Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Columbus OH
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Rep Power: 14
Best of all worlds for trailerable boats.
I used to have a Macgregor 21 with a swing keel of about 200 lbs. I too had problems with cable breakage. If I hit a stump or a rock, the keel would swing up then snap the cable when the keel swung back down.
I liked being able to beach the boat and I could use the weight of the keel as a temporary anchor in shallow water. Still, the cable problems outweighed the advantages.
For 15 years, my backup boat (can't seem to sell it) has been a 26' Macgregor with a 45 lb swing keel. The boat is water ballasted so the keel only needs to be heavy enough to sink. The keel is attached to the boat with a length of line. There is no winch since the keel is so light. To raise the keel, you pull up on the line then make fast to a cleat in the cabin.
This boat has been great for me because I like to travel. It trailers and launches easily (I only need to back down to 20" of water to float it off)and is surprisingly stable under sail. I would recommend any water ballasted swing keel boat to anyone who wants to sail a variety of waters, deep or not.