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Old 06-13-2004
langousta langousta is offline
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Wing, fin, or bulb...what are the trade offs?

Jeff,

thanks for all of that information! That helped a lot.

I am looking into a purchase of a late model Catalina 34. I don''t own a boat yet but have done a ton of chartering of different boats and effectively, keel designs. I like the idea of a shoal keel vs. a deeper draft because most of our sailing will be in and around Naraganset Bay and gunkholing with the family.

I sail with a couple of friends on the bay now and one has a boat with a 4'' 5" draft the other one with 6'' 8". Both are fin keels or small bulbs. Needless to say the deeper keel was able to point a lot higher to the wind. That being said, anecdotally the captain of the deeper keel boat has told me that he wishes he had less draft due to a number of shallow low-tide places he occasionally likes to go.

So given that I am leaning towards a shallow draft boat, the wing seemed like a nice trade off. More stable than the fins with the lower (and greater) ballast. Also, the C34 I chartered this spring seemed to point fairly well for its shallow draft.

In any event, I didn''t know if this was a general characteristic of wing keels or if the C34 is one of the well-designed models you mentioned.

Anyone have an opinion on that?

Thanks again!
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