The hatch pivots on a pair of 2" brass hinges bolted to the hatch cover and the berth.

The cut-outs in the berths are 1/2" bigger than the raised portion of the hatch cover. This provides suitable clearance. The holes were cut through the berth surface and the old plywood hatch covers. Two small spots under the hinges were also cut away to provide clearance for the nuts holding the hinges to the hatch cover. A piece of 3/4" X 4" pine was screwed to the under side of the bunk at the hinges to provide reinforcement. The re­mains of the old hatch covers were screwed down in four places with short wood screws. The edges of the cut-out were painted white to dress up the bare wood.

The improvement over the old hatch covers is unbelievable:

I can get to all my junk without being an acrobat or a contortionist.


* * * * *

A cutting board is a nice thing to have on a boat. It saves the counter and table surfaces from cuts and scrapes. It makes a great serving dish for bread, cheese and snacks. The only real problem is finding a place to store a large cutting board on a boat as small as a Tanzer 22.

One good place to store a cutting board is under the table. The sketch and photograph show how to do it. The cutting board was the biggest one at Walmart that would fit under the table. The teak clips were made from scraps left over from a previous project. The two fixed ones hold the forward edge of the board and the two that can be turned hold the aft edge. A small piece of teak keeps the board from sliding out to the side. When attaching the clips to the underside of the table the length of the screws needs to be carefully considered. They need to be long enough to hold in the 1/2" plywood, but not so long as to go through the plastic laminate upper surface. A little epoxy glue also adds some strength.

We find the large cutting board to be a handy and useful addition to the boat.