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Lower centreline structural element of a ship or boat hull / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The keel is the bottom-most longitudinal structural element on a watercraft. On some sailboats, it may have a hydrodynamic and counterbalancing purpose, as well. The laying of the keel is often the initial step in the construction of a ship. In the British and American shipbuilding traditions, this event marks the beginning date of a ship's construction.[1]

Keel laid for the USS United States in drydock

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