The Achilles Keel of sailing yachts

From antifouling and engine repairs to interior refits and electronic refurbishments, there are many important areas of a yacht which require maintenance. However, one area which is often overlooked is the keel of a sailing yacht, and yet it is one of the most important elements to keep preserved. Without a properly functioning keel, the yacht will not be effective and could be dangerous to sail.

Restoring or refitting the keel of a sailing yacht can be a complicated process; more so than the owner or crew may realise. The keel is an integral part of the sailing yacht and whilst handling its refit or repair, other tasks can often surface. Mestral Marine Works, who recently completed the construction of a new keel on the 25m sailing yacht Maxi Fortuna, shared what can be involved with Yachting Pages.

Toni Weijl of Mestral Marine explained the process of refitting the keel of sailing yacht Fortuna was completed in three stages of two months each. He stated, “Part one involved the dismounting of masts and all systems in the engine room in order to access the keel bolts, we had to cut the sole of the cockpit and then take out the generator through the cockpit. After that, we dismounted the old keel, which was broken and then we had to peel off all the delaminated area.

 “The second part we completed the lamination in the outside hull, and reconstructed the two broken frames on the inside, and completed everything using vacuum techniques. At the same time, using the engineering of Teixido-Harrold Design, we started the construction of a new keel in our shed”.

Along with the replacement of the keel comes a range of different jobs, which in this case, included replacing the engine systems.

Toni went on to say, “Part three of the project involved the fitting of the new keel and general fairing in the repaired area. We had to refit the engine systems in the engine room, as well as closing the cockpit sole. Then finally we put the mast on her again.”

Sailing yacht Maxi Fortuna can accommodate 10 guests and has a number of unique features including expansive flat decks, which are totally smooth and free from all obstructions. Interiors include a light, airy design, with a plasma screen TV, audio visual equipment and a library.

Mestral Marine Works is based in Tarragona, Spain and provides a wide range of carpentry, antifouling, painting, refit and repair services to the marine and yachting industries. The company is working with Yachting Pages Media Group to expand its reach in the superyacht market.

For more information, visit Mestral Marine Works.