Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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If the boat was truly a swing keel, then the boat would probably be fairly dangerous to sail without the swing keel in place, since the swing keel provides a good portion of the stability and ballast for the boat.
If the boat is a centerboard boat with a stub keel, and the centerboard is not weighted and mainly to allow the boat to point better, then you could sail it without the centerboard, but you would have far more leeway than you would if it were installed and lowered. This can be a safety concern, since the ability for the boat to point and sail well to windward may be important if you're trying to sail off a lee shore, or trying to make progress to windward while short-tacking.
If you have a bill of sale and it says that the keel is present, I would go talk to the seller....since they've now committed fraud—since the boat doesn't have a keel, and the boat was sold with the understanding that the keel was present. The lack of a swing keel/centerboard would certainly impact the price of the boat.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.