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  #1  
Old 07-23-2006
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Shoal Keel

What is the purpose of a shoal keel? Is this something specific to the Chesapeake Bay? Can you sail a shoal keel boat in the ocean?

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Old 07-23-2006
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A shoal keel isn't specific to the Chesapeake Bay, but that is a good example of their purpose. They are used in primarily area's of shallow or "skinny" water. Other examples would be the Bahamas, or ICW, or if you like to gunkhole. You can though, sail them in the ocean. They just won't point as high as a standard draft (for that boat) keel.

If you look back in the archives, you'll find a similar discussion just recently.

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Old 07-23-2006
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Actually, shoal keel is not the reason that a boat may not point as high into the wind. For example, you could have a fin keel with a shoal draft that will point just as high into the wind.
Shoal keels are a huge advantage on the Chesapeake Bay because so much of the Bay is made up of tributaries that are very shallow. (5 feet or less). But you can certainly take a shoal keel out into the ocean.
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Old 07-25-2006
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Had a Laguna 24 up in Puget Sound in the 1980's and it handled well on the Strait of Juan de Fuca as well as gunkholing around the San Juan Islands. It was advantageous to have a 24" draft when the swing keel was up; and later lower it to 6'4" for windy conditions on the Strait. I enjoyed this boat and it was easy to sail plus could be trailered easily with a small pickup. I had it moored on a river moorage whereas it took an hour to motor out into Elliot Bay to downtown Seattle. I would recommend a swing keel for deeper water sailing NOT merely a shoal draft. The swing keel gives you the best of both worlds.

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