Re: C-400 Keel, is the lead encapsulated or what?


Not sure anyone answered your initial question...  But no, the Catalina-400 has a naked (un-encapsulated) keel.  It is cast lead probably with some sort of barrier coat or thin faring coat on it.  My 1997 model has a few casting flaws, including what appears to be a hot-patch repair.  This was probably done at the factory with a torch and some semi-molten lead immediately after the keel was popped out of the mold.  But there is no fiberglass layer on it.

I have had my boat out of the water many times, and I have never seen any evidence of a "Catalina smile" or "bolt elongation".  When talking about the joint between the hull & keel...there is no acceptable level of flex.  The keel should be tight against the hull, in ALL situations.  That includes both sitting on blocks, AND after it is liberated from its supports.  If you have a crack that opens up in the slings, and closes after you sit it down on have got BIG problems.

As far as the purple liquid?  I have no idea.  It could be something as simple as sea water trapped under a layer of fairing material.  Or it could be bilge water migrating down internally from the keel plate.  Either way, I would check the torque on the keel bolts and also pry off any loose or rotting caulking to take a closer look.  The great thing haven't bought it yet!  The Catalina-400 is not anything rare or exotic.  There are tons of em out there...most with no keel problems at all.  So be picky and don't be afraid to take a pass.

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