Rebuilding the Keel of a 44ft Catamaran with Sail Life


Today we’d like to introduce and welcome to the blog, Mads and Ava from Sail Life!

Their journey began in 2014 with Mads in Denmark when he started documenting his process on Youtube while refitting a 1973 30 ft Albin Ballad sailboat. Since then, he purchased a bigger boat, a 1987 Warrior 38, named Athena.  And now, he is helping his family fix up their boat, a 44 ft Fountaine Pajot Catamaran.  For him, making videos started off as an after-work hobby and a way to meet new people while sailing.

His journey led him to his wife Ava, and they are now currently in the U.S. working on the 44' Catamaran owned by his sister in law and her husband.  In this week's video, they are working to rebuild the keel. Having done the majority of their boat repairs in Europe, this is Mad’s first chance to use some TotalBoat products!

‘It was a great trip down memory lane to lay up fiberglass again. I'm a big fan of the low viscosity of TotalBoat's 2:1 epoxy. It makes wetting out fiberglass a dream. Especially when you're used to working with higher viscosity epoxies in colder temperatures.’

They've been working on their own boat for the past five years and are now in Charleston, South Carolina for three weeks to focus on repairing the families boat's keel which they discovered had water trapped inside.

The issue with the keel was detected through a survey that revealed water inside it via thermal imaging, even though there were no visible signs of leakage. They carefully lowered the keel to investigate further and found that the foam inside the keel had been improperly applied, leading to leaks. What we view in this video is their outlined step-by-step plan for rebuilding the keel, including cleaning, sanding, and patching.


For this project, they are using TotalBoat's 2:1 High Performance Epoxy, which begins with sanding and fiberglass work on the keel, followed by the process of pouring 2-Part Polyurethane Marine Flotation Foam into the keel. They also show how they lay up fiberglass cloth and use TotalFair Epoxy Fairing Compound to make necessary repairs.

Mad and Ava are diligent in their work and are excited to continue their journey after completing these repairs. They anticipate completing the project soon and look forward to sailing once again. However, they also informed us that they may start to look for a bigger boat to refit in the future. A good reason to stay tuned!

Be sure to check out the Sail Life YT channel and their extensive DIY boat refit projects. And don’t miss their latest episode we’ve featured today focusing on the repair and rebuilding of the keel. It highlights the meticulous work and materials used to ensure the boat's seaworthiness and readiness for their upcoming adventures.


It’s an informative and entertaining video. I believe the heat and humidity of our Charleston weather is understated. :)

F C "Bunky" Wichmann

I’d like to see the video of redoing the ‘87 sailboat if possible. I’ve got the project going on.

Kirk Brown

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