Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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A couple of things... A lead keel will not attract a compass or magnet...an iron one will. Have you tried a large, speaker type magnet on the keel. If it sticks, it is an iron keel...if it doesn't then it is probably a lead keel. The only way I can see a keel getting "worn" is through repeated groundings... and if you've got that problem...replacing the keel isn't really going to help much.
Lead keels often used galvanized steel bolts, as lead presented a problem with corrosion for stainless steel bolts IIRC. Stainless steel can rust...it is stainless, not stainproof...and a magnet should be able to tell you whether it is stainless or not, as the austentic stainless steels used in the marine industry, 304 & 316 are non-magnetic. Be aware that some of the lesser grades of stainless are magnetic.
A competent surveyor could tell you whether the boat is at risk for losing the keel. Why you didn't get a survey when you first bought the boat is beyond comprehension...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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