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Retro Keel

MarsKeel Technology offers our customers a further option between a keel repair and a full custom keel. Known as the retro keel, this option is possible if the keel that you are looking for has already been designed by the yacht builder but is either no longer in production or rights can be obtained to manufacture it for you. You get a new keel that more closely meets your needs at a lower price than a full custom keel.

What is a Retro Keel?

A retro keel utilizes an existing keel designed for the boat. This can be done with existing tooling or with the existing design. The most economical way is to use existing tooling, this saves a significant amount of money over the other option of needing to make the tooling. However, even if you need to make new tooling from the existing design the project is still significantly less expensive than a full custom keel. The retro keel generally doesn’t need additional design and engineering work done to it. You can choose to modify the existing design at an additional cost, yet it is still likely less than a completely new design. Therefore, the customer gets a keel that is known and fits the yacht at a lower price than a full custom keel.

Retro Keel Options:

  1. If your keel option still has the tooling, you are off to the races — we can just cast it once we have permission to use the tooling from the builder.
  2. If the design exists but new tooling needs to be made that can certainly be done, we just need permission to use the existing design.
  3. If the keel design is no longer in existence or is incomplete, then more design work, possibly by the original builder or another designer will need to be arranged is needed to generate it again or complete it.


The trick to making any keel change successful is the ability to have the new keel fit onto the boat with as little work and modification as possible. You would want the root cord and the bolt positions and possible deep sump positions line up very closely to the original keel. This makes the install process far simpler, faster, and less expensive. No one wants to hear, “it is a beautiful keel, but it doesn’t fit the boat.”

So, a retro keel can be a good option if you are looking to re-keel your boat and a full custom keel is not a reasonable option.  We are here to help you through the process.