There are a lot of other Pearson 26s out there. Scapegrace's next-door neighbor, through this last harsh winter out in Charlie's boatyard, was a sister ship. Here's the sister's keel:
Scapegrace's wasn't quite so bad this spring. You can see her keel in the background; but that's after a scraping and a pass with the wire brush in the drill, and a coat of paint. Before all that, there was a lot of rust.
It's that way every year. The keel is cast iron, and the critter-proof bottom paint doesn't keep the water away. Over the years before Scapegrace and I became acquainted, water got in under the paint; and now the iron has developed vacuoles, buboes, voids, blisters; pockets that rust from underneath. Even after that first coat of paint, you can see the Invisible Worm starting his riots -- and the boat isn't even in the water yet!
The sages at Charlie's boatyard tell me I have to take the whole keel down to bare metal and paint it with some kind of adamantine primer. Then they take a look at my little Sears drill and gently intimate that it may be time to move up to some Big Boy gear.