Fin vs bulb vs wing keels - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 31 Old 10-22-2012
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Re: Fin vs bulb vs wing keels

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Originally Posted by BryceGTX View Post
.... The next aspect I find intriguing is that the wing keel is the only keel of the three that actually creates damping in the vertical direction. ...
I found this to be an interesting idea (vertical dampening). I'd never been on a wing keeled boat until I rebuilt a Hunter 23 this spring/mid summer. When I finally tried it out on a local lake to see if it would sail and if everything worked, I was surprised when I first hit some motorboat wake. I expected the normal up and down hobby horsing I've always had, throwing the wind out of my sails, but instead the boat seemed to flatten the wave and go through almost on the level. I was thrilled each time I went through wakes - which was constantly, every motor boat seems required to alter course to pass just in front of a sailboat. (Partly I think it's interest, I heard one kid yell over the motor, "Dad, could we get a sailboat?".)

When I got it on the ocean I noticed the same effect, although of course it rode up and down the swells, but it still seemed to flatten smaller waves and continue on without losing the wind in the sails.

I attributed it to the modern almost straight, unsexy, uncurved, no sheer hull shape, but it's entirely possible the smallish wings did have some effect as well. The idea never crossed my mind, and I appreciate you pointing it out.

Must be my early childhood experiences, but I still seem fixated on deep, full keels on curvy boats as "stomach grabbing" beauty. I admit to lusting after boats shaped overall like a Contessa. I only bought the Hunter because it was close by, low priced, and had a trailer with broken brakes that could be wired and fixed. (OK, the fin keel/ full keel pages also made me curious.)

Sailing the Hunter was a very pleasant surprise. My first day on the ocean was also my first day with a GPS. Just a pocket model, had to change screens to see my speed (in MPH, not knots). With a theoretical hull speed of something like 5.9 knots, I was surprised to change screens and see I was going 6.2 MPH against a very strong tide between islands, tacking into the moderately brisk wind. Days later I found that the GPS had saved a trail and showed my top speed at 8.3 MPH. Further, the interior has no liner, just carpet glued to the hull. Almost no bilge. Sounds bad but actually makes it deep and spacious and comfortable for such a small boat. We stayed on it for a week, sailing on and off our anchor except for one very tight boat filled anchorage. I now actually like it a lot (coastal sailing). Just got it out of the water last weekend. Glad, because there is a possible huge storm coming at the end of Oct/start of Nov.
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