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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-02-2010 12:32 PM
mitiempo Tager
Stainless or mild steel bolts are ok, but avoid bronze with an iron keel. They are more expensive as well.
05-01-2010 06:11 AM
PCP There is another advantage of lead over iron, mainly in deep fin boats. These kind of keels are the best performing but not the ones that can resist better to grounding or hard impacts. If that occurs, an Iron keel will not bend and will transmit the full blow to its connections to the boat (steel bolts) and the adjacent area and supports. A lead keel will bend a lot and can absorb this way a lot of energy and the impact on the keel support structure will not be as damaging.

Some years ago I saw a modern Wauquiez that had hit a rock. The lead keel was incredibly bent, but there was not the slightest crack on the junction between the keel and the hull. That says a lot about Wauquiez build quality but also about the absorbtion impact of a lead keel.


05-01-2010 04:53 AM
Bene505 I did a lot of work last spring, grinding our iron keel down to shiny metal and applying barrier coat. This year I have to touch-up one spot where there is a small speck of rust coming through, so it worked pretty well. (And since I didn't re-block last year, I need to get the spots where the blocks were.) I did this work with a hand grinder. I would have been much quicker using a sand blaster. (And last spring was one of the wettest on record. This task really needs to be done on dry days.)

Overall, it took some time but will only need to be done every few years. And as you can read from my thread, I was a complete novice at it last year.

Ground out the rust

With barrier coat applied

Then you bottom paint over the barrier coat.

05-01-2010 01:33 AM
tager I have a 1968 Haida 26'. It has a cast iron keel with stainless bolts. I am pretty sure they are original, too! As far as I know the bolts pass through a flange on the keel. They are on the list for repair during the next haulout.

I just wanted everyone to know that the keel is rust free, and still hanging on. I am currently deciding between stainless, mild steel, or bronze bolts.
08-20-2006 10:26 PM
foxglove sailingdog,

You amaze me. You are on the ball on every thread. Encapsulated in resin!!!!!!! I didn't think of that
08-19-2006 03:50 PM
sailingdog The lead shot is fine, provided it is fully encapsulated in resin... if it is just sitting there in the keel, then it is a problem. However, resin-encapsulated lead shot is not as dense as a solid lead block.
08-19-2006 03:14 PM
Watch out for lead shot

One more thing. I have heard of manufacturers pouring lead shot into the fiberglass keel instead of using molded lead. If you hit a rock hard enough to hole the fiberglass, the lead shot spills out and you boat capsizes.
08-19-2006 01:22 PM

Originally Posted by CBinRI
I have a heard people express a strong preference for lead keels over iron keels. What are the differences and is it a big deal if you encapsulate it? I'm talking about a big fin keel on a 40 + foot boat.
Am looking at a Jeaunneau 42 DS with cast iron keel and bronze bolts that are electrically insulated. Sail Net Artical a good one......I attached just part of Don Casey's fine explanation.
Bronze Keel Bolts Bronze cannot be used in a cast-iron keel (unless the bolts are electrically insulated from the iron) but it is a superior choice for attaching a lead keel. Unlike stainless, bronze likes stagnant seawater. A good marine bronze can lose less than one thousandth of an inch to corrosion in 40 years of immersion. Bronze keel bolts generally succumb to overtightening rather than to corrosion. Under normal circumstances they are good for the life of the boat.
05-31-2006 01:52 PM
CBinRI I appreciate the input. Many thanks to all.
05-25-2006 10:50 AM
deal breaker

For me the lead vs iron was a dealbreaker. I was looking at new Catalinas vs new Beneteaus. The Catalinas have lead keels, and the Beneteaus I considered had iron. I went with the Catalina and that was a very important consideration for me. Rob
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