Underside of keel

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Underside of Keel

The underside of keel (USK) is a reference point, primarily used for draught measurements, measured to the depth of the keel. For most steel ships, this has little value, as the difference between hydrostatic draught (to the hulls fairbody form) and the USK is the thickness of shell plate. For a fixed-keel sailboat, or a vessel fitted with a protruding bar keel, this can be considerably lower, and thus represent the navigational draught. Vessels with prominent appendages are up for interpretation: the bottom of a fin wouldn't generally be considered as the USK, however the bottom of a fair-length skeg probably would.

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