ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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external lead keel
I personally can''t agree that internal/external is not an important choice. If you sail anywhere where there are rocks under water, you are subject to eventually (if not regularly) hitting something hard.
If you hit a rock with an external keel, you may end up with a divot in the metal you need to fill before the next launching. No big deal, simply BAU.
If you hit a rock with an internal keel, the impact may expose the internal keel ballast and allow water ingress, leading to delamination...or not. One way or another a significant risk that must be quickly and properly attended to.
Why take the risk, there''s enough to worry about in boating... Get a nice lead fin, well atttached to an all glass hull and you won''t need to worry about the routine mistakes most of us do make...