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Jeff and all you fin keel, spade rudder fans might find this of interest and this not my opinion, this is objective observation: The last time I sailed Paloma up to Southern Yachts (a mega-shipyard off of Galveston Bay), for a bottom job and new zincs, a full 60% of the sailboats blocked up on the hard were fin keel/spade rudder boats, with bent rudder posts or separated keels. The biggest batch of bent rudder posts were on big, expensive Beneteaus while most of the separated keels were a variety of fin keelers. One of the separated keels was an Irwin that had hit a submerged object low on the keel and it pulled the keel away from the hull enough that you could put your hand between the hull and the forward edge of the keel.
And, as well you might guess, none of the keel-hung or skeg-hung rudder boats were among the disabled.
If you like the Bayfield - buy it. The cockpit is kind of small and deep, making it a bit hard to see over the cabin trunk, but it's a sturdy little boat that will take you most places you'll likely go - not quickly, but it will make it there. And, don't worry about the story of the Bayfield 25 that barrel rolled twice in 55 knot winds - there's a whole world of boats in that size range that would not have survived the first roll.
Yes as stated on my first post "A lot of things in life are a blend of different aspects of science and art, are subject to differing opinions and subject to the uninformed jumping to the wrong conclusions about what makes something tick. But none more so than boat design.
It is a personal choice and you have to weigh what is most important to you. This (yacht design) will never be a topic that a majority will agree upon every aspect of.
Westwind 24 "Ria"
Last edited by Ericb; 07-31-2009 at 08:50 PM.