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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-16-2016 03:42 PM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

If Lake Simcoe is generally pretty deep, as I believe it is, then unless you plan to gunkhole up its tributaries or want to store your boat on a trailer, the regular/deep fin is probably the way to go. Better overall performance, pointing ability, and righting moment.

OTOH if the particular boat at which you are looking is well-maintained, and otherwise ticks your boxes, then go for it. Especially if you don't plan on racing it regularly. Let your gut make the final decision. Good luck!
03-16-2016 07:26 AM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

Hey all I am looking at purchasing a Tanzer 25 Shoal Keel, never sailed a shoal always regular fin, was going to use it on Lake Simcoe, do you guys feel thats a good idea or should i up for a deeper draft?
04-03-2013 01:46 PM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

There are many marinas and channels with a limiting depth of 4' in the fla keys.

you end up using the dingy more with the fin in the Fl Keys. and need to pick your anchorages.
04-03-2013 01:06 PM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

I agree if we are talking about the same boat in the two configurations but it is not only a better pointing ability but also probably more 5 of leeway at least with some wind. The boat will also track better at high angles of heel and will be more forgiving in what regards rounding up.
04-03-2013 12:59 PM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
I think it is pretty apparent that upwind performance is hurt by a shallow keel, but my question is HOW MUCH. Is it a little bit of pointing and VMG lost, like 10%, or is it much more?

Most of these shoal draft keels lack a NACA profile (haha I think even the standard fin keels generally lack this but less so) and are pretty thick, so I wouldn't be surprised if the difference in VMG is pretty high. But nautical engineering seems to be an art as much as a science sometimes...
I'll take a whack at your question, "HOW MUCH" on shoal vs deep draft.

If you're comparing the same boat with shoal/deep draft options, I'd guess it would be no more than 5 degrees, average. I base this on many years with a full keel centerboard boat that has 4' and 8' of draft with a simple flat plate bronze board.

There's little difference(if at all at) in how the boat feels board up vs board down. But you can often see the increase in your GPS track over the ground. Sailing to windward, a 5 degree average windward increase, sometimes more, sometimes less, is what I see.

Another thing I base my guess on, my friend has a J35. It points higher than my 1961 centerboarder . How much higher? I'd guess in 15 knots, sailing alongside, about 10 degrees. That's a lot.

Does that mean if I bolted his 7' foil shaped deep keel on my 1961 yawl, I'd point 10 degrees higher? No.

It's a combination of all the design differences in the two boats, not just one factor like draft(although sailboat hype may want you to believe it's one "new" advance).

Expect a boat with deep draft to sail a few degrees higher than the same with shoal draft.
04-02-2013 04:01 PM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

Yeah, that whole running aground thing. My current boat has a centerboard and water ballast so I've been spoiled by pretty much going anywhere I want to go. The only experience I've had with a wing keel is my friends Bene 32. I really like his boat but we did get stuck for a few minutes in the mud just off the Galveston ship channel. Had we been in a fin keeler we probably would have had an easier time getting out. As it was, a combination of swinging out on the boom and reversing/rocking finally got us out of there. I can only imagine what would happen had we hit some rocks or shell reef.

04-02-2013 03:23 PM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

I stated earlier that I took a wing keel Bennetau first from Key West, through the Bahamas, to jamacia and on down across the center of The Caribbean to Columbia. It was my first and only experience with a wing, but handled everything like a champ. The Volvo water pump sh!t the bed in Jamacia, I sailed it off the dock in light winds, out the channel. 450 miles open water to Columbia, the last part in 15 to 20 foot choppy seas, high winds, finishing with a tight squeez through the old spanish pirate wall at the entrance to Cartegania, and a brisk short tack 4 miles up into the Harbour to Club Nautico, and anchored right off the dock in a tight anchorage, all as I said, all under sail. Earlier We had crossed the banks in the bahamas and across from Nassau to the Exumas. while sailing down the Exumas a leaky rudder post caused me to run in to a shallow, un marked cut with a broken engine at night. we sailed down the leeward side a few miles at sunrise in 5 feet of water and fixed the problems in Staniel Cay. An uneventful run down to jamacia from there where the engine finally craped out for good. Prior to all that we motor sailed from key west to Bimini, and encounterd a rough passage in the straights. To sum it up, yes i do belive it's a good seaworthy, and performance under sail design. But I would'nt want to run aground in one.
04-02-2013 03:08 PM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

I have owned two boats with wing keels. Both of these boats were in the Chesapeake, where wing keels have some advantege in the shallow water.

There are plenty of performance disadvantages, but if you want to reduce draft from 6' to 4.5', for example, then a wing can be a good option.
04-02-2013 03:03 PM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

I have seen a few replies that said their preference would not be a wing keel. I can see where one of these when run into the mud might be tough to get out. On the other hand, they let you carry ballast low with a shallow draft. It also seems that leeway would be less than a standard shallow fin as the wings would serve as lateral resistance as the boat heeled. I know all boats are compromises, I'm trying to find something that will work well in the shallows of the Texas Gulf Coast as well as something for the Bahamas and Great Loop. Does anyone have experience with wing keels good/bad?

04-01-2013 09:56 AM
Re: shoal draft keel vs regular keel

Those interested in a centerboard weekender might look at the J/95 which draws 3.0" with the board up. In 2010 CRUSING WORLD named the J/95 the "Domestic Boat of the Year" and the "Best Weekender". Although reportedly built to ISO standards for crossing oceans in up to Force 10 winds, most of us would be interested in it's ability to navigate shoal water of Cape Cod, Great South Bay, Barnegat Bay, Chesapeake Bay, the Low Country of Georgia and the Carolinas, the Bahamas, Florida Keys, the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas.
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