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  #21  
Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

We have a C28 with a wing keel, which in my opinion is quite desirable here in Florida, where shallow water is everywhere. I agree with all of the above posts...the main consideration for a wing would be the depth where you sail. If you have plenty of depth and it is not a consideration, general consensus is that the fin will point higher, perhaps be a little stiffer, and be slightly lighter. The above observation is correct that wings are usually heavier to compensate for the shallower draft.

I can't comment on whether the wing is more difficult to get unstuck if grounded...but how often does one run aground?
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Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

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Originally Posted by mananamon View Post
I don't want to raise a red flag if it's not deserved but does the rudder on the wing keel Catalinas extend deeper than the keel? I recall a friend of mine grounding his C28 and bending the rudder shaft. That would be enough for me to go with the fin keel.

Again, I can't claim to be an expert, maybe some the Catalina owners can add some information here.
It's close, at least on the 42, but the rudder is shorter, but not by much.
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Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

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Originally Posted by nolesailor View Post
We have a C28 with a wing keel, which in my opinion is quite desirable here in Florida, where shallow water is everywhere. I agree with all of the above posts...the main consideration for a wing would be the depth where you sail. If you have plenty of depth and it is not a consideration, general consensus is that the fin will point higher, perhaps be a little stiffer, and be slightly lighter. The above observation is correct that wings are usually heavier to compensate for the shallower draft.

I can't comment on whether the wing is more difficult to get unstuck if grounded...but how often does one run aground?
Yeah, when shoal water is not an issue, the fin keel wins every time. But, when sailing in shoal water, give me the shoal draft keel, no matter how you configure it.
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Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

"I don't want to raise a red flag if it's not deserved but does the rudder on the wing keel Catalinas extend deeper than the keel? I recall a friend of mine grounding his C28 and bending the rudder shaft. That would be enough for me to go with the fin keel."

Sorry, don't know how to block quote/copy from a previous post...


Concerning the above statement from an earlier post...while I haven't measured the rudder as compared to the keel, when viewing her on the hard the rudder seems as deep, but not deeper, than the keel. I would even say that the rudder is slightly shallower than the keel. This was all eyeball though. If a main advantage of a wing is a shallower draft, I would like to think that the designers at Catalina would have at least made the keel as deep, if not deeper, than the rudder. There are quite a bit of wing-keeled Catalinas here in FL, and I haven't heard of rudder shafts bending/breaking due to rudders being deeper than the keels - not the I would though...
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Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

Nole... every post has a 'quote' button at the bottom of it.. click on that and the text appears in a quote box... add your text outside the '[quote]' brackets.
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Old 11-27-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

Good morning - - whereabouts in Montana are you sailing?? We're over in Flathead Lake.

We have a 27' Catalina, tall rig, fin keel - - LOVE it. We're fairly new, and really like the stability that the deep/heavy keel provides. It points well. We have no problems with the extra depth of the keel (here). However, this past summer, we trailered it to Florida and went to the Bahamas for two months. The extra foot (of draft) was concerning many times there. But here, pshaw, plenty of water depth.

Say "hi" if you get over this direction (Flathead Lake),
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

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Nole... every post has a 'quote' button at the bottom of it.. click on that and the text appears in a quote box... add your text outside the brackets.
Hey...look at that! Thanks Faster!
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Old 12-01-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

Go for the fin, unless you really need the shoal. The difference in performance is substantial.
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Old 12-02-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

I believe that some of the earlier shoal draft and wing keel Catalinas did have rudders that were deeper than the keels. I don't remember what years were involved.
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Old 12-02-2013
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Re: Catalina wing keel or fin keel?

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Originally Posted by CBinRI View Post
Go for the fin, unless you really need the shoal. The difference in performance is substantial.
Well we certainly have different definitions of substantial.

This topic comes up a LOT on Sailnet, and I'm always amazed at the bad information and how many folks get their panties in a bunch over this.

Wing keels are a bit heavier to compensate for the reduced lever arm of the shorter keel. The idea is you apply a bit more force to the lever arm (keel) via additional weight to get the same effect attained through leverage with a longer lever (deeper keel).

How much weight? In the case of my Catalina 30 MKIII the difference is only 100lbs in a boat weighing 10,300 lbs. In other words the weight difference is not substantial. In fact I know I have over a hundred pounds of tools, spare parts, clothes and food on board. Most boats do and we don't give it a second thought.

What about performance?

The PHRF rating difference between a Catalina 30 fin and a Catalina 30 wing is 9 seconds per mile because there is a slight difference in pointing ability.

Let's quantify that slight difference. 1 MPH is 3600 seconds per hour. 9 seconds is 0.0025 MPH. Would you call that substantial?

The condition of your sails make more of a difference. More importantly the skill of the skipper will have a much greater impact than the type of keel.

If you're racing seriously you want every advantage so getting a fin is a no brainer. But if you're cruising in thin waters I doubt anyone here could sail two otherwise identical C30's and be able to tell you what kind of keel they had based on how they sailed.

As for hard groundings I'm on my second wing keeled boat and have gone hard around once with each. The first was a C22 that went aground on the Delaware River on what I would describe as a mix of mud, sand and industrial waste. We broke out hoagies and cokes and waited about an hour for the tide to lift us off. The second was on a sandbar in the Barnegat with our C30. It took a few minutes to work her off, but it wasn't a huge amount of drama. I can't comment on the stickiness of Chesapeake mud as I have no experience with it.

Bottom line - pick the keel that makes sense for the water depth in your area and go sailing. It's just not a big deal.
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