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Old 09-19-2002
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Older Full Keel boats

You asked for any input, First of all, let me touch on a pet peave of mine. Very few full keel boats were built in the 1960''s. By the 1960''s most boats were fin keel boats with attached rudders. By the 1960''s the waterlines had gotten so short, and the forefoots so cut away and the rudder post so far forward that most of the boats of the 1960''s were fin keelers, at least by the classic definition of a fin keel in which a fin keel is a keel whose bottom of the keel is 50% or less of the length of the sail plan.

I grew up sailing on these boats and still get to sail on them today. They were the worst of all worlds. They neither track like a full keel boat, nor manuever or have the speed of a fin keel boat. They tend to carry lots of crew tiring weather helm in a stiff breeze. They represent the worst of all worlds. You can''t let them dry out on their keel like you would a true full keel boat. The rudders are no more protected than a skeg hung rudder and all of the rudders that I have lost in my life (with the exception of a dinghy rudder) have been on keel hung rudders. Why people think the old CCA racing rule derived designs make good cruisers is an absolute mystery to me after four decades of sailing them.

The only two full keel boats that I can think of, at least in the U.S, in the 1960''s full keel boats might include the Folkboat, Allied Seawind.

While there have been a small number of full keel boats built in the decades since the 1960''s, I guess I need to ask why you see these as a starting point for a cruising boat. To me they should be a last resort.

Similarly, the current thinking seems to be that properly designed deck stepped masts really make more sense for offshore work. There is no easy way to jetison a bent over keel-stepped mast if it fails, so you are stuck with this bent piece of aluminum tearing at your cabin top and trying to beat its way through your hull and sink you. Having been holed by the stump of a mast that went over the side that is no fun at all. Frankly, keel stepped masts are a throwback to a time when boats had wooden masts with external halyards. Also in the 1960''s few production boats had keel stepped masts but also few had proper deck step set-ups as well.

Then there is the whole solid glass mythology as well but I think that tripe has been beat to death around here.

Jeff
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