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Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Why I like a full keel

Jeff H,

In your post above, you've just repeated what you said before, that you once caught a line in a full keeler. No one has said that this is impossible and no one has said that you were lying that it happened, only that it is improbable and far more improbable with a full keel than in a typical fin keeler. As to why, I've already stated a few reasons why and I will not repeat myself ad nauseum as is so common in internet message boards.

As far as the damage question goes, I would concede that going aground, at speed, into a gently sloping reef would likely damage a skeg, or keel hung rudder before a spade. However in this situation, you also would have to contend with potential hull and keel damage of that same grounding on a fin keel, so I would say it's a wash.

What I wouldn't say was a wash is the likelihood of a catastrophic rudder failure of a spade. It's just simple engineering, two attachment points are better than one, especially when the one is at one end of a moment arm that is subject to lateral dynamic forces. That doesn't mean it's likely that one will fall off, I would say that it's very, very unlikely if it's a well designed system. But it doesn't matter how well designed a given spade rudder attachment system is, if you take that same system and put a second, reinforced attachment point on the bottom, it will be stronger, and infinitely less likely to fall off completely.

Still, I'm not saying I wouldn't go to sea with a spade rudder. I have, a few times, and I was never "paranoid" about it. But I wouldn't want you going to sea with the false sense of security that you have the most secure system of rudder attachment.
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