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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of fitting bilge keels to my 18ft Clinker built boat and was wondering if anybody had any ideas on this.

My boat is shallow drafted and floats in under 2ft of water and I would like to improve the overall stability. Currently it is in a tidal harbour so the keels would have to keep the boat fairly upright when the harbour is dry.

Any help is appreciated.
 

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Hi SCIROCCOGTX, i fitted bilge keels to my old tub, she was a 33ft wooden crabber she did roll a bit in a swell the keels didnt stop her rolling but did slow the roll if that makes sence. Instead of rolling on every wave she would roll but take longer to come back so it did make her allot more comfy :D

Ryan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I understand what you mean Ryan. It stopped your boat from rocking as violently. I have been reading some info on bilge keels and they seem the best method of getting better stability.

How did you work out what size of keels you were fitting?
How did you attach them on the inside?

Cheers
 

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They need bolting through, with good sized backing plates inside the hull.
Hope this helps. ( don't forget to seal the holes inside and out )
Use grade 316 stainless bolts.
 

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Hey Scirroco, I first bolted on a base plate of 6 by one and pulled this in tight to the shape of the hull. I then got my mate who is a very skilled carpenter to cut me the keels to fit the hull shape we bolted these through the base plate and onto a good bit of hardwood on the inside of the hull. All this was bedded down on liberal amounts of sicaflex (spelt wrong I’m sure) the keels were then glassed over and bonded to the already sheathed hull. My old tub was a big larch on oak crabber and weighed in at around 9 ½ ton. We picked her up on straps that went round the keels and they held her weight, I also put her up onto the hard sand a couple of times no problems.

As for the size i had a photo of her out of the water before she was sheathed, she also had the hardwood fixed over her ribs on the inside so i knew the length ect.

hope ive been of some help regards Ryan.
 

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My Dad fitted bilge keels to his clinker built Norwegian fishing boat (23 foot), to keep her upright when she dried out mainly. He used exactly the same method as Ryan but as she was unsheathed we never sheathed the bilge keels. The keels will take a lot of punishment so use the best materials and don't skimp on the size otherwise they could snap off in a heavy sea and that would be embarrasing if the bolts pulled out also :eek:
 
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