Twin Keel sailboat? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 40 Old 07-21-2009
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Bluebird, 1939, radical new twin keel design.

OK, so 70 years later, like the secret power source of Atlantis, the modern world has lost all knowledge of why this is a better design, and it has disappeared from the face of the earth?

I don't say the mass market is always right, just that when something becomes THAT SCARCE there is usually a good reason it failed to take the world by storm. Or stealth.

In the 80's didn't they promise us the Scheel Keel would dominate the world within ten years? Did anyone count to ten yet?
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post #22 of 40 Old 07-21-2009
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Hellosailor
If everybody sailed a Catalina, or a Farr 38, or an old shoe like many on this site own and love the world would be a very boring place. I wonder how many Sailnet members own boats that are based on designs from the early part of the last century or even earlier? How many sail schooners? How many sail Bristol Channel Cutters - based on the Falmouth Working Cutters?
How many would lust after a design like the Westerman 40? We all know or should that sailing is the world's most expensive way to travel slowly. If one picks a Westsail or an old schooner or a racing tri they all enjoy what they sail. Enjoyment is not measured in speed for all. Character and style rate highly with many. Variety can be found even in some designers portfolios. The Westerman 40 is designed by Nigel Irens who also designed Idec and many other racing tris. A lot of designs are regional and just as the east coast has its share of boats harking back to a century ago England has its unique designs. Twin keel boats are very common in the UK - not so much here but they can be found. They can represent good value and are often very solid cruisers. If you want to race you won't buy one. The same can be said for a Westsail 32 or that old schooner. Should they be denigrated? I don't think so. How many twin keel boats have you sailed by the way?
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Brian
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post #23 of 40 Old 07-22-2009
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Hi Jeff
Thanks for the information regarding comparing the Westerly’s, I would expect a fin keel to be slightly faster than a bilge keel due to the extra wetted surface (extra drag) and on a cruising boat that shouldn’t be much of an issue, I am sure that the Bluebird’s would have been faster if they were a fin keel configuration, I also agree because I had a conversation with Robin Riverdale about the fact that the modern bilge keel boats were a traditional boat with slight modification and two plates just stuck on, they didn’t necessarily have the angles and toe in as the boats Robin had produced.
I haven’t sailed in the more recent Bluebird’s they were more along the lines of the moody etc.
Its interesting what you said regarding the fact you couldn’t keep up with the fin keeled boat when in the bilge keeled boat, but could when the other way round, how much time/distance were you loosing/making??

Hellosailer
It probably was a radical new design in the 1920’s and when Robin built the first one and he must of thought he could better with the design, that was why he built the successive ones. Another fact is that they still build bilge keelers (well they do in the UK) now however it’s quicker, less work and less expensive to build a fin keel as a bilge keel and at the bottom line this is what the customer wants. This is why they aren’t too popular in non tidal waters (well minimal rise and fall). I would not like to pay to have a hand built steel boat built now, it would be prohibitively expensive. If I took you out sailing and didn’t tell you the boat was a bilge keeler I doubt you would think the boat was slow…
Life would be very boring as Mitiempo says if we all stood by a standard fin keel, he brings up a few good points. Also having a boat with a bit of character, history makes for some of the fun, after all that’s why we sail……
Respectfully
Michael
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post #24 of 40 Old 07-22-2009
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Michael, "slow" is a relative concept. Bluebird might be a fast boat, for many reasons. And equally important a sweet boat, what used to be called "yar". But these days, if a boat can't qualify for a negative PHRF rating, well, she may not be slow but she's also not fast. (G)

Odds are there's a lot lost in getting to that negative PHRF rating, but there's also a market still for "better" boats, and twin keel variations simply haven't taken any market share that I know of--aside from places where the water is so poorly disciplined that it slips away right out from under the boats at least once or twice a day. (VBG)
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post #25 of 40 Old 07-22-2009
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A couple quick notes here, first of all, I certainly agree with Mitempo's point about the desirability to have a diverse collection of boats available to suit the diverse range of tastes out there. In my own case, I have enjoyed owning and sailing a very wide range of boats, and in particular have enjoyed seeing their virtues and liabilities. Although I currently own and lean towards modern performance sailing craft, I certainly enjoyed owning and sailing my 1949 wooden Folkboat or my 1939 Stadel Cutter which was based on the 1800's era pilot schooner George Steers.

