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Old 03-27-2005
fng fng is offline
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keel / draft questions

Hi all. I have some questions about depth. I live in the west and sail on Lake Mead and am currently taking lessons in California. I currently own a "beater" that I sail when i can. A 23'' centerboard sloop.

Anyway, to the point. I talked to my instructer about what to look for in a boat for coastal and short offshore trips. "Nothing less than an 8'' beam, 30 feet long, 5'' keel". Ok he''s been sailing way longer than I have. BUT, I see all kinds of boats for sale on the east coast with drafts of 3 to 4 feet and people seem to be ok with them.

What do you give up with a short keel?? Don''t go to windward as well?? Are they more tender than a boat with a deeper keel?? Do they track as well as a deeper keel?? Basically I guess I would like to know the pros and cons between the two.

Have been looking at some boats and I like a few of them that have the shorter keels. Bayfield 29 and 32. Morgan 33oi is also one i like the looks of. Use will be %95 coastal, but a lot of it. For instance Mexico. Down hill all the way there, but uphill all the way back. Also intend to go to the pacific north west to visit some friend. Seas there can be pretty robust. No real schedule, Don''t have to be anywhere for the next couple years.

So fellas. would a shorter draft be suitable for the type of sailing I intend, or would i be better off with something like a Catalina 30?? any input is much appreciated. Regards, J.D.
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