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  #131  
Old 03-23-2012
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Re: Full or fin keel?

Those are both good and thoughtful answers. I agree. Thankyou
It seems unfortunate though, in my opinion, that the smaller boats are getting short changed by the modern approach to sailboat design. Yes, they are producing faster and lighter boats in the 30 foot range, but not faster and safer long range cruisers in that size. The modern hull forms and their attached appendages cannot duplicate the speed and safety when ladened. Something that most marketers are not telling the buyers. There is a simple explanation why the lowly Westsail 32 is slow compared to some boats around the buoys. There is also a (slightly less) simple explanation why the same W-32 is faster than said boats when they are used for long distance voyaging. There are sailors out there who are truly looking for that smaller “go anywhere”, live aboard, cruiser. That is, under 35 feet. A Westsail 32, admittedly a 40 foot boat, is attractive partly because it is “smaller”.
I personally, would like to see the designers, producers, and marketers spend a little more time applying the modern technology to a better, safer, “go anywhere”, cruiser that doesn’t fall flat on its face in performance, comfort, and safety when fully, or over fully, ladened, or, when it hits the bottom in the lagoon at Aitutaki. It would also be appreciated if these same people told the truth about how cruising performance will be different than racing performance, even with the modern, fast, light weight boats.
Full vs. fin keel? I prefer what I have. The best that a designer can do is to design the best boat for what it is really going to be doing, at its extremes. And remember that there are people inside.
Thanks again

After thought: Would it have been more appropriate to have put this post in the "Shameless Plug" thread?
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Last edited by Oregonian; 03-23-2012 at 12:25 PM.
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  #132  
Old 03-23-2012
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Re: Full or fin keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post
Those are both good and thoughtful answers. I agree. Thankyou
It seems unfortunate though, in my opinion, that the smaller boats are getting short changed by the modern approach to sailboat design. Yes, they are producing faster and lighter boats in the 30 foot range, but not faster and safer long range cruisers in that size. The modern hull forms and their attached appendages cannot duplicate the speed and safety when ladened. Something that most marketers are not telling the buyers. There is a simple explanation why the lowly Westsail 32 is slow compared to some boats around the buoys. There is also a (slightly less) simple explanation why the same W-32 is faster than said boats when they are used for long distance voyaging. There are sailors out there who are truly looking for that smaller “go anywhere”, live aboard, cruiser. That is, under 35 feet. A Westsail 32, admittedly a 40 foot boat, is attractive partly because it is “smaller”.
I personally, would like to see the designers, producers, and marketers spend a little more time applying the modern technology to a better, safer, “go anywhere”, cruiser that doesn’t fall flat on its face in performance, comfort, and safety when fully, or over fully, ladened, or, when it hits the bottom in the lagoon at Aitutaki. It would also be appreciated if these same people told the truth about how cruising performance will be different than racing performance, even with the modern, fast, light weight boats.
Full vs. fin keel? I prefer what I have. The best that a designer can do is to design the best boat for what it is really going to be doing, at its extremes. And remember that there are people inside.
Thanks again

After thought: Would it have been more appropriate to have put this post in the "Shameless Plug" thread?
I think Jeff had already replied to that saying that makes sense to compare boats by its weight even if I think that weight by weight a modern boat is more seaworthy. Perhaps it still misses something to make things more clear and that is that makes also sense to compare boats by weight in what regards price.

So why should today designers be interested in making a very small seaworthy boat, like a Westsail 32, if for the same price they can make a 36/38 light modern boat that will have the same seaworthimess, a better wave passage (much longer LWL), will be much faster and will offer the same load capacity and much more interior space?

who between the two boats would chose the small heavy one? almost anybody

Regards

Paulo
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  #133  
Old 03-23-2012
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Re: Full or fin keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post
It seems unfortunate though, in my opinion, that the smaller boats are getting short changed by the modern approach to sailboat design. Yes, they are producing faster and lighter boats in the 30 foot range, but not faster and safer long range cruisers in that size. The modern hull forms and their attached appendages cannot duplicate the speed and safety when ladened. Something that most marketers are not telling the buyers. There is a simple explanation why the lowly Westsail 32 is slow compared to some boats around the buoys. There is also a (slightly less) simple explanation why the same W-32 is faster than said boats when they are used for long distance voyaging. There are sailors out there who are truly looking for that smaller “go anywhere”, live aboard, cruiser. That is, under 35 feet. A Westsail 32, admittedly a 40 foot boat, is attractive partly because it is “smaller”.
I personally, would like to see the designers, producers, and marketers spend a little more time applying the modern technology to a better, safer, “go anywhere”, cruiser that doesn’t fall flat on its face in performance, comfort, and safety when fully, or over fully, ladened, or, when it hits the bottom in the lagoon at Aitutaki. It would also be appreciated if these same people told the truth about how cruising performance will be different than racing performance, even with the modern, fast, light weight boats.
Full vs. fin keel? I prefer what I have. The best that a designer can do is to design the best boat for what it is really going to be doing, at its extremes. And remember that there are people inside.
To a very great extent I agree with what you are saying about the lack of decent small offshore cruisers being designed and constructed. At some level, it is easy to understand that the average sailor, at least in the US, neither needs or wants a purpose designed and built distance cruiser, and so it sort of makes sense that most of the boats being designed and built are at best optimized as coastal cruisers or racers, and at worst, value-oriented, nearly disposable family weekenders.

