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post #548 of Old 12-22-2012
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German Yacht Magazine Article on Full vs. Fin Keel

The 25/26 issue of the German bi-weekly Yacht magazine has a very interesting article comparing a full keel (Vindö 40, 31ft, 1971), a moderate fin keel with skeg (Hallberg Rassy 29, 1981) and a modern fin keel boat (Sun Odyssey 30i, 2008).

They sailed the three boats together in 5 Bft wind and 3 to 5 feet waves to find out which is the most comfortable to sail under these conditions.

They had 3 crews rotating between the boats and all crews reported that the HR and the Vindö are not only more comfortable but the HR even sailed higher and faster than the Sun Odyssey.

(I'm a little disappointed, I expected a German magazine to use 3D accelerometers and data loggers and software to evaluate the boat movements and not just rely on crew opinion )

Let me cite the closing sentences of the article:

"The most common argument used to justify the uncomfortable motion of modern cruising boats is that the typical customer (young families, older couples and charter crews) won't leave the marina in winds over 4 Beaufort anyway. For that, these boats are significantly faster in light winds than they predecessors.

The latter may be true. The first, however, should probably be reversed: maybe the reason people don't sail them in rough water is that these boats are too uncomfortable for that?"

"Häufigstes Argument zur Rechtfertigung des unbequemen Seegangsverhaltens moderner Fahrtenyachten ist, dass sie von der angepeilten Klientel - jungen Familien, älteren Paaren und Chartercrews - bei Bedingungen jenseits der 4 Beaufort ohnehin nicht mehr bewegt würden. Da blieben die meisten lieber im Hafen. Dafür seien sie im unteren Windbereich deutlich schneller als ihre Vorgäger.

Letztgennantes Argument mag stimmen. Auf das andere kann jedoch auch der Umkehrschluss angewandt werden: Wird vielleicht nicht mehr bei Seegang hinausgefahren, weil die Yachten dafür zu unkomfortabel sind?"
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