Originally Posted by sailingfool
A factor in how the impact affects the crew is the shape of the keel. Most of my experience striking rocks was racing a C&C 30, which is a model with a swept-back lead keel. This keel shape unfortunately went out of favor in the late '70s, being replaced by keels with more vertical leading edges.
When the C&C 30 hit something, the bow would dive and the stern raise as the boat tripped over the obstacle, then we were past it and still sailing, having lost little speed. Damage would be limited to a divot in the leading edge of the keel. No injuries.
If you sail (or race - making cutting corners more likely) where rocks are common, the design and construction of the older boats such as the first and second generation C&Cs, can be a good way to go.
True indeed as evidenced by my post previously above. My old A-35, with a sloped leading edge was forced up and over whatever I hit. This has always been a positive aspect of this kind of hull shape, especially when slowly picking ones way through bars or coral where occasional grounding is a given. Winged and vertical keels tend to hang up whereas sloped do not. It's something to consider when choosing a cruising boat as opposed to a faster and more modern racing hull.