While I would agree that lead is much preferred (for a number of reasons, previously stated) I would not consider a bolt-on iron keel a deal-breaker if the boat was otherwise suitable and had been reasonably and properly maintained. We have owned, over the years, 5 sailboats of various sizes (24 - 40') three of which had iron keels. The maintenance routines are more onerous, more frequent haulouts and careful maintenance of antifouling and whatever other rust protection coatings are used is a definite must. Repairing a neglected iron keel is a rather big job, especially if it has been left a long time. But if the boat was designed around the keel material in the first place, it could still be a decent boat.
Last edited by Faster; 05-25-2006 at 04:52 PM.