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can i drill a hole...

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Apr 5, 2013
Bristol 24 home
can i drill a hole into my keel to see whats in it? and where would be the best place to do so?
ive noticed i dont have a very deep bilge so im curious and if i cant get the title i wanna know if theres lead in there to sell as scrap.


Sep 26, 2011
AMF Alcort Paceship PY26 Washburn Wi. Apostle Islands
If you plan on scrapping the boat then drill away....

On the other hand if you don't have title to the boat...don't be poking holes in it...
Jan 22, 2008
Catalina 30 Mandeville, La.
I did this to every toy I ever owned as a kid. I HAD to know how it worked. You ever cut open a perfectly good "Stretch Armstrong" to see what was inside? I think it's a good trait to recognize potential engineers ( especially if you can put it back together). I know you probably have a good reason, other than just wanting to know, but it got me thinking.
Oct 26, 2005
- - Satellite Beach, FL.
Ha! I'd make sure the guy with the title IN HIS NAME couldn't make me buy him a replacement boat before entertaining thoughts of scrapping her.
Mar 20, 2007
Catalina 355 Kilmarnock, VA
The Sailstar Corsair/Bristol 24 used iron embedded in concrete as ballast in the molded- in keel. My dad bought one new in the 60s, and we visited the factory when it was still in production.


Apr 5, 2013
Bristol 24 home
the guy that holds the title abandonded the boat, i picked it up as salvage, just havent gotten a clear title to it yet
Jul 5, 2007
Kenner Privateer 26 schooner, Carlyle Illinois
If your bilge is only 2 or 3 inches deep; then the ballast is concrete and iron. If it is around 12 inches deep; it has a solid 3000# chunck of lead. The lead can be found by drilling about 1/3rd of the way back from the front of the keel, and about 3 inches up from the bottom.

My 1976 B24 with a Yanmar YSE8 diesel, has lead ballast.
Jan 31, 2009
Bristol 35 New Bern
If the glass is not too thick, a "rare earth" (stong) magnet will verify the iron pretty quickly by simple attraction when placed on the keel sides. These are strong enough to hold a metal object in place against your palm when placed on the back of your hand. Even a standard inexpensive magnet should show some attraction and preclude drilling holes.
Good luck.
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