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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Re: Iron Keel opinions
We have an iron keel, well sealed with an epoxy layer.. I don't have really any seasonal rust touchups and we've had the boat now 9 years. In fact at near 30 years old I want to drop the keel and inspect the studs/rebed the whole thing and I'm going to have to cut through the sealing layer before we can drop it. Not looking forward to that. We've owned 5 boats over the years, 3 had iron keels.
The keel ends up with larger surface area for the same ballast weight, but I think esp if the boat's designed with iron in mind it can be fine. However that's not to say that I'd much prefer lead and that will be a bigger factor in selection for our next boat. The iron is less forgiving if you do strike something, and probably transfers more energy to the hull structure with a greater likelihood of popping tabbing and stringers.
I don't think it needs to be a deal breaker, depends on the rest of the package...
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)