The keel was the central beam used to lay the hull of a ship, or similar structural component of a starship.

According to Jonathan Archer, Starfleet laid the keel for Enterprise NX-01 in 2150. (ENT: "First Flight")

Upon investigating the supposed haunted, crash landed Kantare supply ship in 2151, Travis Mayweather couldn't understand why scavengers hadn't already stripped the ship to its keel. (ENT: "Oasis")

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