But as you say, I think that it is a shame that we don't see designers developing and builders constructing purpose-built, offshore capable, distance cruisers, either of traditional designs or of a more modern design concept. There was a time in the 1970's and early 1980's when there was a genuine effort to develop wholesome, ocean capable designs, and it produced designs (like the Valiant 40, Esprit 37, Tayana 37, Pacific Seacrafts, and Westsails) which are still basically good boats for that purpose today. But in my opinion, it seems like it has been decades since there has been a serious effort to develop and build a new dedicated, purpose built, offshore capable design. ( I know that line has the Island Paket crowd are looking for a rope to hang me)

There has always been a price to be paid for a boat being purpose built for offshore use. As you know, and I agree to withstand the abuse the boat needs some combination of simple robust construction, or carefully engineered structure with large saftey factors designed in. It needs robust and reliable hardware. Lockers and tanks need to be secure during a roll over. There needs to be sturdy and convenient hand and foot holds. The rig needs to be able to quickly adapt from light air to heavy air. There needs to lagre enough tanks to support the boat for long passages and infrequent ports. The keel needs to be able to withstand a hard grounding or an impact with a semi floating object, and the rudder needs to be protected.

When you get done with all of that, you end up with a boat that is very expensive for its displacement, and even more so for its length. And since there is a limited market for boats like these, and there is a large market of older designs in servicable condition, I can understand why almost no new offshore designs have hit the market.

In an earlier discussion someone asked me to give an example of a "modern offshore cruiser' that I liked. I mentioned "Firefly' which was the prototype for the Morris 45 but noted that I think this is too large a boat for my taste and I really do not like the large portlights or oversized cockpit for offshore use. Someone objected that even for a 45 footer this is a wildly expensive boat and I agreed, but I also think that is the point, to achieve a new boat which is both rugged, and capacious, and still capable of being a good offshore boat takes careful thought and a lot of money these days.

In the case of more traditional designs, the 'lots of careful thought' came from centuries of trial and error. When you talk about more modern designs, it really requires a lot of applied skill and few clients are willing to pay the cost of time required to apply that skill, let alone pay for the finished product.

When it comes to cruising on the cheap, there are few decent choices left out there. Many of the boats which I might have recommended 10-15 years ago were rare enough even then that the few examples available have become worn out and so are no longer good candidates.

And I find it disconcerting when I see people advocating old, short waterline, short keel, attached rudder, cruiser- racers as being good offshore capable cruisers. One of the strengths of the type of boat that you advocate is that they have very long water lines relative to their lengths on deck. This helps with motion comfort and carrying capacity. Such is not the case with the CCA and IOR based cruiser-racers of the 1960's and 1970's taht I often see advocated as offshore cruisers.

Enough for this lovely spring afternoon. I am going sailing.
Cheers,
Jeff
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  #134  
Old 03-23-2012
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Re: Full or fin keel?

PAULO, Thanks for responding. Your arguments are good but, in my opinion, they leave something very important out. COMFORT Certainly this is relative but it is easily the breaking point for many cruisers. Myself included. The 38 foot boat that the designers want people to buy instead of a heavy 32 footer will not have the same motion comfort. This is only one example of a hundred: On a delivery return from Hawaii on a very modern 46 foot high performance, racer/cruiser, We were pounding so horribly that we had to slow the boat way down and move much farther off course. We were 4 human beings and wanted to live. In the exact same conditions a boat like a Westsail 42/43, which is much heavier would have continued right on course, with a VMG exceeding that of the fast 46 footer. Yes, I agree, the racing crew would probably have just hung on for another 800 miles until things improved.
I do not accept that the designers should be telling me what I want. Concerning the smaller sizes of long distance voyaging boats, the modern designs are falling way short of of their promise. The theory is good but it doesn’t work out. I have yet to see it. If a boat has just the right Shape for a given displacement, then that same boat has the wrong shape when its displacement was altered because of the necessary stores and equipment for long range voyaging. This is, of course, Much more true of the smaller boats.
At this point in this post I offer one more disagreement with your comments. SPEED I must ask you, how much faster is that modern 38 footer going to be going than the heavy 32 footer that the designers want us to buy? (don’t forget to store the dinghy on that 38 footer) In my opinion, and I have sailed both, the real world answer is, very little, IF at all.
Just one more subject: STRENGTH Yes, technology can handle that problem. But the manufacturers are not. Where I live it is not uncommon to get a little twisted when maneuvering against the wind and current. When the heavy boat hits the dock. The dock may break. When the light weight modern boat hits the dock there is frequently a hole left in the hull. S*** happens.
Full vs. fin keel? On the smaller boats the better designers will use what is the best.

