ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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There has been a debate onboard regarding when to use the drop down keel on our 32 ft shoal draft cruiser.
Position A is always. For lack of the correct descriptive physics it seems to me that the counter forces of the sail and keel enable the sail plan.
Position B is that the keel may provide too much drag/resistant foce in light air thereby slowing the boats progress, and to only use it during heavy wind and or large wave action.
On a boat that size I would suspect that you have a centerboard, i.e a device designed to provide lateral resistence by being down when sailing upwind (right on PBzeer). It is probably not a 'keel" which would have signifacant weight intended to promote stability when deployed. Even a centerboard weighting only 1-2oo pounds will require a winch...but it isn't really a keel.
If you call it by the right name, you'll get more useful responses.
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