Join Date: Dec 2000
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Sailing - I agree that a properly constructed bolt on keel boat should not have many problems in a grounding. But there are quite a few production boats being used for offshore sailing that the owner will never know how good the construction is until such a grounding. The same may be true of encapsulated keel boats. In my opinion, the Wauq''s have an excellent built quality in that regard. And as stated, I did in fact personally witness a boat sinking because of the bolt on keel damaging the hull on a grounding.
I respectfully would disagree that an encapsulated keel represents any greater hazard to a boat than a bolt on keel. In fact, after careful consideration, I now feel quite the reverse. I would contend that a properly constructed encapsulted keel is perhaps somewhat safer. In a properly constructed encap keel boat, the ballast is fully glassed in. This creates a stronger structure that can deny water any place to go. In addition, the canoe body of the boat is also fully glassed from the keel. Even if water did enter the keel, you could sail for thousands of miles before needing to stop for a repair. If fully glassed in, repair should be nothing more than fairing and glassing over.
If there is any problem with the bolt on keel: fracturing of iron keels due to neglect and corrosion (and yes, I have seen this with my own eyes), bolts shearing off in a grounding, the keel damaging the canoe body or simply the bolts becoming lose and allowing water into the bilge.....you need to stop your trip asap and lay up for expensive repairs.
I think we are really talking about problems with poorly designed and poorly constructed boats. This is not the case with the Wauquiez, many other encapsulated keel boats and many bolt on keel boats. Honestly not sure it is a major consideration.
One item we have not addressed that is important is the rig. The rig on the Wauq Hood 38''s is simply amazing. Incredibly beefy is the only way I could describe it. Highly redundant stays. Lots of reinforcement. Have you seen those knees down below?
What I like about the encapsulated keel of the Hood 38 is its shallow draft and water tight integrity. These boats (and her Bristol and LH sisterships) have gone untold numbers of sea miles over many years and are still on every short list for an offshore boat.
My best to all