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Old 14-08-2013, 17:57   #1
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Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

Hi - I'm interested in finding out more about the pros/cons of encapsulated vs. bolt on keels and was wondering if anyone could help out or if there is already a discussion on this topic. I'm new to this forum and not sure if this the right place or way to post my query so apologies in advance if this isn't the right place to post.

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give.

Ellen
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Old 14-08-2013, 18:05   #2
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pirate Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

Hi Ellen...Welcome to CF.
Bolt On's fall off... Encapsulated don't...
But someone likely knows one that fell through...
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Old 14-08-2013, 18:38   #3
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Come on now. True encapsulated usually means is at least modified long keel. Pretty bulllet proof but builders have figured our how to screw these up too. Good bolt on with good glass and engineered grid or backers is just fine. Question is to generic. It's boat build specific.
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Old 14-08-2013, 18:44   #4
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

Almond Joy has nuts, mounds don't.

I have both types on my short list, but I trust the builders.

Do your due diligence.

I am going with the one that has enough room for twin turbo charged volvos.
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Old 14-08-2013, 18:54   #5
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

I have owned both and all other things being equal would prefer the encapsulated keel. But as previous posts imply, it would depend on the boat. You can find cheaply made boats with encapsulated keels and well made boats with bolt ons.

I had a well made boat with bolt on and was never worried about it falling off but every time I hauled the boat there was a small crack showing where the keel met the glass that annoyed me and I did wonder if long term the moisture in the crack might corrode the keel bolts and eventually weaken them.

By the way my encapsulated keel is a modified fin keel.
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Old 14-08-2013, 18:56   #6
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Volvo sucks thank god they have nothing to do with keels.
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Old 14-08-2013, 19:03   #7
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

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Come on now. True encapsulated usually means is at least modified long keel. Pretty bulllet proof but builders have figured our how to screw these up too. Good bolt on with good glass and engineered grid or backers is just fine. Question is to generic. It's boat build specific.
Excalibur Islander 26, Caravel Bristol 22, Cal 34, Cal 40, Cal 25 are fin keel encapsulated off of the top of my head.

Good boats are built of each kind.

Encapsulated: no keelbolts to worry about, space for storage, and tankage, deep sump for bilge water to not swirl around your ankles.

Bolt on: more weight down low and less wetted surface. Advocates say lead just dents instead of needing fiberglass repair, but I've seen boats that needed repair where the stub meets the hull after hitting. Though same is true of some encapsulated where the keel turns into the hull.
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Old 14-08-2013, 19:14   #8
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

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Volvo sucks thank god they have nothing to do with keels.
Wrong, and wrong...swing batter...
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Old 14-08-2013, 19:26   #9
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

I do not like encapsulated when it is iron. Lead no issues, possibly a set-up of choice, if not that we have a bolted-on iron already ;-(

b.
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Old 14-08-2013, 19:39   #10
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

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I do not like encapsulated when it is iron. Lead no issues, possibly a set-up of choice, if not that we have a bolted-on iron already ;-(

b.
Good point to bring up. Encapsulated iron does have potential to be a problem. Mine is lead.
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Old 14-08-2013, 20:14   #11
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

I like lead or concrete, Incapsulated of course. I added concrete, because it can be removed if needed, and replaced.
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Old 15-08-2013, 07:18   #12
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

I've seen more problems with encapsulated than bolt on, and more severe ones too. A bolt on is easy to work on and generally made of quality stuff, of necessity. Most builders seem to view encapsulated as a liscence to pour just about anything in the keel cavity and call it ballast. I've done many major repairs on encapsulated. Water ingress occurs, either due to an impact or poor glass work in the bilge, then expansion occurs due to freezing water or swelling rusting iron ballast, this causes the hull to crack, and you have a major nightmare repair. I'd rather rebolt a bolt on any day. I've seen everything from ballast made out of pachinko balls to keel cavities full of ancient raw sewage. No fun.
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Old 15-08-2013, 07:53   #13
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

This is the order IMHO from best to worst.

Encapsulated with lead ballast
Bolt on keel with lead ballast
Bolt on iron keel
Encapsulated keel with any iron/steel ballast

Good materials/methods should be at the top of the list when choosing a yacht.
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Old 15-08-2013, 07:58   #14
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

Id agree with minaret, encapsulated keels , irrespective of ballast material, have too many hidden voids and potential water entrapment, especially if damaged. Also I have seen bilge water make its way into such voids and cause expansion and frost issues when laid up, Its very common to see water pour from encapsulated keels on older boats. Its also often very difficult to ascertain actually whats in encapsulated keels.

dave
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Old 15-08-2013, 08:16   #15
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Re: Encapsulated vs. Bolt On Keels - Pros/Cons

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ellen.
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