Winged Keels Pros & Cons - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-09-2002
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Winged Keels Pros & Cons

I found this page looking specifically for Spitfire shaped keels. I haven''t sailed for years but I do surf and enjoy experimental surf design. Back in the late 80''s surfer Cheyne Horan teamed up with Ben Lexan to design a surfing winged keel. It has Spitfire shaped wings. Check them out at:

This is not an endorsement or advertisement.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-09-2002
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Winged Keels Pros & Cons

Being a typical distracted sailor I wander into the occasional mud bank or sand bar, and have done so with both full keels and winged bulbs. Unlike Jeff I offer no professional experience, just these basic notes:

1) I''m happy with my shoal draft bulb keel, as I tend ground myself a lot less.

2) I''ve found when I do ground myself, I look at the compass first and make sure I don''t twist myself in. If the sails are up, this is easy to do. If I back off exactly opposite the direction I hit, I find getting off the bar/bank no problem. I''m beginning to think the shape of the bulb and wings keep me from going too far into the bank/bar and getting myself in too deep...ONLY if I act fast to get out.

3) I''ve experienced no loss of performance from the winged bulb. She points just fine.

Good luck,
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-09-2002
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Winged Keels Pros & Cons

Hi Old first posting ever! r.e. Wing Keels..Currently have a CS-40 w/wing (5.6''draft). Have had her about 6-years and must confess that as I was buying it, the wing was an issue. Because of other factors (boat in great condition, fair price, shoal draft an advantage being on Ches bay, etc.), I went ahead and "did the deed". Basicly, we''ve been very happy..although please note the Chesapeake is mostly soft and/or mud. Positive points: 1) Shoal Draft (relatively), 2) When aground (I do tend to explore a bit), the engine (Volvo 43hp/turbo), either allows me either a) back-off or b) torque swings me around so I can power far ("knock wood"), I''ve always been able to get off and 3) reasonable performance (although the 6.7'' alternative would abviously point higher). Negative: 1) Tending (painting/fairing, etc.) the bottom of the wing...convincing the yard to leave ''ya overnight before launching helps and 2) THE BIGGEST FOR ME, the tendency for the anchor rode to get hooked on the wing! Please note, that in my prior life (with a C&C35), I was known as "scope boy". With the wing, it took me a couple "adventures" to realize that a "change of habits" was in order. Changes included a) Using 40'' of chain on a big CQR and b) using the "accepted" amount of scope (5-7:1 in benign conditions) intially and increasing as conditions warrant (e.g. sometimes staying up ''till the blow hits, etc.). Please note that I''m extremely conscious of the "anchoring aspect" as we frequently have a lot of "guests" rafting-up and we''re usually the first at anchor (ummm..quick boat or..?). Bottom line: if draft is an issue, the wing is a good alternative...when sailing, let ''er "breath" (e.g. don''t pinch) and enjoy. Cheers...Sketch
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-09-2002
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Winged Keels Pros & Cons


You said " THE BIGGEST FOR ME, the tendency for the anchor rode to get hooked on the wing!"

One of the greatest devices for alleviating this is the use of a Sentinel Or Kellet. Not only does this keep the rode from potentially wrapping around the keel. But it also allows you to reduce scope somewhat.

Here is more detail

Do a search on the Sailnet site for "sentinel" and it find a few more articles for you
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