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Old 02-27-2013
joebeach joebeach is offline
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Re: Full or fin keel?

This has been an amazing thread, especially for a newbie such as myself (reading its entirely over the last few days). Many modern refinements to sailboat design appear to have changed significantly the playing field for ocean-going craft in recent decades. I have the following takeaways:

1 - fin keels are faster and more maneuverable than full keels, and that makes them desirable for many types of sailing and sailors
2 - modified fin/modified full keels and keel/centerboards are legitimate way-stations along the trail of compromise endemic to boat design
3 - newer high-performance, high-aspect fin keels and associated hull designs may be as safe as traditional low-aspect full keel boats even in rough seas, but the full keel designs may still provide better options (heaving to, laying ahull, drogues) for the non-professional sailor (e.g., a cruising couple) to handle and withstand rough seas and heavy weather
4 - the science and mathematics of the dynamic stability of boats in rough seas is complex and probably still not fully understood
5 - sailors have different risk tolerances, reasons for sailing, and personal preferences that strongly affect their choice of craft, and to a great degree these subjective choices are irreconcilable should be respected as such

There is something that Jeff_H wrote fairly early in this thread that struck a chord with me and provokes a question. He wrote:

"When it comes to cruising on the cheap, there are few decent choices left out there. Many of the boats which I might have recommended 10-15 years ago were rare enough even then that the few examples available have become worn out and so are no longer good candidates.

And I find it disconcerting when I see people advocating old, short waterline, short keel, attached rudder, cruiser- racers as being good offshore capable cruisers. One of the strengths of the type of boat that you advocate is that they have very long water lines relative to their lengths on deck. This helps with motion comfort and carrying capacity. Such is not the case with the CCA and IOR based cruiser-racers of the 1960's and 1970's that I often see advocated as offshore cruisers."

So - (A) what boats are there now available for offshore "cruising on the cheap," if any, and (B) what "CCA and IOR based racer-cruisers" should be avoided for that purpose?
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