Which keel do I have?


1986 Ericson 38-200
I ran aground on an extreme low tide a couple of weeks ago, in the harbor, just 5 slips away from my own. So, decided to see what my actual draft is. Given a subsequent depth measurement and comparison to what my depth finder says, the water depth was right around 5.5 ft. when I touched the bottom. That doesn't seem to match any of the possible keel options I have read about doing research. Can someone tell me, from that description, which keel I most likely have?

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
..1642182738465.png.keel arrows Capture.JPG...
Your boat vs. known 6'6" "deep" keel (standard). There was also a shallow keel, about 5', thicker for nearly the same ballast. Hard to tell, others may have better photos.


Contributing Partner
Well I seem to have lost most of the boat, but here is a shot of the shoal draft keel for a 38.


  • Keel.jpg
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Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
It might be worth checking a known depth vs. the placement/reading of your depth sounder.

Unless I am mistaken, from the factory the sounder doesn't know whether it is in a hull 12" or 36" inches below the surface. So that needs to be accounted for.

My understanding is that all of the West Coast USA boats were sold with deep keels.

Nearly all of the Chesapeake Bay boats were sold with shoal keels, and other places are a mix. But yours looks like the deep keel version.