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Old 05-25-2006
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One compromise that is common now and works pretty well is to bolt on an iron keel and use a lead bulb. The iron needs to be epoxy coated but if done correctly will last as long as you don't sand through it. The iron provides the strength and the lead bulb provides the weight in the best place. I think it is a very workable solution. I had an iron keel on a long (full) keel boat once that had not been epoxy coated and it required extra work each time it was hauled, but not a huge problem. I would not own a boat that did not have a bolted on keel.
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