MRX Keel Replacement Project

 23 October 09. Touch of Gloss lifted out of the water the day after we discovered that the bottom of the keel had broken off - how did Phil Douglas and Jack Hansen complete the RNZYS Wednesday night race without realising that had lost 2/3rds of the are of their keel and 3/4s of its weight - well done guys!


 Compare what was left of the keel ...........


 With the original fin!


 Expert advice suggested that the failure was due to an exceptional force on the keel which had not taken place in the previous 19 years of its life. The plane of weakness created by inserting a "chiller" into the mould did undoubtedly play a major part in the failure.


 3 November 09 The decision was taken at significant expense to have another keel X-rayed by Metal Test to detirmine whether the other keels were made the same way. The exposure took 6 hours and had to be taken at a location where there was no possibility of people coming within the X-ray area.


From the results of the X-rays we concluded that it was probable that all keels had the same fault. Early December the decision was taken to explore the options for replacing the cast iron portion of the fleet's keels.


 We looked for suppliers who were the best in their fields, pricing was assembled.

10 December 09 The fleet owners committed the funds and gave the go ahead for the replacement of the keels.

 Buchanans Foundry of Christchurch was recommended by a number of industry experts for the quality of their castings. The pattern for the mould for the cast iron fin was ordered from Buchanans Foundry.

 The drawings were completed but the predicted weight was significantly greater than the design drawings specified. It was decided that we should remove a complete keel from another boat and check its weight.

  11 December 10 The keel of MRX 1993 was removed and the lead shoe separated from the cast iron fin. The cast iron fin matched the predicted weight from the pattern drawings and the lead shoe was lighter than specified in the design drawings by a matching weight.


 12 December 09 Approval was given for the CNC production of the pattern for urgent completion to enable the casting of all 11 fins before Christmas. 1993's keel was shipped to Christchurch to be compared with the new fin.

 15 December 09 The mould was produced from the pattern and the first keel cast. Lance Pelham, MGE Engineering and Tom Macky flew to Christchurch to approve the first fin and to give the go ahead to cast the remaining 10 fins.

Lance Pelham, MGE, Craig Levy, Marketing Manager, and Eric Collins Cheif Executive, Buchanans Foundry with the two fins.


 23 December 09 Buchanans completed the casting of all 11 fins.

 5 January 10 Immediately after the New Year holiday break MGE Engineering began building the jigs and setting up to machine the top and bottom serfaces of the cast iron fins. But before they could machine the holes for the bolts to fix the keels to the hulls and the lead shoes to the fins it was necessary to remove the fins from the boats and the shoes from the fins to check their positioning.


 At the same time Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders began removing the keels from the balance of the fleet


 8 January 10 Ovlov Marine / Volvo Penta ready to have her keel removed.


 Under the "expert" eyes of MRX Owners, Tony Heron, Phil Douglas and Jack Hansen. Thanks for helping guys!


 Success, Ovlov Marine / Volvo Penta minus her keel. Well done Royce, (in the blue shirt), Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders.


 A good mornings work, 3 boats delivered, 3 keels removed.


 Ovlov Marine / Volvo Penta ready to be stored awaiting her new keel.


 The beginning of a line up of all 11 boats at Half Moon Bay.


 The keelfin casting and lead shoes were numbered off the boats, dissassembled by MGE Engineering and weighed to ensure that the new keels matched the old when they went back onto the boats


 Alan Barson, General Manager  with Lance Pelham of MGE Engineering.


 13 January 10 Setting up a fin in the jig ready for maching the top flange.


 The Casting in the jig with the top flange machined and the holes for the keel bolts bored.


 17th January 10 The machined fins being weighed ready for matching with the lead shoes and the boats.

18 January 10 The sandblasted and sealed fins being attached to the lead bulbs at Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders - the lead bulbs were cleaned back to bare lead and then re faired - all under Royce's watchful eye!


 20 January 10 Good progress fairing the first 2 fins.


 22 January 10 The first fin almost ready for installation.

 The production line beginning to take shape - 6 fins at various stages in the joining and fairing process.


 27 January 10 Running like clock work now - the last 7 keels nearing completion


 4 keels ready for installation


26 January 10 Dry fitting the first keel on MRX 1993.


Royce laying down a bed of epoxy adhesive on the top of the flange ready for the final fit.


 MRX 1993 with plumb bulb in position lining up the keel.


 27 January 10 Finally time to bring Touch of Gloss to Half Moon Bay ready for her keel to be installed - thanks to Boat Haulage for storing her since late October!


 31 January 10 The first finished keel - looking great.


 Two days wait for the paint to cure and MRX 1993 will be ready for the water.


 Simon Morely, Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders


 2 February 10 The first MRX completed, MRX 1993 about to go back in the water.

 And they float -looking good.


 Dean and Peter - Half Moon Bay Marina - thanks for your help guys.


 5 February 10 Launching 5 boats in half an hour must be a record!

 8 February 10 And the last boat back to Westhaven, a week ahead of schedule - Noel, kevin and Simon could not resist sailing her back.


 11 February 10 The teams from Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders and MGE Engineering after their final quality test - the Ponsonby Rum race. For the record, Lloyds won by a nose.


Thanks to:

Pier 21

Clive Jennings

McDell Marine

Metal Test

Materials & Testing Laboratories

 Team NZ

Farr Yacht Design

Club Marine Insurance

Maritime Management Services

Boat Haulage

Dave Endean

Mike Rees Castings

Buchanans Foundry

Half Moon Bay Marina

 Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders

MGE Engineering

Boat Spray

Altex Yacht Paint