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Boat Keel Definition


BoatWiki - Definitions


A keel can be defined in boating terms as the center most section of a boat's bottom where both sides connect. It may be a distinct attachment or an integral part of the hull structure itself.


Almost all ship-shape hull structures have a distinct or integrated keel, whereas square or flat bottomed watercraft typically do not. Keels apply to all types of construction whether wood, steel, fiberglass, aluminum, concrete, or other composites. A sailboat keel also serves as a counterbalance to forces derived from the wind as propulsion.


A hull's structure and means of propulsion may have implications when it comes to registration requirements in various jurisdictions. This especially important for tonnage measurements as they relate to USCG vessel documentation regulations.


The depth of a boat, including its keel, may have navigational consequences in shallow waters or areas of entanglement such as kelp beds. Boaters should be acutely aware of the draft or distance from the waterline to the bottom most extension of the hull.

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8/5/2022 - Page initiated by Team BoatWiki.

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