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Old 09-10-2012
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Internal vs external ballast

I was reading about the loss of "Cynthia Woods", the Texas A&M boat whose keel fell off resulting in the loss of one of her crew. The latest report says she had several groundings and had never been inspected but that some sort of bad repairs had been made.
Having an external keel fail is another of my pet fears which is why I love my 8.5M S2 with internal ballast. Of course, internal ballast would seem to limit the length of a keel.
So, why not external ballast where there is an extension of the hull on each side of the keel? Not only would you have vertical keel bolts but also have bolts going horizontal as well keeping the keel from pulling off of the bolts or even allowing the keel to "work" sideways.
Would ultrasonic testing of the keel/hull joint be useful as a way to test the integrity of this area?
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Old 09-10-2012
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Re: Internal vs external ballast

It is a maintenance item that is out of DIY reach in most cases due to the machinery needed to lift the hull off the keel and out of sight out of mind on most peoples budgets because the failure rate is low

Up here most boats get hauled every year and they seem to give ample warning something is wrong long before they fail
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Old 09-10-2012
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Internal vs external ballast

Internal ballast does not limit length. Most full keel designs have internal pb ballast. Bolt on keels save on initial costs and in some cases material.
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