I want to clarify that I do think that there are venues for which a bilge keel boat makes sense but based on my experience with bilge keels. It is only because of the venues in which I sail, and my tastes in how i sail that I can't imagine a circumstance in which a bilge keel boat would make sense.

With regards to HelloSailors comments about the Scheel Keel, although the Scheel Keel as originally patented by Henry Scheels is comparatively rare today, the basic principles of the Scheel Keel design concept (a bulb keel whose shape is opimized to minimize drag, increase endplate effect while lowering the vertical center of gravity of the boat) is widely used today in everything from basic production cruisers to grand prix race boats.

Jeff


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post #26 of 40 Old 10-14-2009
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Hi Gonesailin40,
It's probably too late to be of help to you now - you've probably got your boat!
However, for what it's worth, the Westerly Centaur is very highly thought of here in the UK. They are one of the most popular yachts ever built, you see more of them around than practically any other type.
I have never owned one myself but have sailed them and have had friends who have owned them. They are very seaworthy boats, and sail better to windward than people generally expect a bilge keeler to. There's a surprising amount of room in them and they are generally well built. I think that you need have no qualms about buying one, they're good.
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Ben (UK)
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post #27 of 40 Old 03-31-2013
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Re: Twin Keel sailboat?

I have been sailing a Westerly W 25 for several years.
She is as she came from the factory and I am loth to change anything.
Pointing? Well I am slower but I go upwind close hauled with in 2 or 3 degrees of the best. Bow on W 25 is a bit blunt so to keep speed I need to bear off a bit.
Certainly a bit slower but when the rest head in I am still happy.
Very stiff and hard to knock down. I have been out when the sane stay ashore.
The Westerly's or mine are slege hanner tough.
Hit a cement block at 7 k with starboard bilge keel. Beached her to check damage and nothing. Cement block.. knocked chunk out of that... but hope it does not happen again.
Rust? Never mind they are cast. Chip it out if you want and fill and smoth. Lay the epoxy on wax paper and lay it into place smoothing to shape.
You or I at least end up sneaking into places maybe one sould stay out of as they draw so little water and I ofen beach to explor with a stern anchor out and bow tied to tree or rock.
The W 25 has three keels. Center and two bilge. Rudder is protected by the center keel.
Resale? You get one of these and why sell it?
This one stays in the family and grand children are learning to sail on her.
Mine saled over to Nova Scotia from Ireland. Owners manual says she will ride out any storm. I hope I never need to find out but I expect she would do much better than 90% of what goes past me on race day. ( I do not bother with races but when any sail boat comes along face it you are racing? )
Not for everone but I love the old lady.
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post #28 of 40 Old 03-31-2013
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Re: Twin Keel sailboat?

The first boat that I ever sailed on was a twin keel Hurley 20 or 22, but I was only a couple of months old. My parents sold that boat when I was about a year old. They had it on the Chesapeake bay (Sassafras River)

My impression was that they had it for it's low draft (2.5ft vs 3.75ft). This makes me wonder how it compares to a shoal keel, which also suffers from increased wetted surface, higher displacement, and poor pointing when compared to a fin keel.

It's unlikely that I'll ever sail one. The rocky and steep coast of the PNW isn't that helpful for standing the boat up on it's keel, even if we do get larger tides than most of the US.

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post #29 of 40 Old 03-31-2013
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Re: Twin Keel sailboat?

That's marvelous, it only took 3-1/2 years for one owner to stumble across the old thread.
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post #30 of 40 Old 03-31-2013
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Re: Twin Keel sailboat?

Sorry, normally I notice and don't get involved. This one had enough still current regulars that I didn't check the dates. Oh well.

I'm no longer participating on SailNet.
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