Catalina "Wing Keel"? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2010
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Catalina "Wing Keel"?

Was looking on the net at some local listings, and saw a 1989 Catalina 30 “wing keel”. Is the wing keel a good option? What are the differences in sailing qualities between the wing keel and a “normal” (fin?)keel version of the Cat 30? I am interested in going to take a look at this boat, but wanted all your opinions on the Catalina wing keels first

Thanks all!!
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Old 09-09-2010
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Depends on what you're doing with the boat. If the goal is to race the boat, then no...the fin keel will perform better. If you want to cruise and gunkhole in shallower areas, then the wing keel makes sense.
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  #3  
Old 09-09-2010
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The wings are good if you are in (or will be) shallow water. In that case, I would not have a fin. If you are in deep water, then I would definitely go with a fin. You will probably find the fin points better (can run closer to the wind). But honestly, until you have sailed a lot, I doubt you will notice a huge difference. And the C30 is not a rocket anyways, so I would not make much of a buying decision off of the keel type on that boat.

My opinions.

Brian
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Old 09-09-2010
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I have a 95 Catalina 30 with a wing keel. I mostly sail on Barnegat Bay where 10 feet feels like deep water. Really love the boat. Before buying I talked to a bunch of C30 owners who'd sailed both and the response was "not much difference unless you're racing"

Even then the skill of the captain and the condition of the sails will have more effect on how fast the boat sails.

You can find a ton of information on these boats online. Send me a PM if you want more info and places to research the C30.

Jim
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Old 09-09-2010
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The wing keel versions of most boats sail much worse
than their fin keel sisterships. A standard Cat 30 barely
draws more than 5', which is not much deeper than the
shoal draft versions of many designs. If you are often
sailing in water shallower than 6', and you appreciate
sailing performance, I would opt for either a multihull or
a smaller keelboat.
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Old 09-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
The wings are good if you are in (or will be) shallow water. In that case, I would not have a fin.
CD, I respect your opinions but having hired wing keel Catalinas on the Gippsland Lakes, I would seriously dispute that statement on this basis:

If you run aground - in shallow water - in a wing-keeled yacht, especially if it's a muddy bottom and you can't motor out immediately, you are basically stranded until someone comes along to tow you out. If it happens to be a tidal area, there's a good chance you'll damage the keel in the process. If you have a fin keel, you can pull yourself off quite safely using the usual methods.

I would never recommend anyone get a wing-keeled yacht for gunkholing in shallow water.
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Old 09-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
CD, I respect your opinions but having hired wing keel Catalinas on the Gippsland Lakes, I would seriously dispute that statement on this basis:

If you run aground - in shallow water - in a wing-keeled yacht, especially if it's a muddy bottom and you can't motor out immediately, you are basically stranded until someone comes along to tow you out. If it happens to be a tidal area, there's a good chance you'll damage the keel in the process. If you have a fin keel, you can pull yourself off quite safely using the usual methods.

I would never recommend anyone get a wing-keeled yacht for gunkholing in shallow water.
I have run aground more times than most people have sailed. The water down here is very thin. I can only go in/out at half+ tide.

What you say is true. The wing is harder to get off because you can use more contemporary methods for getting off with a fin. Believe me, I know. However, unless you run aground really hard, you can usually back off with the wing. On a fin, I have had it stuck in the mud and backing off did not work like on teh wing. However, hiking out, pulling the mast over via tender, using your anchor, or any other number of tricks does work that are not as beneficical on a wing because seh sets flat on the bottom.

The bottom line is that you will be able to get more places in a wing that you simply cannot in a fin. FOr example, the C400 (my boat) draws 5'4 (theoretically). With that, I can get in/out at half tide as mentioned earlier. With a fin, you draw 7. You ain't getting in or out anywhere down here.

There is absoluetely nothing wrong with gunkholing with a wing. In fact, I find few other benefits of it. I have done it for years and years. You simply learn to slow down and be prepared to back off or go in when it is flooding. Because if you had a fin down here, you wouldn't be able to get to the slip, much less leave it. You don't have a choice.

As far as purchasing a different boat (cat) as mentioned by Cool - no thanks. I do not mean to stir up negatives on cats, but I am not a big fan of many of them. I enjoy monohulls, gunkholing, and 'shallow water', and the wing allows me to do that.

Believe me, shallow water sailing and running aground is something I know a LOT about.

Brian
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By the way, I have never understood this aversion to wing keels. Are fins better? Yep... but only depending on the area and intended use. But I truly believe that most people simply would not appreciate the difference unless they are very performance oriented. I also believe that most people that are fin oriented do not have large boats in shallow water or plan to cruise there.

My opinions. There is certainly no aversion to wings down here.

Brian
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Old 09-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
...
If you run aground - in shallow water - in a wing-keeled yacht, especially if it's a muddy bottom and you can't motor out immediately, you are basically stranded until someone comes along to tow you out. If it happens to be a tidal area, there's a good chance you'll damage the keel in the process. If you have a fin keel, you can pull yourself off quite safely using the usual methods.....
Exactly correct. The winged keel on pleasure yachts was a fad that developed after Asstrailia II's win in the 1983 America's cup. In that yacht the wings served to lower the yacht's center of gravity and were engineered to provide righting down-force on the windward side of the keel--theoretically increasing the yacht's ability to carry sail while staying within the rating limitations. The rationale on pleasure yachts was that they reduced draft, which is true. However, the concommitant, disadvantages--particularly in groundings and leeway--had not yet been fully recognized as they have today. Yachts so equpped have many disadvantages as the cost of somewhat shoal draft which, in my view, is a poor trade-off, no?

FWIW...
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Last edited by svHyLyte; 09-10-2010 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Typo...
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fin v wing

I sail a 1994 c30 mkIII tall rig with a fin keel. I love it, as i started sailing as a racer. there is quit a difference in performance between the two. I agree that it doesn't matter to most. If you are not going to race and don't mind going a little sideways when on the wind, the wing is fine.
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