Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Reed: For whatever reason you seem to have a bone to pick with me that is assuming that by "young folks" you mean me. I will accept that part of your comments as the most accurate portion of your diatribe since mentally I still feel like a young folk. But to set the record straight, I started sailing in 1961 and have owned and sailed boats nealy continuously since. I started designing boats in the mid-1960's.
I worked for Charlie Wittholz in the early 1980's. At that time Charlie had several projects going for Cheoy Lee. You are mistaken if you think that Charlie retired 40 years ago. Charlie continued to work until the day he died, which was in the early 1990's. There is public record of my involvement with Charlie that can be found in published drawings that I drafted during the period that I worked with Charlie. Amoungst the other projects that I worked on for Charlie, I did a number of Charlie's presentation drawings which were reproduced in Yachting Magazine, and Woodenboat, and all of these drawings have my name lettered either parrallel to the bottom of the keel (the canoe yawl in WoodenBoat Issue 56 page 130) and on other drawings in the pocheting of the bootstripe.
I am not precisely certain where you were going when you say that the hulls were laid up in one piece, but I would agree that the huills of most of the designs that Cheoy Lee built in the 1960's were molded in one piece. The decks and houses were built separately. Having replaced a rotten deck carlin on 1960's Cheoy Lee Bermuda 30 assure you that the carlin was wood, and the sub-deck was plywood and that the hull to deck joint was a glass in-turned flange with a wooden clamp/shelf to which the deck frames were attached and to which the plywood sub-deck was attached. This matched the construction that I observed on a trunk cabin version of the Frisco Flyer, and on the Robb Lion.
You are not the first person to object to the definition of a fin keel that I refered to and which was in use when I was a kid. Frankly, I see this as a semantics issue that has little bearing on the behavior of the boat in question.
But to discuss this in a bit more detail, since you mentioned Elements of Yacht Design, I do not know which version of Skene's you are referring to, but you would be hard pressed to find any definition of a fin keel within Skene's Elements of Yacht Design at least I couldn't find a definition in the four editions in my collection.
The definition of a fin keel as a keel whose bottom was 50% of its LOA was in popular use on the US east coast in the 1960's when I began sailing and that definition seemed to be was used in marketing literature for boats with short-waterlines, cut away forefeet and sharply raked rudder posts during that era.
In fairness to the dicussion, other people have asked me to document that definition in the past and the only published sources that I have seen within my collection for this definition were pre-WWII books on yacht design and sailing, an early article by Marchaj, and a 1960's era intro to yacht design in Skipper magazine.
I do think that you may be reading my definition backwards of the way it was written. By the definition that I grew up with, I would say that Liz Meyer's J-Boat is a fin keel with an attached rudder and a Westsail is the quintessential full keel, as were my 1939 Stadel Cutter and 1949 Folkboat.
While I am not sure that this matters to this discussion, I am not really comfortable with your definition of a full keel i.e. "a full keel being a structural component of the hull rather than being attached to it." The problem with that definition is that a Cal 40 would be considered as having a full keel. I am reasonably certain that neither of us would consider a Cal 40 to have a full keel.
But more to the point of this thread, semantics aside, no matter what you chose to call it, a boat whose waterline is 3/4's of its LOD and whose keel has a forefoot that is cut away another 10-15% and whose rudder post rakes so that the bottom of the keel ends up being less than 50% of its LOA, that boat will not track as well as boat which has a reasonable length waterline, and a full-length keel. And if you hang the rudder on the aft end of that keel, course corrections will be more difficult to make. And unlike a full keel, that boat will not stand on its keel without falling forward. And if the bottom of the rudder is within a few inches of the bottom of the keel then it is more prone to damage in a grounding than a full length keel or a properly designed fin keel which typically has a rudder that is significantly shallower than its keel for that reason. And that was my point above when I say that these boats have neither the merits of a full length keel or a fin keel, but generally have the liabilities of both.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 04-28-2010 at 02:54 PM.