Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Full or fin keel?
Originally Posted by barefootnavigator
This is just my 2 cents and all its worth. I must have missed it but did anyone mention the safety factor of being able to heave to? If you have ever been in a third world boat yard you will appreciate the ease and safety of hauling out a full keel vs a fin keel. A full keel boat can be safely careened for a quickie bottom job, try that with a fin keel. If you haven't seen what happens when a fin keel hits a reef at 6 knots you should come to the Pacific North West and visit any boatyard, its pretty scary. Just a few thoughts
Not in any detail but being able to hove to really can add to the safety of the boat. Boats heave to as a system which balances rig and keel. Not all full keel boats heave to equally and some will not heave to very well. And while most fin keel boat will heave to, they tend to make more leeway and some need to have sail reduced and some fin keel boats won't heave to at all.
For that reason, I generally suggest that potential boat buyers include heaving to as a part of a seatrial if they are not familiar with a design, and that boat owners practice heaving to in various conditions to learn.
Good point about groundings. As mentioned fin keels need to be carefully engineered to survive an impact. There is a lot of leverage. The good news is that with a bolt keel, the boat can generally be rebuilt good as news rather than totalled if it is kept afloat without flooding.
By the same token, encasulated keels are especially vulnerable to damage in a hard grounding, and many, if not most full keel fiberglass boats have encapsulated keels. Once breached, an encapsulated keel is almost impossible to get back to a 'like new'.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay