I understand that the '79 Cabo Rico 38 i am considering has cast iron instead of lead in the keel. What problems should I be looking forward to?
If it's bolt-on ballast, you will have occasional fairing and rust blister clean up if the ballast section is not properly sealed.
If it is, as I suspect it may be, encapsulated ballast (ie - the ballast is set into the molded hull/keel sections) then the potential for problems is compounded. If moisture ever gets into the ballast area, eg from a grounding, then it will fester in there, the iron will rust and expand which may cause damage (swelling and possible fracture) to the hull in that area.
Once this area has gotten wet it is difficult to fully drain and dry it out.
Other more qualified experts will be sure to expand on this.
Also, a boat that has cast iron instead of lead for ballast will be either more tender than a boat with the same size lead keel, or have more drag and a larger underwater surface than a boat with the same mass (weight) lead keel.
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