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Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Good Blue Water / Shallow Water Compromise

We have a centerboard boat that draws 6 feet when it's up and over ten when down. Six feet is an acceptable cruising depth, though thanks to Regan the ICW has parts that are no longer navigable for a boat that deep. But when fighting for every inch on a windward beat, that 10+ feet of draft is amazing.
Even at anchor we run the board down about 2/3 of the way and it's like sticking a spike into the bottom (it never actually touches the bottom) and we ride so much more comfortably than the shallower draft vessels around us.
I'm not sure if a swing keel is another name for a centerboard, so if not, I can't help you with that.
Another point with a centerboard; it is NOT an all or nothing proposition, experiment with the depth to find the best amount to put down for conditions.
Good luck.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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