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A Simple Solution for Cal 40 Owners

Illusion has sailed many, many miles since the Honeys repaired the trailing edge of the keel.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Stan Honey is one of the three most admired and respected sailors to ever come out of Northern California, and he and wife Sally Lindsay-Honey are also Cal 40 owners. So when he says he has good news for Liz Clark, who discovered a mysterious leak beneath the engine of her Cal 40 Swell, and all other Cal 40 owners, you can rest assured that he knows what he’s talking about.

"Sally’s and my Cal 40 Illusion, and many other Cal 40s, have had the same leaking problem that Liz is having with Swell. Fortunately, it’s an easy repair that does not require removing the engine. Basically, when the Cal 40s were molded, it wasn’t possible for the laminators to get much glass into the really skinny part of the trailing edge of the keel just below the hull and above the propeller shaft log. So the boats sometimes develop a weep there. The fix is pretty easy, but has to be done from outside the boat. For the same reason that the original laminators couldn’t do a good job from the inside, it still isn’t possible to do a good glass job from the inside. The solution is to haul the boat and, from the outside, grind away all of the dicey glass work that is on the trailing edge of the keel above the shaft log until you get to solid laminate. Then you get West System epoxy, roving, and mat, and laminate it back up to the original shape using plenty of roving. As I recall, it’s only a two- or three-day job, but as it’s structural, it would be good to have somebody do it who is good with glass. The fact that Cal 40s have solid, rather than cored, hulls makes it pretty easy."

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