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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > iron keel
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-24-2003 06:56 PM
Jeff_H
iron keel

Use of iron has traditionally been a way for companies to produce a boat with a stronger keel. Depending on the design they may also save money. The Europeans in particular use iron keels for structural reasons, but I too prefer lead.

Jeff
09-24-2003 04:52 PM
hamiam
iron keel

I have to disagree, Walt. As evidenced by the OVERWHELMING majority of lead keeled boats, it is the material of choice. You avoid the rust problems and, most importantly, it is much denser than iron. Use of iron has traditionally been a way for boat building companies to save money.
09-20-2003 12:38 AM
walt123
iron keel

Cast Iron is an excellent material for the keel, it can be cast in most shapes and is strong, heavy and durable. That said the reply regarding blasting/grinding and barrier coating with epoxy worked well for me. 15 years after barrier coating I had only a few spots of rust on a previous boat.
09-19-2003 01:44 PM
hamiam
iron keel

It is my understanding that the only reason one uses iron over lead is to save money. That being said, over time, it has been far easier and cheaper to maintain lead vs iron.




09-18-2003 06:05 PM
tsenator
iron keel

I hear ya...no matter what people say...its just another item that needs to be maintained. No matter how well the original manufacturer tried to protect it, it will inevitably need attention.....and you can''t just do a quick paint job, ya gotta do a really good grind, epoxy, fair and then paint.


I just got back from a Beneteau dealer (they had 1 sailboat at the Norwalk boat show and he was it.....they are saving the sailboats for next weeks NY/NJ Sail Expo). Then I asked the dealer what options they have....he showed me ONLY the beneteau 331 had the Shoal Lead Keel option !! (30 footers all the way up to the 473)

Thats nuts....(not to mention that the Beneteaus are now only coming with plastic floors....I asked if i couls get teak and holley as an option and he looked and he said it didn''t look like it !?!

I understand Beneteau trying to cut costs, but not giving the option for a lead keel nor the nicer floor seems shortsighted
09-18-2003 05:22 PM
tsenator
iron keel

I hear ya...no matter what people say...its just another item that needs to be maintained. No matter how well the original manufacturer tried to protect it, it will inevitably need attention.....and you can''t just do a quick paint job, ya gotta do a really good grind, epoxy, fair and then paint.


I just got back from a Beneteau dealer (they had 1 sailboat at the Norwalk boat show and he was it.....they are saving the sailboats for next weeks NY/NJ Sail Expo). Then I asked the dealer what options they have....he showed me ONLY the beneteau 331 had the Shoal Lead Keel option !! (30 footers all the way up to the 473)

Thats nuts....(not to mention that the Beneteaus are now only coming with plastic floors....I asked if i couls get teak and holley as an option and he looked and he said it didn''t look like it !?!

I understand Beneteau trying to cut costs, but not giving the option for a lead keel nor the nicer floor seems shortsighted
09-18-2003 10:29 AM
hamiam
iron keel

I have an iron keel as well. Whoever put it on the boat shud be shot. what a pain in the ass. i have this project to look forward to this winter/spring.
09-17-2003 09:45 AM
jparker11
iron keel

Capt Jim,

Fifteen years of iron keel experience - "It''s NOT paint, but a coating!!" The first couple of years we used paint, and the results were as described by "sailingfool" - immediate rust.

Next, attempt was with a two part epoxy. Sandblast it clean. Put one coat of epoxy barrier coat, like Interlux 2000, to hold the blast. Fair the surface with epoxy and shape to perfection. Next, apply about 5 coats of the epoxy barrier coating.

Follow the instructions for preparing the barrier coat to receive your AF bottom paint. It blooms and makes adhesion difficult. Learned this after the third or fourth AF paint job!!

Next, stay away from rocks. It will last your sailing life time.

09-17-2003 09:09 AM
sailingfool
iron keel

Based on my experience with a First 305, if you only paint the keel, whether grinded (sp?)or etched or not, once it goes back in the water, the keel will resume the same appearance that it has before you painted it, i.e. rusted metal quickly re-establishes itself. Other than looking good for launching, the paint and prep work is of little use...
The bad news is if you want bottom paint permanently on the keel, the steel needs to be covered with multiple layers of epoxy (I believe West Systems probably has specific instructions for this application) and can then be maintained like the rest of the bottom.

The good news is this is also a good time to fair and shape...If a Previous Owner hasn''t finished the keel properly, then you you get the chance!
09-16-2003 07:28 PM
Capt Jim
iron keel

I''m hauling my Beneteau 30.5 with iron keel. Does anyone have prep notes or experienced problems with lightly grinding and just painting? Or do I have to etch iron before bottom paint?

 
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