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Old 05 March 2010, 18:16   #1
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Keel tube question

How often do you guys have to reinflate your keel tube? The keel tube in my Avon S400 goes soft in about 2 days. I'm looking for a leak now, but it got me to wondering if maybe this is a typical situation since with such a small volume a very minor leak would make itself known much faster than for the main tube. Are you guys adding air every to the keel tube every couple of days?
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Old 05 March 2010, 18:55   #2
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I have to top my sib up every now and then. I think its to do with the cold weather. If your doing it every two days id say you may have a leak somewhere in the keel.
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Old 06 March 2010, 04:27   #3
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Sounds like you have a leak - my keel stays inflated for weeks at a time.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 07 March 2010, 14:15   #4
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check the valve first ,,keel valves can get a lot of abuse,, a lot more than the main sponson valves do .
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Old 09 March 2010, 04:04   #5
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All good advice so far. The valves often do leak.

I can come back to my keel two weeks later and it is still full. I have a small leak in one of my sponsons as I can see it leaking when in a lake. Even still it takes a week to go flat.

Some dish soap 2% mixed with 98% water in a spray bottle should quickly reveal where it is. Otherwise you can just keep topping it up, and live with it.
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Old 10 March 2010, 20:50   #6
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Found it!

Thanks for the tips. I inflated the keel tube hard, sprayed some soapy water around and found a big leak right at the A7 valve assembly. It was leaking between the base of the outer part of the valve and the disk that clamps down on the fabric. When I took it apart I also found the thin rubber gasket between the disk and the outer assembly was missing. I borrowed one from my Redcrest and after tightening everything up it looks like the leak has subsided. Still a few small bubbles, but much less than before. By the way, it wasn't loose when I first took it off, something must have been out of alignment to cause the leak.

How much torque can you put on these valves? I'm concerned about over-tightening it and cracking the valve. I've tightened it quite a bit more than the tube valves, but that was the only way to stop the leak.
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