Originally Posted by HeartsContent
I like some of these boats but the iron keel is simply a deal breaker. Curious to see if any were made without iron keels.
Depending on the model and year you are looking at will determine whether a lead keel was available. For most Beneteau yachts, however, certain items were original Buyer options including keel type (lead/cast iron/deep/shoal etc), mast type (keel stepped/deck stepped/standard, mid- or tall rig, two or three spreaders), water tankage and type (stainless/bladder), back-stay adjustors or none and type (screw/hydraulic) etc. etc. etc. Finding a specific configuration to suit your specific requirements may be possible but will be problematic unless you are willing to cast a very wide net.
As a practical matter, the cast iron keels have proven to be very durable and are rarely subject to difficulties. If treated/maintained properly, they are no more problem than their lead cousins. Our boat, a 1986 era First 42, is fitted with the shoal draft (6.5') cast iron keel and absent a few rust spots from time to time at our tri-annual haul-outs (which are easily treated) we've had no issues with the keel at all.