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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Newbie: Centerboard / Swing keel distinction
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Thread: Newbie: Centerboard / Swing keel distinction Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-25-2011 12:55 PM
carl762
Quote:
It unscrewed the nuts on my keel bracket though.
Please clarify.

You have me wanting to immediately inspect my centerboard keel bolts. Will do just that tomorrow.
03-23-2011 07:52 PM
ExperiencedInTheory I got the buzzing noise every time I got close to or passed hull speed as well (which I am fairly sure I can do with only two people aboard). I thought the swing keel was resonating as the waves were forced into the trunk, but I really have no idea. It unscrewed the nuts on my keel bracket though.
03-23-2011 01:36 AM
MarkSF The Wayfarer could move too - doing nearly 9 knots in a beam reach with two of us sailing her, with a great plume of water flying up from the rudder, and the whole boat making a buzzing noise like a wasp, is not not something I'll forget in a hurry.
03-22-2011 10:55 PM
ExperiencedInTheory Sorry for missing some replies here; I thought the thread had died. I had a wonderful three day trip to lake pleasant two weeks ago (my third sail), did not turtle my boat, and with some frayed nylon tied to the stays I did not repeat any mistakes with accidental jibes, but left the keel down all the time anyway as our runs were often short. Aside from a slipped anchor at 3 am and an instance of "what the hell is that?" as I pulled past a boat 30x the worth of mine in crowded cove, it was a fun extended weekend without incident.
03-07-2011 01:01 AM
MarkSF Well I've read a bit on the subject of jibing and broaching in my Wayfarer 16ft centreboard sloop (no keel).

The consensus seems to be that keeping the centreboard down during a run enhances directional stability, making a broach and death roll less likely.

I had problems with it coming up of it's own accord on a run, so installed some shockcord to hold it down.

The other tips for not broaching were :

Never overtake waves on a run. The boat makes the waves break, then the rudder ends up in aerated water, losing it's effect. Slow down if you seem to be overtaking waves.

If it's really windy, jib only for the run can work well.

If it's at all windy, just don't jibe. Do a chicken jibe instead.
03-03-2011 04:58 PM
StartedSailing The act of bringing up the centreboard during the run is to reduce the drag on the boat, thereby reducing speed. However, this can compromise speed for stability and so if you are hit by a gust on a run, becareful of an accidental gybe, because you can broach and then capsize.

Depending on the wind strength, I would have it down a portion of the way in strong weather and all the way up in light weather.
03-01-2011 09:03 PM
ExperiencedInTheory With 3 crew, for ballast I would have 200 lbs of lead and ~500 lbs of meat. I was worried that, with a deep skinny keel and a 14' waterline, the boat could pivot on the keel during a jibe and the high angle of attack on the keel might capsize the boat to leeward. As a learner, I would prefer safety over efficiency, and was just wondering what the safest option would be when running, i.e. if running with the keel down is actually hazardous for this sort of boat.

(Though on second thought, my rudder has ~50% the surface area of the keel, and a stiff grip on the tiller is probably sufficient to prevent the scenario I was describing.)

Anyway, thanks for all the input so far.
02-28-2011 06:29 PM
catamount
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExperiencedInTheory View Post
... but my serious concerns are jibing; I see a lot of warnings about not having the centerboard down when jibing a dinghy, and I am not sure there is much distinction between a dinghy and a 16' pocket cruiser. ....
I'm not sure where these warnings you are seeing come from, but I would point out that there probably IS quite a bit of distinction between a planing dinghy with an un-ballasted centerboard that relies on crew weight for righting moment vs. a pocket cruiser with a ballasted swing keel.
02-28-2011 05:49 PM
ExperiencedInTheory Thank you for the replies. One good reason to winch up the keel when reaching is that is keeps quite a bit of weight aft, but my serious concerns are jibing; I see a lot of warnings about not having the centerboard down when jibing a dinghy, and I am not sure there is much distinction between a dinghy and a 16' pocket cruiser. I guess I will just try retracting it when heading downwind.

I am stuffing enough foam under the cockpit so that having anything worse than a learning experience is unlikely.
02-28-2011 05:31 PM
sailingdog I'd first point out that a centerboard is usually an unballasted foil which is designed to allow the boat to resist leeway and point higher, where a swing keel is ballasted and designed to help the boat point higher but also to help keep it upright.

While you are learning, leave the swing keel down all the way. After you get some experience, you can start experimenting with raising it. Raising a swing keel or centerboard will also affect the boat's Center Of Lateral Resistance, and can change the amount of weather/lee helm the boat experiences. Retracting it completely can reduce wetted surface area and drag.
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