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Old 03-10-2011, 15:04   #16
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Re: Lead vs Iron Keel

I'm afraid Callmecrazy is just wrong to assert that iron "only works in encapsulated keels". (Paint and epoxy don't count as "ecapsulation").

In fact, iron is better if left unencapsulated and simply bolted to the centerline structures of the boat. It rusts less than steel in a hostile environment if unpainted, and makes a terrific grounding plate - in both senses of the word. It is the next-to-last thing I would put into an encapsulated keel because when it does rust, the expansion properties are within the range of cracking the encapsulating material - especially fiberglass. Steel is the worst thing for encapsulation because its expansive properties when rusting are even more severe.

My ketch "Margaretha Tripp" was sailed 30,000 n. mi. in the 1970's with an external iron ballast keel bolted to the iroko keel and floors, and we never worried about little bumps and groundings, especially in coral, and after 3 years it sure as hell was not rusting away - it was in very good shape.

Most commentators have it right - lead is the better material because of its density and its inert encapsulation values, but for a cruising boat there's not too much in it; however, race boats simply must have a lead as their ballast keel.
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Old 03-10-2011, 15:16   #17
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Re: Lead vs Iron Keel

my first boat was a boat called an olympian 34, built by hank mckune, of yorktown yachts. it had a 26 yr neglection problem. it had not been out of water for 26 yrs. when it was hauled, the IRON keel was perfect. was awesome..
i prefer encapsulated keels. my ericson and my formosa each are encapsulated.
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Old 03-10-2011, 16:28   #18
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Re: Lead vs Iron Keel

My observations are based entirely on my observations...

I said they work best in encapsulated keels because they are infact, encapsulated and protected from the 'hostile' environment. Although I've heard several stories about encapsulated keels developing a leak, and as a result, the internal iron is corroding and there's nothing you can do about it except cut the keel open and rebuild it. Not a good thing in my opinion. (which just one of the reasons lead is better) I have never heard of bare iron doing very well in the ocean, that's news to me...
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Old 03-10-2011, 16:41   #19
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Re: Lead vs Iron Keel

the iron does well until is taken out and introduced to air. then 'poof'. deteriorates at a rapid rate, needs barrier coating every haul. then is a good deal
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Old 03-10-2011, 16:46   #20
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Re: Lead vs Iron Keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the iron does well until is taken out and introduced to air. then 'poof'. deteriorates at a rapid rate, needs barrier coating every haul. then is a good deal
That's my understanding as well. An external iron keel requires regular re-coating /painting at every haul out. Which is why it's best used internally (and carefully)

I guess if you never haul your boat, a bare iron keel will be sufficient. But, I certainly wouldn't call it 'better'. Definitely better than steel...
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Old 03-10-2011, 16:53   #21
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Re: Lead vs Iron Keel

The density of the lead will allow a stiffer boat, a shallower boat, and less wetted area, than a ferrous keel, if required to meet the same stability calcs.
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Old 03-10-2011, 17:01   #22
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Re: Lead vs Iron Keel

i like encapsulated .. mine is filled with concrete and stuff in that to make heavier. they used wtf was at hand to ballast boat. not many encapsulated keels are 100 percent filled with lead or iron or steel. depends on manufacturer what is in keel.
with any taiwanese boat, dont count on the written material for ingredients in keel.
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