Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
But you are laboring under a false assumption. You are equating directional stability with having a long keel. That's just not so. The boats I know with the best directional stability have small-ish keels and nice, big spade rudders well aft. They turn on a dime and they hold a straight course. I've done dozens of boats like this. Look at the Valiant 40. It has a relatively small keel like STEPALAH's but it is renowned for its directional stability.
Well said Bob! Right on!
If a boat sails 5 keel lengths in the time it takes to broach, and wanders only 5 degees per keel length, that is still 50 degrees off course ! For a 30 ft long keel, that's only a sailing distance of 150 feet! Dont expect the relativey short comparative length of a full length keel to make any significant difference in that distance. Hull shape and hull balance makes a huge diference, keel length ; minimal difference, if any. A full length keel will do nothing to compensate for poor hull balance.
What it will give you is around 350 pounds of useless weight in the stern of a steel boat, an area which is almost impossible to access for maintenance, and which is too far aft to use for tankage , without putting excessive weight in the stern, where you need it least . In a steel boat, it is also a lot more work to build a full length keel
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
Last edited by Brent Swain; 10-27-2013 at 12:31 PM.