Bluewater boats are available with both fin keels and full keels. The Contessa 26 and 32, the Alberg 30
and Pearson Triton are all very capable bluewater boats, that are smaller and more affordable, and have full keels. Many of the newer bluewater boats, like the Hallberg Rassy 342
, have fin keels and spade rudders.
The "spade" generally refers to a rudder type, a semi-balanced or balanced, freestanding rudder with no skeg or keel attachment is generally called a spade rudder. While some argue that a spade rudder has no place on a bluewater boat, because they are more vulnerable to damage, not being protected by a skeg or the keel, this is nonsense IMHO, since spade rudders have proven themselves to be reliable, and often provide much better steering response than skeg or keel-mounted, unbalanced rudders. Full keel designs tend to be a bit less manueverable, but will tend to track better.
The Atom is a Pearson Triton, 28' LOA or so. The Alberg 30, is a bit larger, but by the same designer.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.