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post #1 of 7 Old 09-27-2006 Thread Starter
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Question can you tell if keel is iron or lead

We are looking at a '68 Cal 34 with a 5 ft fin keel that is encased in the fiberglass hull. Is there any way to tell if it's iron or lead? The owner has no clue.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-27-2006
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Use a strong magnate maybe?

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-27-2006
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iron or lead

try a magnet, if you can find a large enough one it should pull pretty hard if the keel is iron.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-28-2006
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Lead or Iron

Pass by it closely with a hand held compass. Lead is non-magnetic, iron is magnetic. You may get faint deflection with a lead keel if there are steel or iron fastenings internally but a compass will spin and hold if within a foot or so of that much iron.

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-29-2006
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Jen, what difference does it make? You're looking at an encapsulated keel, and whatever it is, it is. It's not like you are going to have to worry about galvanic problems, or painting it, or fairing it. If the boat suits you...that's what comes with it.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-30-2006
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A large magnet or compass will tell you if it is iron or lead, but I'd agree with hellosailor about it being encapsulated. Definitely get a good survey with a competent surveyor that has experience with GRP sailboats.

Only difference is that a lead keel will denser and the boat will be a bit more stable, given the same size (volume) keels, as a lead keel will be a greater percentage of the boat's displacement than a equal size iron keel. If the keels are the same weight, a lead keel will be smaller, and produce a bit less drag than the same boat with an iron keel of equal weight/mass.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-30-2006 at 06:05 PM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-02-2006 Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your suggestions....they are all very helpful!!
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