SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Lead vs cast iron keels Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-09-2015 08:21 AM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

A compromised (showing signs of internal corrosion)iron keeled vessel will be hard to re-sell..
06-09-2015 07:16 AM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

you want dense you need to use a lot of forum brain matter
06-09-2015 12:04 AM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

If you really want to go dense get some osmium. It's about twice as dense as lead.
06-08-2015 11:10 PM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

You don't
06-08-2015 05:29 PM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

Where do you get depleted uranium cores? From ATI2D
03-29-2013 03:55 PM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
I would definitely agree about iron be a drag issue vs a steel fin and lead bulb.
In a cruiser; does it matter that much?
No and that's why now on almost all modern mass production boats the bulbs are in iron. It only maters to someone that wants to maximize performance and only performance boats offer that, many times as an option. But I am only talking about the keels that now are the norm in Europe. On all cast (iron or lead) the difference can be considerable between the two, in drag and weight that also affects performance.


03-29-2013 01:28 PM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
I have a iron keel and have had some very minor corrosion issues. I would agree that you can get a lower center of gravity with the lead but, i would think that is also factored in during design regardless its iron or lead. I will say; my neighbors 40" columbia hit something in the NYS Barge Canal (looks like it was steel) and just shredded his lead keel!! He has a 2" gash. I would have had a scratch.
If you think about the physics involved, if you hit something the energy involved has to go somewhere. With a lead keel much of it goes into deformation which is a pretty easy fix. With an iron keel, most of the energy gets carried upward into the hull and is a good opportunity to test the integrity of the keel/hull joint.

Iron keels came into use because they were cheaper and this became even more of an issue as lead prices soared. Some builders offer lead as an extra-price option and it is significant. To me it would not be a deal breaker, but I would certainly prefer lead.
03-29-2013 11:54 AM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

Originally Posted by msmith10 View Post
Yard guys also claim lead absorbs a grounding without transmitting as much force to the hull. I think there's truth to that in small or moderate hits. Of course, hitting a rock a 6+ knots with either isn't going to have a good outcome.
Bill Garden said the opposite - iron bounces off while lead "forms" around rocks & such. I've seen boats with iron bounce off and keep going but every lead keel I've seen hit came to a dead stop. Those observations would seem to back up Garden.

Iron keels also have the advantage of having removable and replaceable keel bolts whereas lead keels must have radical surgery or be re-cast to replace corroded bolts.

Properly coated iron keels do not present much, if any problem re: corrosion.

As far as performance, lead is unquestionably best, except for depleted uranium.
03-29-2013 10:36 AM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

The price difference is pretty large, something like $2,000 per unit.

Anyway, if Oyster uses them then they are good enough for my boat.
03-29-2013 10:04 AM
Re: Lead vs cast iron keels

Agree with Benesailor. Iron keel wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome