Join Date: Dec 2012
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Re: Lead vs cast iron keels
I have a iron keel and have had some very minor corrosion issues. I would agree that you can get a lower center of gravity with the lead but, i would think that is also factored in during design regardless its iron or lead. I will say; my neighbors 40" columbia hit something in the NYS Barge Canal (looks like it was steel) and just shredded his lead keel!! He has a 2" gash. I would have had a scratch.
I would say that the maintenance issues with a iron keel are way overrated.(mines 20 yrs old, in florida salt) If it did start to rust out it would take 20 years to corrode off its so thick. Now, the amount of give VS a iron keel? I don't know. I would assume they would be about the same if you hit a rock. I would hope a lead keel wouldn't fall off or "give". Not well versed in this department.
I would think that having a bolt on iron keel may actually present fewer maintenance problems. No "smile" or separation issues between GRP and lead to worry about. It is one solid component.
I used to think nothing but lead; i have changed my mind. I have actually read some modern designers prefer iron for it's durability. Please don't ask me to find that. It's in one of my books.
This is a long ongoing debate. Then again, what do they use in a Oyster, Morris, Passport, Discovery, Swan? Lead