SailNet Community - View Single Post - Full Keel Vs. Fin or Modified Full Keel
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post #16 of Old 11-13-2007
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Beacon, New York
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The fin keel was an invention at a particular point in history. Like all new ideas the old timers considered it dangers and it didnít catch on when it was first introduced by Nat Herreshoff. When Bill Lapworth used it in modern times it was a resounding success especially when combined with the then relatively new material called fiberglass. But it still meets with resistance and ridicule from the old school.

Both types have good and bad aspects to the design but each can be a good seaworthy design if designed and built correctly. The key question is how the overall package is designed. As I have said before a boat is a system and it needs to be designed with that in mind. To decide which type is suitable for your style of sailing requires you to make decisions that canít be made using someone elseís preferences and prejudices. You need to sail on examples of each type and decide for yourself how you want to handle heavy weather, provisioning, boat handling and even maintenance. All of those things are very different for each type of boat. Itís always a good idea to discuss the differences and trade ideas but you need some experience of your own to be able to weigh the relative value of each point unless you are willing to blindly accept advice from people who may or may not know what they are talking about. But more then that because route planning, storm tactics and almost everything else is determined by boat type you need an overall understanding of the entire process to intelligently select a boat.
All the best,
Robert Gainer

Study the history of naval architecture and move forward knowing what didnít work before.

Donít waste time making the same old mistakes but instead make new ones and to insure your place in history be sure the mistakes are big ones.

Never design a mast that is weaker then the boat
Never design a boat that is weaker then the mast

Never listen to someone describe why your project will not work unless they can show you the broken pieces of their own version.
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