JEFFH, I have not read all 5418 of your posts but I have read Many. I think I like that last one the best. Thanks
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  #135  
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Re: Full or fin keel?

My long fin keel or twin keel steel boats are anything but expensive for their displacement.
Many of those older , short keel with rudder attached boats have been drastically improved, by taking the rudder off the keel and replacing it with a skeg hung rudder six feet further aft. I did that on my first boat,a 36 ft pipe dream sloop, designed by Kinny , with a drastic improvement in control. A 1958 design with the same improvements has won the Shark Spit regatta for the last three years in a row. The owner said "If anyone does the same thing on an Alberg 37, I'll never catch him.
Well raked , short keel hung rudders tend to act as drogues.
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  #136  
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Re: Full or fin keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post
.. The 38 foot boat that the designers want people to buy instead of a heavy 32 footer will not have the same motion comfort.
Motion comfort has to do also with LWL. A bigger boat has a more comfortable wave passage. Regarding the type of motion of an heavy boat versus a light one, well it is debatable, some like the big slow pitching of the old boats, some prefer the faster but less ample movements of a modern boat.

It is for each one to chose its preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post
This is only one example of a hundred: On a delivery return from Hawaii on a very modern 46 foot high performance, racer/cruiser, We were pounding so horribly that we had to slow the boat way down and move much farther off course.
Of course, in what concerns going upwind a fast boat is always more uncomfortable than a slow boat. If you cannot take the pounding that power and speed can induce, or just don't want to, you have just to go slower and it seems it was what you have done. A fast boat can go slower, a slower boat cannot go faster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post

Concerning the smaller sizes of long distance voyaging boats, the modern designs are falling way short of of their promise. ...
At this point in this post I offer one more disagreement with your comments. SPEED I must ask you, how much faster is that modern 38 footer going to be going than the heavy 32 footer that the designers want us to buy? (don’t forget to store the dinghy on that 38 footer) In my opinion, and I have sailed both, the real world answer is, very little, IF at all.
You can only be kiding Between a westsail 32 and a good light cruiser like a Salona 38? Maybe 4 days in an Atlantic crossing? Maybe more if the Westsail has bad luck and the wind is weak. On coastal cruising without trade winds the difference will be a lot bigger.

Regards

Paulo
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Re: Full or fin keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
To a very great extent I agree with what you are saying about the lack of decent small offshore cruisers being designed and constructed. At some level, it is easy to understand that the average sailor, at least in the US, neither needs or wants a purpose designed and built distance cruiser, and so it sort of makes sense that most of the boats being designed and built are at best optimized as coastal cruisers or racers, and at worst, value-oriented, nearly disposable family weekenders.

But as you say, I think that it is a shame that we don't see designers developing and builders constructing purpose-built, offshore capable, distance cruisers, either of traditional designs or of a more modern design concept. There was a time in the 1970's and early 1980's when there was a genuine effort to develop wholesome, ocean capable designs, and it produced designs (like the Valiant 40, Esprit 37, Tayana 37, Pacific Seacrafts, and Westsails) which are still basically good boats for that purpose today. But in my opinion, it seems like it has been decades since there has been a serious effort to develop and build a new dedicated, purpose built, offshore capable design. ( I know that line has the Island Paket crowd are looking for a rope to hang me)

There has always been a price to be paid for a boat being purpose built for offshore use. As you know, and I agree to withstand the abuse the boat needs some combination of simple robust construction, or carefully engineered structure with large saftey factors designed in. It needs robust and reliable hardware. Lockers and tanks need to be secure during a roll over. There needs to be sturdy and convenient hand and foot holds. The rig needs to be able to quickly adapt from light air to heavy air. There needs to lagre enough tanks to support the boat for long passages and infrequent ports. The keel needs to be able to withstand a hard grounding or an impact with a semi floating object, and the rudder needs to be protected.

