Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Thanked 45 Times in 44 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Re: locking keel in place mandatory? Siren 17
What Mac suggests about the keel moving around and causing damage is very pertinent. To add to that, if the keel is attached to the hull in two places - at the pivot point and also at the lockbolt point, and you hit something, the force of the contact is spread over the two points - as designed. If you hit something with the keel attached at only one point, all the force is concentrated on that one point --- and it will be more likely to break. Another issue is that when you hit something, it is almost never absolutely lined up fore and aft with the boat. There is almost always a sideways component involved. putting all the force of contact on the one pivot point of the swing keel, and having it be partially sideways, could be a good way to have the keel completely rip off and leave a big hole in the bottom of your boat. I would sail with the keel locked in place, and if I got stuck on a mudbank and couldn't get off any other way, THEN I'd try pulling the lockbolt to see if that would help. If I did that, however, I'd worry about bending things so that they wouldn't slide into place the way they used to. Four feet of draft is not so much that you shouldn't be able to hop out and push the boat off most sandbars. Just getting off the boat to do that might float it, too. Make sure you hold onto a line so it doesn't get away!
Last edited by paulk; 12-02-2013 at 10:21 PM.