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sab30 09-05-2007 11:20 AM

Down to 2..shoal draft?
I have narrowed my boat search to 2 boats..problem is the one at the better price has shoal draft 5'0 but it is newer, priced better with the options I want. The other boat is older higher price but has a full keel. Question is this..sailing in the Pacific Northwest will I notice a huge difference on a 35' boat with a 5'0 shoal draft compared to 6'?? I have been cautioned that with the tides, weather etc to stick with a full keel.

..I plan on coastal sailing for the next year or two to bring my skills up to a level Im comfortable with. Then it will be an "bluewater boat"

sailingdog 09-05-2007 12:02 PM

Let me get this straight... the newer boat with the options you want and the shallower draft is the less expensive of the two, and you'd give all that up to pay more money for an older boat, that has fewer requested options just because it is a full-keel design... DUH..

BTW, it would help if you said what the two boats are. Also, the fin keel is likely to be far more manueverable, especially important in tight marina fairways. If you're on a mooring, that won't matter as much.

JohnRPollard 09-05-2007 12:28 PM

I think when he says "full-keel", Sab30 is referring to the standard draft of that particular model boat he is looking at, as opposed to the shoal draft. He is comparing a newer shoal draft to a somewhat older standard draft of the same model.

Not knowing anything about the boat, my instinct would be to take the newer less costly shoal draft. But more info would be helpful. For instance if the shoal is a wing, I'd hesitate more. Also, if the shoal variant has less tankage, or has a reputation as a poor upwind sailor, all these factors would go into the equation.

sab30 09-05-2007 12:39 PM

Sorry SD..I should clarify.

The newer boat is not a better price but a better value due to seller motivation, The nwer boat also has in mast furling etc which I am looking for but lists as a shoal draft. The older boat is has an asking price that doesnt provide as much value or the options I want but it is a freshwater boat and lists as a full keel.

They are both 35' Jeanneau SO 2006 in NY and 2003 in Washington. I have caluculated in all the additional costs for shipping.

sailingdog 09-05-2007 12:39 PM

If that's the case... then it may make a difference, as with some boat models, the shoal draft versions were pigs compared to the deep draft versions. But that's kind of why I'd like to know what the two boats are... are they two boats of the same make and model with the keel being the primary difference or are they two totally different boats? Is the full keel here a full-keel, or a deep draft keel... It would be far less confusing if people used the correct terms for things... ;)

So both boats are Jeanneau Sun Oddysey 35's... with one having a shoal draft keel and the other a standard keel.

The 2003 SO35 is older with a standard keel and no in-mast furling.

The 2006 SO35 has the shorter shoal keel, which is not a wing keel IIRC, but has the in-mast furling.

Personally, I don't like in-mast furling, so I'd go with the 2003 boat... since draft is generally not an issue in the PNW... unlike the Chesapeake, ICW, and parts of the Caribbean.

How are the boats fitted out, other than the in-mast furling—are they pretty comparable?? Chartplotter, radar, dinghy, engine size & condition, etc...

JohnRPollard 09-05-2007 12:57 PM


What SD is saying is that referring to a standard draft keel design on your boat as a "full keel" leads to misunderstandings because strictly speaking that term refers to a hull design where the keel begins just below the waterline at the bow and extends all the way aft to the rudder. Think "traditional" hull shape. Your Sun Odyssey, no matter whether configured with a shoal or deep draft keel, is not properly called a "full-keeled" boat. But what's some inexact terminolgy between friends? I knew what you meant.

My bigger concern is your statement that this Jeaneau will eventually be your "bluewater boat". Yikes. I'm sorry, but In my opinion there is no modification that you could ever make that would turn this boat into a bluewater boat. They were never intended for that purpose. I'm not saying you or someone else couldn't make or hasn't made a successful passage in one, but to do so is taking a far greater risk than you may realize.

It would no doubt make a great coastal cruiser, and you could gain great experience in this boat. But keep an open mind about the possibility of upgrading to a sturdier boat before crossing any oceans.

Edit: P.S. Perhaps you meant that you would then get a blue water boat after gaining experience in this one. If so, apologies, and that sounds like a good plan.

Jeff_H 09-05-2007 01:10 PM

I have to agree with the prevailing opinions. If you are sailing in the Northwest then the idea of buying a shoal draft version, espeically with in-mast furling makes no sense at all, espeicially if you are a new sailor without the skills to get some decent shape out of an in-mast furled mainsail. Negotiate agressively and buy the older boat, learn to sail really well (which frankly this is a little bit too big for that purpose) and once you have enough experience buy something that is a bit more robust and designed for the rigours of offshore work.


sab30 09-05-2007 01:20 PM

Again all good information..yes John I plan on moving up to a Bluewater boat but I would like to take a couple years first on the coastal cruising. No apology required. I will also be living on it part time..learning everything I can about sailing and living aboard. I grew up dingy sailing for many years and have done several charters on mostly 36' including the Keys and the Gulf Islands BC. I would like to learn on this size as I would look at a bluewater boat being at least 40' (mostly for space to accomodate the wife -- part of the negotiation) :D

sailingdog 09-05-2007 01:40 PM


I think the SO35 would make a decent coastal cruiser and liveaboard for the next few years. Get the older boat, and learn proper sail trim... and how to reef a mainsail using slab reefing... Slab reefing generally gives you far better sail shape than any in-mast reefing system ever will. The baggier shape of the in-mast reefed sail makes it more dangerous IMHO, since it is going to be powered up when you're trying to de-power the boat.

Look forward to hearing how it works out for you. :D


Thanks for clarifying for me... :) I can be a little blunter than I probably should be... ;)

camaraderie 09-05-2007 03:16 PM

Get the newer boat with the in-mast furler. You ain't racing her or going bluewater and YOU like furling in mast which is a convenience in shore and poses little risk. The newer boat will save you $$ and hold resale better too.

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