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  #21  
Old 01-29-2012
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Learn to dock with a full keel and everything else will seem easy after that!

I first learned to dock on an Island Packet. Now I have a Caliber which has a longish keel and a skeg hung rudder. Seems way easier.
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
Learn to dock with a full keel and everything else will seem easy after that!

I first learned to dock on an Island Packet. Now I have a Caliber which has a longish keel and a skeg hung rudder. Seems way easier.
After skiing the black runs, the blue runs are easier too.
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2012
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Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
Learn to dock with a full keel and everything else will seem easy after that!
Agreed!

Actually, this is what I was trying to get at with my comments. Knowing something about your sailing/cruising plans will help with your choice of boat (and keel). If my cruising was mostly about marina-hopping, then I would definitely NOT want a full-keel boat -- especially not in the Med
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  #24  
Old 01-29-2012
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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Agreed!

Actually, this is what I was trying to get at with my comments. Knowing something about your sailing/cruising plans will help with your choice of boat (and keel). If my cruising was mostly about marina-hopping, then I would definitely NOT want a full-keel boat -- especially not in the Med

Mike

While the standard Med moor to stern-to, I learned to do mine bow-in with a stern anchor. Much easier and more privacy. Having a U-shaped pulpit helps.
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  #25  
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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
While the standard Med moor to stern-to, I learned to do mine bow-in with a stern anchor. Much easier and more privacy. Having a U-shaped pulpit helps.
That's good to know Jackdale. I love my Rafiki. It's a wonderful cruising boat for a short-handed crew, but I'd rather take on Force 9 gale than face a tight marina .
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A keel is your underwater wing, just like your sail is the in-air wing. Remember, the sails generate lift around the leeward side of the airfoil, the angle of the boat as it moves through the water causes the keels to generate lift on the windward side of the waterfoil. The vector sum of these forces is what pushes you forward. As I understand it, the advantages and disadvantages are as follows.

A full keel is flat and has a lot of wetted surface to cause friction. They are generally slower and don't generate lift at all. Instead of producing lift they simply provide resistance to sliding directly downwind, which the wind would otherwise blow you. Full keels typically don't go as well to weather as other designs. On the other hand, the draft is shallow and damage is light to non-existent when the boat is run aground. Full keels are very traditional and tend to be very strong too. That's why they are used most often on blue water cruisers where speed is less important than standing up to a harsh environment. They can make maneuvering difficult, especially if the prop is in an aperture.

Fin keels are shaped much more like an airplane wing and do provide lift. The most efficient kind is the high aspect keel. They are narrow and deep and are efficient for the same reason a sailplane's wing is. Because they generate lift, they don't need to be so big -- and so they have less wetter surface and less friction (read fastest). They also put the lead ballast down the farthest, which moves the Vertical Center of Gravity (VCG) down the lowest. That gives you the best righting arm moment to keep the boat more vertical for a given weight. The high-aspect keel also goes to weather the best, but it is the most easily damaged upon grounding, and since it is the deepest draft it is the most likely type to touch ground. Needless to say, you can't get into shallow areas with a deep, fixed keel.

Low aspect fin keels are a compromise. This kind of keel is the shoal draft keel and is the best kind to have where I sail. They are very popular here in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Bahamas, simply because the water is so shallow. Low aspect fin keels don't generate as much lift since the wing chord is stretched longer. And because they don't generate as much lift, they don't go to weather as well and they also have to be bigger, so there is more wetted surface to cause friction. VCG is not as low so they require more ballast. therefore making the boat heavier.

There are a lot of variations on keels -- the full keel with cutaway forefoot. The shoal keel with bulb. The shoal keel with wings. The bulb at the end of the high aspect keel. The lifting high aspect keel. The keel stub with a swinging centerboard, and many more. All have advantages, disadvantages, and some have maintenance actions you need to accomplish every so often. Which kind is best for you depends on the kind of sailing you hope to do and the depth of water you want to get into.

Several before me have spoken about tracking, so I won't cover that.

Hope this helps!

Tom
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  #27  
Old 01-29-2012
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Thanks Tom, that was very informative.

Quote:
Which kind is best for you depends on the kind of sailing you hope to do and the depth of water you want to get into.
I'm currently shopping, but I haven't sailed anything but fin keels and centerboards, so I'd like to know more about these other kinds of keels. I'm having a tough time deciding and am afraid I'm going to wind up buying one of each.
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  #28  
Old 01-30-2012
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While the prop in the aperture makes backing up an adventure on my full keel attached rudder Vanguard, it makes sailing through a field of lobster pots a lot less stressful. Have never snagged a pot in 20 years of sailing in Maine-I don't even try to dodge them. I'd not want to snag a pot line at 2AM with a spade rudder or foul one on my exposed prop. Most trap lines have many weighted pots attached, very easily could bend a rudder post or prop shaft. Hitting a ledge with a fin keeler even at slow speed could sink your vessel a lot easier than it would a full or 3/4 keel boat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
+1. We've got a full keel with a barn door rudder, and I'm here to tell you backing is ALWAYS an adventure. If there is absolutely no wind and no current, I can usually know how the beast will track in reverse. Mostly it's all about using the throttle intermittently to balance prop walk with having the rudder pretty hard to starboard (the rudder imparts very little turning effort when in reverse.)

However, when conditions are not totally benign the old gal loves to make my life interesting. Doing the mental gymnastics thinking about the opposing forces keeps me on my toes, but usually I'm left with just getting her out into a fairway with enough maneuvering space to spin her until I get pointed in the right direction.

If there's a considerable cross wind or current, I've got to weigh the possibility of becoming a "bumper boat" against my desire/need to get underway.
+2 backing is a b***h. But I keep telling myself, the boat was designed to go in the other direction!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
That's good to know Jackdale. I love my Rafiki. It's a wonderful cruising boat for a short-handed crew, but I'd rather take on Force 9 gale than face a tight marina .
Of course that is kinda what it was designed for. :thumbs up:
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