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Old 07-04-2011
mahicks mahicks is offline
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To capsize or not!

My wife and I own a 24' Neptune with a shoal keel. It is our first sailboat and we have sailed around the San Juan Islands for the past 3 years. We mainly sail in the summer so we don't encounter too much wind. When, on occaision, I do run into 15 knots or so of wind, I find the boat heels over fairly easily to between 20 and 30 degrees, at which point I spill the sails for fear of capsizing. I had considered a reef but the gusts that create this level of heeling are usually short lived.
I realized I really have no knowledge of this boat's (or any boat's) ability to capsize.

Can this happen easily in a 15-20 knot wind or would it be harder to achieve than I think?

What does it really take to capsize a boat and how does the boat design affect this?

Here are some stats on my boat that might help.

LOA = 24'
LWL = 21'
Dispacement = 3200
Balast = 1200
Sail Area = 250sf
Draft = 2'
Beam = 2'

Any thoughts and considerations would be much appreciated.
Mark
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