Join Date: Dec 2003
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I''ve owned three iron keel boats...one a bolt on fin with bulb, a full keel with internal cast iron keel glassed in and another with internal iron pigs sealed in concrete. All were 15-20 yrs old when I bought them and there were no problems. There are 1000s of old boats with iron keels and they are doing fine. I would not hesitate to buy another iron keel and go cruising with it.
In my opinion the scare about them is more hype than reality. Problem boats to look for would be home builts with incorrect installation methods and/or have internal pigs/punchings sealed in concrete that is too thin to keep moisture away. Like bridge construction, the concrete must be X inches thick to keep rebar from rusting and expanding. Rust will first show as bleeds or bulges.