Originally Posted by aquaholic
You would be hard pushed to find lead keels in new boats in Europe these days, in fact i thought the yearly rust grinding was a tradition
In some brands lead keels are an option. It is more common to have it as an option with performance boats because it is an expensive option and the influence (besides maintenance) regards mainly to performance (not stability).
Some years ago brands like Bavaria, Hanse and I think Beneteau Oceanis offered lead keels as option. Today they are almost restricted to very expensive boats or as an option in performance boats and in most of the cases, for performance reasons also, they are iron/lead: Iron or steel for the structure, lead for the torpedo.
The Benetau First has as an option a iron/lead keel that almost all clients subscribe. The previous First models had all lead keels (and were heavier on account of that).