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post #1 of 5 Old 08-29-2008 Thread Starter
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Swing keel up or down?

For the last ten years we have been racing a 38 Catalina with a full keel. This year our skipper has a (new to him) 36 Pearson with a swing keel. Not as fast as the Cat but it beats sitting home on Wednesday night and it will suit his needs better in the future when he retires. Our question is how can we best make her go fast?... board up or down and when? We are pretty sure that on the down wind legs it would make sense to have the board up and have less resistance. On other points of sail she seems to perform fairly well with the board up, even in heavier seas. Our problem is that we haven't had a lot of time or wind (Long Island Sound in the summer you know) to analyse her performance with the board in different positions on different points of sail. Are we making this way to complicated? Anybody have any quick answers. We are doing the Round Island race at Fishers Island tomorrow and would like to finish before the party is over.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-29-2008
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My understanding is that you are basically right. I have a swing keel Beneteau and I find that it tracks quite well even with the keel up. The issue you will want to look closely at is leeway when close hauled. You can feel you are tracking well, but, depending on the hull shape, may be making too much leeway. The best way to check this is to use the GPS, especially if you have a VMG function.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-29-2008
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If dinghy sailing is any guide it is all about leeway and pointing to windward. You wont notice as much when there is little wind but you will be very glad to have the board to put down when the wind picks up in the fall and you want to sail close to it
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-30-2008
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Ditto to the above. In heavy air (+20 knots) with the spinnaker up we used to leave the centreboard down in our Swarbrick 20 as it helped to reduce rolling. The centreboard was basically a blade and we were planning whether the board was up or down.

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feed back. Maybe we can use the info in October when there is some wind. Today at Fishers Island, NY for the Round Island race there was NO WIND. We had to abandon the race due to time constraints/ferry schedule and they even shortened the race... light winds and an unfavorable tide made it impossible for many (if not all) to get back to the finish.
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