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Hull #235: Lead Keel Demon
Dave Edson Scores Lead Keel Conversion II

I'm wondering if the irony is not lost on Dave Edson.  He managed to just land First 235 Hull #235, which should be something a bit special in an of itself.  But who knew that the fabled hull #235 also happened to hold the OTHER Lead Keel refit.  This is not a Beiley fin, as seen on the only other lead keel First 235, sailing on the West coast under Jeff Burne's care.  This earlier Mars lead fin doesn't have as high an aspect ratio and is a bit more conventional in design(especially compared to Beiley's latest MkIII design).  Still, my bet is it's a beast and looks to be a total first class install (see Dave's explanation below). 

Dave has not had her on the water yet and is obviously hankering to take her out.  He is currently in the process of a total bottom job including barrier coat.  And from the looks of it, Sparrow is a very fine F235.  Unfortunately, the latest news has Dave heading overseas for awhile so Sparrow may be on jack stands a while longer.  Cant wait to hear how she does.

See Dave's comments below, including some of the previous owner's impressions. - we are looking at a 4'3" draft with this Mars Lead fin - Kelly Holsten

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Forgot to take a picture of the keel attachment method as viewed in the bilge which is very impressive - the keel is cast lead with integrated stainless steel keel bolts; in the bilge there is a rectangular stainless steel backing plate through which the keel bolts protrude and over which the keel nuts are fastened. It appears to be a first class set up.

Talked with the previous owner who had the keel installed. Hull #235 was originally configured with a wing keel. Owner very much disliked the slight lee helm that resulted from that design, coupled with his desire to race the boat motivated the design, purchase, and installation of the aftermarket fin.

As reported by the previous owner (it may be a while before I can confirm by sailing the boat myself) the keel made a drastic improvement to the overall performance of the boat, particularly its upwind performance.

- Dave Edson

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Lead Fin front view - Click for full size 1200px

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Lead Fin side view- Click above and below for full size 1200px

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