When you get done with all of that, you end up with a boat that is very expensive for its displacement, and even more so for its length. And since there is a limited market for boats like these, and there is a large market of older designs in servicable condition, I can understand why almost no new offshore designs have hit the market.

In an earlier discussion someone asked me to give an example of a "modern offshore cruiser' that I liked. I mentioned "Firefly' which was the prototype for the Morris 45 but noted that I think this is too large a boat for my taste and I really do not like the large portlights or oversized cockpit for offshore use. Someone objected that even for a 45 footer this is a wildly expensive boat and I agreed, but I also think that is the point, to achieve a new boat which is both rugged, and capacious, and still capable of being a good offshore boat takes careful thought and a lot of money these days.

In the case of more traditional designs, the 'lots of careful thought' came from centuries of trial and error. When you talk about more modern designs, it really requires a lot of applied skill and few clients are willing to pay the cost of time required to apply that skill, let alone pay for the finished product.

When it comes to cruising on the cheap, there are few decent choices left out there. Many of the boats which I might have recommended 10-15 years ago were rare enough even then that the few examples available have become worn out and so are no longer good candidates.

And I find it disconcerting when I see people advocating old, short waterline, short keel, attached rudder, cruiser- racers as being good offshore capable cruisers. One of the strengths of the type of boat that you advocate is that they have very long water lines relative to their lengths on deck. This helps with motion comfort and carrying capacity. Such is not the case with the CCA and IOR based cruiser-racers of the 1960's and 1970's taht I often see advocated as offshore cruisers.

Enough for this lovely spring afternoon. I am going sailing.
Cheers,
Jeff
Jeff H., OK, I punched the "Like" button, but I have to also say that I really enjoyed your thoughtful post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Edited: A fast boat can go slower, a slower boat cannot go faster
Regards

Paulo
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  #138  
Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Full or fin keel?

PAULO, I appreciate your participation concerning this Full vs. Fin keel discussion. Once again, however, I believe you have made a misleading statement. And No, I am not kidding. The Salona 38 does not appeal at all to me. I would much rather have an Alajuela 38 if I had to go that large, for long distance sustained voyaging. Do you not think that the Salona 38’s performance might be compromised just a little when carrying a dinghy (I carry 2 full dinghies when cruising on my 32 with my wife), 3 proper anchors each with 300ft rodes, plus 3000# of additional stuff? Maybe, also a dodger, solar panels, and definitely a little more battery capacity? Why carry so much? Because that is what people do, and need, if they are doing long distance sustained cruising. It is my opinion that your Salona 38 when loaded like a real cruiser will sail significantly worse than what you think, or are just saying.

PAULO: “A fast boat can go slower. A slow boat cannot go faster”
OREGONIAN: “A fast boat cannot go fast when heavily loaded. It becomes slower than the slow boat”

For anyone still interested in this discussion, a few (certainly not all) very good ocean voyaging full keel boats that really would surprise the critics are: The whole line of Cape George cutters, the Alajuela 38, the Westsails, the Bristol Channel Cutter and perhaps the best of all, the Falmouth Cutter at 22ft.

And one last thing: the continual reference to needing the “Trade Winds” to move or not being able to go to weather is totally a bogus statement on your part and the other critics. All the boats mentioned have no trouble in light winds or going to weather, if the owners want them to and have the equipment. All those boats can get the job done just fine.

Last edited by Oregonian; 03-24-2012 at 01:54 AM.
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  #139  
Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Full or fin keel?

Boats price (when new) by the pound, assuming similar level of equipment.

So lets compare boats by their displacement.

Westsail 32 displacement 19,528 lbs

Beneteau first 42 displacement 18,600 lbs

Pounds /inch immersion

Westsail 32 1064 lbs

Beneteau First 42 1712 lbs

Isn't that a fair comparison?

The Alajuela 38 displaces 27,000 lbs and a fairer comparison would be a boat like the Bavaria 50 at a similar weight.

I don't think the First or Bavaria would be upset that much by the weight carried by the Westsail or Alajuela, given their longer waterlines and much less immersion under the same weights.
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  #140  
Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Full or fin keel?

This Is Great!

All the smart people are posting info on full and fin keels in this thread.

Perhaps they are all still subscribed and could expand their info. I looked around a whole bunch but could not afford a full keel. I have yet to sail my boat because it is still being painted. I was wondering what to expect from what i believe are called 3/4 keel like the one on my boat? Is there a positive side to a keel like mine?

Documentation says my draft is 5'6"
36' LOA Vessel weighing 16,500lbs with a beam of 12'4"

I am hull #1 of 2 i believe. Created by Squadron Yachts of Bristol RI in 1981 in case anyone was curious where i got a boat they hadn't seen before.
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