Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Keel Shortened
Jon is exactly right, with care it is possible to design a custom bulb keel that retains most of the performance characteristics of a slightly deeper fin. By improving flow patterns, placing more of the keel in undisturbed flow, adding a bulb and so on, it should be possible to mitigate much that is lost when changing to a shallower draft keel.
But as I read the original post, the depth of the keel was reduced from 5'-10" to 4'-8" and the ballast weight went from 4,000 lbs to somewhere between 3500 to 3600 lbs.
There are also structural technical issues with shortening the keel that much. Most boats of that era had 'J' bolts that were cast into the lead rather than keel bolts with nuts and washers. The hooks on the bolts 'nest' with the longest ones extending almost to the bottom of the keel. If you simply cut off that much of the bottom of the keel you risk cutting at least one of the keel bolts if not all of them.
So while Jon is 100% right that the boat may not be ready for the trash heap, unless there is a custom designed keel already, then the keel itself probably is, and a new keel is worth almost as much as that whole boat.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay