In my search for a shallow draft boat for Florida and Bahamas water I am having a hard time finding a shallow draft 27-30 footer.
I also wonder which boat will sail better to windward a 4'' shoal draft or a keel centerboard combo... I am leaning toward the combination as my areas are pretty shallow.
I wonder though will the boat sail at all without the board down...
Which way is better to acheive my needs and still have a boat that will bo well in heavier conditions as well?
will the keel centerboard boat bewandering all over and be more tender or visa versa?
I just got a boat with a true keel/CB design. A Wauquiez Hood 38 (Ted Hood design). I am very happy with the way she sails with the board up. I did quite a bit of research on the sailing characteristics of this kind of boat and the Hood 38 design specifically and found very favorable comments. In my limited experience sailing her (just got her), she points very very well w/o the board down, surprisingly well. She may be a bit tender at first, Ted Hood''s boats like to be sailed heeled, but even in a fresh breeze, I did not find the boat heeling with any more vigor or acceleration than any other boat.
You will need to differentiate between CB designs and true keel/cb designs, there is quite a difference. At first I thought the design was somewhat dated but you will find it used by quite a few larger expensive yachts like: Hinckley, Alden''s, Little Harbor and others being built today.
I would venture to say that a Ted Hood K/CB design would be very satisfying.
Now, all that said, to be fair, a fin keel boat SHOULD point higher and sail better upwind, if that is your goal. It really depends on the INDIVIDUAL boat. And, there can be a penalty to pay for a good K/cb design: my boat is significantly more ballasted (50%) than other 38 footers. This means she needs to carry more canvas (but I have found her very fast and a SA of 700 sq ft is fine with me). Personally, that was an attribute I found positive. To others it may not be.
Hope this helps.
Try a multihull. Try to find one with dagger boards if sailing performance is important to you. Otherwise they have small keels which don''t provide the lift and lateral resistance needed to go to windward.
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