After reading up on the procedure in Bud Taplin's Westsail manual, I've decided that the "hole" in the bottom of RodeTrip is actually just a void where the polyester putty has hardened, cracked and fallen out leaving a hole in the gel coat. This picture is of the longest hole. It was not very deep, almost 1/2" at the deepest point, and thankfully did not extend far from the opening visible. So a quick trip to Home Depot makes me the proud new owner of one $5 halogen worklight, which can easily double as a spotlight for any upcoming home theater presentations. Made it all the way to boat plugged in the fancy new light and then realized I had no where to plug in the grinder! I called it a night and returned the next day with a splitter for the end of the extension cord. Now I have light and can run the power tools!
The first step I took was to grind out all the loose material including mussels that the pressure washer didn't remove. After scraping and grinding the hole was ready for the epoxy putty. I chose to use everfix epoxy, and it turned out to be very easy to work with. After applying the epoxy and determining that there wasn't a fatal flaw in the plan. I moved on to grinding out the other problem areas on the keel. It was at this point my new halogen lamp decided that it wasn't interested in working any longer and with a loud pop the glass front turned into a spiderweb. Another trip to Home Depot and I left with a replacement for the work light with faulty glass. Hopefully this one will last a little longer.
Here I am! Stephanie caught a photo of me putting the finishing touches on the keel grinding project. The bottom is now prepped, and I just have to wait for a warm spell ( 60F for 24 hours) to finish with the epoxy. The way the weather has been this week, that could be a while!