Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
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Re: SWING KEELS GOOD or BAD?
IMHO fewer moving parts underwater is better; when I was looking for a Catalina 25, I didn't even look at the swing keel models.
Failure mode 1: the cable breaks while the keel is down and you are stuck in deep water.
Failure mode 2: the cable breaks while the keel is up and the keel (1900#) swings down until it hits the stop (which might not). This could let the green monster into the people tank.
Failure mode 3: The boat surfs down (or falls off) a wave and the keel retracts a bit; at the bottom of the wave, the boat stops but the keel keeps going. See #2 above.
Centerboards aren't as problematic, but I still prefer a solid keel.
Dont forget Failure mode 4, my particular case actually: You leave the board down at dock thinking 1/4 from shore is deep enough. Low tide buries your stick in the mud. Boaters who cant read or dont care zoom by creating big wake. Lateral forces break your wedged centerboard in half.
I have a brand new centerboard- Not by choice.