I have been looking at ~20 year old boats in the 34-38 foot range to cruise the East Coast (Boston to Ft Myers), and possibly Bermuda and back. I anticipate that I will run the ICW with the admiral aboard, and run outside as she gains more experience, and gets more comfortable.
One particular model that has captured my interest, a 36 footer, is available with either a fixed 6.5 foot draft fin keel, a 4.75 foot draft winged keel, or a centerboard version with a 4.2 foot draft when up, and a 8.2 foot draft when down. The centerboard trunk is completely below the cabin's sole.
I have not had any experience with a larger, centerboard equipped boat. My only experience with a centerboard was as a kid in a Sprite and Sunfish. I would like to get the SailNet community’s view on the advantages and drawbacks of the three options.
My take is that: the Fin keel would be the best overall performer, best stability, and most reliable (nothing to maintain, break, or get stuck if we were to run aground). However, running the ICW with 6+ foot draft is askin’ for trouble.
The Winged keel would slide to leeward on a reach, yet, still offer the stability, and reliability of the Fin keel. The Winged keel should also be able to negotiate the ICW with it’s < 5 foot draft. (Until recently, this was my favorite, but the prices of the boats with winged keels is about $30K more than the Fin keel
The Centerboard should have comparable performance to the Fin. In addition, I would have the option to raise the centerboard, when running, to give perhaps another knot
. When raised, the centerboard version should easily be able to negotiate the ICW. However, there is the issue of Centerboard maintenance
. The pivot pin, the centerboard pennant, the winch for the centerboard, and the centerboard trunk all would be additional maintenance items, requiring at least annual inspection at haulout, cleaning (trunk, winch, pivot pin) and periodic replacement (pivot pin, and pennant).
Do any of you have thoughts or experience that can either support or refute, my thoughts above?
Thanks in advance!