My 1976 Bristol 24 has a solid chunk of lead in th keel, encapsualated in resin. I've actually seen the lead while repairing a void in the keel. My boat came with a diesel, and has a 12" deep bilge, compared to the 2" or so bilges on the concrete versions. My bulkhead is good marine, mahogany ply, and well tabbed in.
Overall, my B24 is well built and a solid performer for the size. I've had her offshore in 3'-6' seas and 15-20kt winds, and felt safe and relatively comfortable. i've averaged over 5knots on a 32 hour passage.
The Bristol 24 with the diesel and lead ballast makes a great little pocket cruiser.
Privateer 26 Schooner