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  #11  
Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Winged keel

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Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
I don’t know how you guys on the east coast can stand that skinny water.)
We have no choice.
But all this shallow water makes lots of secluded and beautiful anchorages. No sea lions and the water is warmer than yours. My boat has a swing keel and I can get into places other folks have to row their dink to. All in all I consider myself lucky...
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

I've got wing-keel. Grounded twice, now calls it mantaray-keel. If i buy a new boat, i'll go for fin keel. In hindsight, difference between wing and fin keels are only 12-18". Not going to make much difference in the shallow water i sail in.
IMHO deeper fin keel points better than shorter wing-keel.
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

This is one of those topics that's more important in sailing forums than in the real world.

It really depends on how you use your boat. If you're day sailing or cruising you won't feel a big "seat of the pants" performance difference between the two keels. On most boats you'd only see that difference if you're constantly tweaking your sail trim; something most cruisers and day sailors don't do because you're talking, snacking and enjoying the day.

You will be able to sail in skinnier water. Here on Barnegat Bay 18" can be a very big deal. We still bump bottom every so often, but the few times we've grounded I've been able to get her off without drama.

Now if you're serious about racing the fin is the way to go because that slight difference in performance is the difference between winning and losing a race.

Like I said it all comes down to how you want to use her.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

I think centerboard is a better solution to the shallow draft issue than winged keel. CB has drawbacks as well, but mostly just on the maintenance side.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

Kriss, I had a C25 with a swing keel, and would gladly have moved to a wing. The wing was something like 3" deeper than the swing keel with the keel up. Where I sailed, those 3" would have bought me about 20-30 minutes of additional sailing time (shallow bay, could only sail high tide +-3 hours), but the peace of mind of not worrying that a 1500lb slab of steel was going to come down and break the keel trunk would have been very nice. I actually ruled out swing keels this time because of it.

Perhaps a light-weight centerboard might work (much less risk of damage), but the swing keel made me a bit nervous.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Perhaps a light-weight centerboard might work (much less risk of damage), but the swing keel made me a bit nervous.
I agree with you there. My swing keel is not that heavy (Mirage 5.5m) but the upwind performance is not great. Another trade-off. However, the low or neutral weight CB designs (Bristol, Tartan) I have seen really work well in shallow waters. I sail mostly on Pamlico Sound which has a lot of tricky, shallow spots that keep moving around. I run aground quite often but all I have to do is lift the keel a little and I'm back in the game.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

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Originally Posted by Jiminri View Post
Run aground in mud/sand and the winged keel becomes a highly effective anchor. And you can't heel the boat to work free. At least that's what I've been told. Never had one, so I'd like to know how true that is.
No, you can still get it off by heeling it, you just have to heel it more (from experience).
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

There seem to be a lot of folks saying this is only important in racing, but isn't PHRF meant to take those differences into account? So in theory, if I am racing, it should make no difference. But as I pass someone while cruising, I don't usually give myself a time penalty and declare the other folks to be faster. I just yell some insults and revel in my prowess. Definitely worth the extra draft for that.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

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Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
No, you can still get it off by heeling it, you just have to heel it more (from experience).
Bulb keel is easier to free up as it gives less resistance and has less surface area. In a lighter boat you just get your passengers into a dink and the boat floats away free
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Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

Out here in the West Coast we have diurnal tides that swing five feet (more if you are Canada or Washington) which compounds our anxiety while transiting shallow water. We do seek shallow water for current relief but it is a delicate balancing act. As I helmsman I need to be very aware of where we are in the tide cycle. In San Pablo Bay, I tack out pretty much immediately when I see single digits on the sounder (Sounder measures from the surface). In the Olympic Circle off Berkeley, I go in, eyes metaphorically closed only because I am usually chasing boats with deeper drafts.

I am curious on how you guys do it on the East Coast. Is the really skinny water at entrances and you guys work your way in under motor? What is your average depth while sailing? We like to find “shallow” water to anchor in (usually 15-20’). My record anchoring depth was 96’! But that was during a race when the wind shut down and we didn’t want to lose ground on the account of current. (pretty trippy, flying a spinnaker and anchored at the same time off of Alcatraz.)
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Last edited by GeorgeB; 05-02-2013 at 03:21 PM.
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