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post #21 of 24 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

My average depth in Great Egg Bay (I was in the back bay) in NJ was 1-2' at low tide, 4-7' at high tide. Barnegat Bay is 5-7' in most places with about a 6-12" tidal swing, though it obviously gets shallower around the edges. Off the NJ coast, even a few miles out, you're only in 40-50' of water. I was astounded when I first went sailing with a friend off SoCal a few years ago and saw depth markings on the GPS of 400+ feet only a relatively short distance off the coast.

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post #22 of 24 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

I think wing keels are much more difficult to get off than a fin!! You have a lot more options (and easy ones) with a fin than a wing. If you heel your boat over on your wing, you actually may be increasing your draft. However, Sometimes I do that anyways because the keel seems to have some kind of a suction on the bottom. THat is my theory anyways!!

George - yep, the water is really skinny here. We often come into channels where we don't have a foot under us. The ICW is supposed to be maintained to 7, but I have still bumped in it. The water under my keel right now in Boot Key is about 2 feet. I have a 6 foot draft. This is a pain. I cannot imagine having more!!


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post #23 of 24 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Winged keel

I have a small boat with a swing keel that I sail on Pamlico Sound where the deepest water is 25 feet. Tides are irrelevant here but wind direction can change the water depth sometimes by as much as 2 feet. The inlets are treacherous, with strong currents and always changing sandbars. Sometimes I crew on bigger boats and I swear to myself never get a big boat with draft over 5 feet. You have to be really alert when entering most protected anchorages as the channels are really narrow and water is black like strong tea, so 2 feet of water has the same color as 10 feet. But there are the rewards too, and I know plenty of secluded anchoring spots where you can be on anchor for 3 days and never run into another human being. There is so much wildlife around you it is pure magic, especially at night. You read a good book at the kerosene lamp light, listening to all these sounds... and then you turn in and listen even closer... the wind moves the boat ever so slightly and the moonlight dances in the cabin... that is hard to top...

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post #24 of 24 Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Winged keel

Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post

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’!
If I'm anchoring in 15' of water, I'm probably asking myself why I picked a spot that is so darned exposed. I normally anchor in 7' to maybe 9' (I draw 4'). When sailing, I start paying attention when the depth gauge shows 10' or less. I really like to be in water deeper than 25', but that's because there are far fewer crab pots and pound nets that deep. A lot of the Chesapeake is just a big puddle. Beautiful, but not deep.

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