Shoal Keel in Puget Sound - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

I am considering buying a sightly used Beneteau 37 however it has a shoal draft keel. Wondering what the pros and cons are with the shoal draft keel in Puget Sound area. I would appreciate any local advise.
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post #2 of 23 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

There is no pro because depth is rarely a concern around here. The con is that you won't point as high, will have more leeway, and the boat will be heavier than the same boat with a fin keel.

If you are the type of cruiser who motors upwind rather then sailing then it probably won't bother you. If you enjoy sailing and sail even when everyone else has given up and fired up the iron wind then I think there are probably better boats to choose.
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post #3 of 23 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

Further north - it means that you can get in and out of Conover Cove on Wallace Island, and Sidney Spit is less of a concern.
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Further north - it means that you can get in and out of Conover Cove on Wallace Island, and Sidney Spit is less of a concern.
... but those are almost the only two places where it's a big deal.... As mentioned above, however if you're a relaxed cruiser the shoal keel shortcomings are not likely to be a big deal to you

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post #5 of 23 Old 03-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

Thank you all for the great insight. For me it gets down to a good deal on a slightly used boat with the less desirable keel versus passing up on a good deal for a boat with the right keel for the area of use. I am probably more on the relaxed type of cruiser so maybe it's not that big of deal especially based on the fact that so many in the Eastern parts use the shoal keel.
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post #6 of 23 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

I will counter the arguments here with this:

Down here, a deep draft boat is basically a no sale. There are literally entire areas you cannot get into or out of comfortably if at all. SO should the day come that you ever want to sell the boat, a deep draft boat would rule out any market that has shallow water.

You can sail a shallow draft boat in deep water, but not the other way around.

That being said, Faster and others are dead right. We sailed off the dock at Olympia (20 feet at dock), and not far away, we were in 200 feet of water! 200 feet! Do you want to know how far off the west coast of Florida you have to go to see 200 feet! Crap, we're feeling scared of heights when we see 20!!

Anyways, just some food for thought. And so you know, I will still outrun Faster WITH MY WING KEEL (snicker).

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post #7 of 23 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

Shoot Brian, I only feel comfortable when I don't have a reading on the depth sounder, which means it's over 400' :-))
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post #8 of 23 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

Yeah, and in a lot of places in the Puget Sound it only takes a few minutes from the dock to get to that point. I actually feel pretty safe sailing (not anchoring) without a depth finder around here.

Brian's points are good if you plan on cruising outside of the west coast.

One downside of a shoal keel here is that the boat will likely be harder to sell and have lower value when you do go to sell it unless you move it to another location (like the east coast). I wonder if that is why the boat is priced more cheaply than others on the market?

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post #9 of 23 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

just a thought....if you buy it cheap it won't hurt as much to sell it cheap.
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post #10 of 23 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Shoal Keel in Puget Sound

Remember, you are only talking about a difference of about 2', but the difference in sailing performance is significant. For me a shoal draft keel is a deal killer.

It would be very strange to sail in waters that were under 6ft deep! Then again my boat has 70ft under the keel in her slip, and 5 minutes away from the dock it is about 500ft deep.

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