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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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  #21  
Old 01-29-2008
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Wink Happy Old Sailor

I basically prefer a boat with a swing Keel/centerboard.
I currently sail an Old Irwin 28 with a swing centerboard. The board is foil shaped and quite light-only heavy enough to cause it to drop.
This is the way I use it:
  • In light winds I put the board all the way down. This gives me the least Lee Helm and the minimum leeage.
  • As the wind picks up the boat will begin to exhibit a slight weather helm. This is good.
  • As the wind gets a little heaver the weather helm increases. I then will raise the board a little to bring the weather helm to slight. This does not reduce the amount of board in the water but moves the lateral resistance aft allowing the rudder to not drag and slow the boat down.
I rarely need to raise the board more that halfway in the heavier winds. I have been able to sail in double reefed conditions with storm Jib and the board halfway up with only a slight weather helm. I know that if the board is halfway up and I still have a weather helm, it's time to begin reefing and reducing the sail area.

All this does not work unless you have a Swing Keel/Centerboard.
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2008
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swing keel???????

No such thing as a "swing Keel"...maybe you mean "centerboard"
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2008
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One thing I've noticed with my San Juan 23, it has a centerboard, not a swing keel (I'll believe you this time odyssey 68), is that it heels over much quicker in a gust of wind than did the San Juan 24 I sailed the year before, with a full keel. It was much more resistant to a knock down or heavy heeling. But, ultimately, you get used to it and sail accordingly.
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  #24  
Old 01-29-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Sometimes Canting keels are called swing keels
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  #25  
Old 01-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odyssey_68 View Post
No such thing as a "swing Keel"...maybe you mean "centerboard"
You can read about the swing keels used on the Southerly range of sailboats here:

http://www.northshore.co.uk/Flash/S110.swf

They're not the only ones that use them...
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  #26  
Old 01-29-2008
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Swing

You might take a look at the Pearson 40. An older boat but solid. A flush deck, which might not be your cup of grog, but the boat is well built. It has a draft of approx 4 ft 3 in when up and 9 ft when down. points well and is stable, but likes to be reefed early, she's fast and a pretty lady. Great owner's group.
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  #27  
Old 01-29-2008
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Swing keel

We sail around the Texas Gulf Coast, mostly in freshwater lakes. We love the swing keel on our Gulf Coast 23. Perfect for gunkholing and running up onto the beach. We keep the keel halfway up in murky water where the bottom ranges up and down, so that if we go aground we just crank up the keel and float off. Also, when the keel hits something it just pops up instead of breaking off. We ran into a drowned tree in deep water in Canyon Lake once; broke the keel cable but we had enough extra cable on the drum to beach the boat and fix it.

Occasionally the keel clanks in the well but not often. We also have a keel lock if (heaven forbid) we are in weather rough enough to capsize us. This keeps the keel from falling back into the well if the boat turns turtle, making it difficult to right it. This, thank goodness, has never happened in the 26 years we've sailed the boat.

When the keel is raised halfway the boat doesn't point as high, but then, that makes sense.

Cathy
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  #28  
Old 01-29-2008
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advice on swing keel

I lost a boat in hurricane Ivan, a 24' Mirage. The boat has been out of production for decades.
I put about a 1,000 hours of work into it an it was great. Very fast, and made comfortable with the extras I installed; shore power, lighting, navigation. It had a very heavy centerboard and I rigged a block and tackle mechanism to host it more easily.
Today, I have a Laser and Sunfish, but I miss the ability to go camping on the Mirage in the intercoastal waterway and in the bays around Destin, FL.
I would appreciate any advice I could get on a good, swing keel/centerboard boat with good sailing characteristics and moderate room inside. I would be interested in 24' to 30'. I'm on the quest for the perfect boat to sail fast, explore the shallows, and spend the weekend on.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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  #29  
Old 01-29-2008
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I have now owned

two swing/center board keeled boats. A Mac 21 and now our Irwin 41.

Performance of the Mac of course was poor but a VERY VERY stable learning platform. With 5 of us aboard one day we knocked her down in Puget Sound, she was on her side for maybe 30 seconds and with one person grabbing hold of the keel righted herself with a full main sail of water plus my 160 pounds standing in the draft of it.

I have also laid down a friends 18ft Bay liner , We almost lost it due to the fact that the washboards were not in, letting the hull take on water but primarily due to the fact the the swing keel retracted back into the hull and I had a dickens of a time clawing it out and losing it back in a couple times.

This is the only thing I worry about on our Irwin and am trying to figure out a locking system that would not dammage the boat if we did hit something but still let the keel swing. But hold it inplace incase of a knockdown.

I havent come up with a plan yet..

I wouldn't trade the small increase of performance the fixed keels give for the freedom the swings give you. If I were crossing oceans I might thing different.

Our 41 seems very firm on her feet as when fully down we have nearly 11' hanging in the water. She sails well to weather with a balenced helm.

Last edited by Stillraining; 01-29-2008 at 09:28 PM.
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  #30  
Old 01-30-2008
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Thumbs up Beneteau 343 Swing Keel

I have a foil shaped, iron swing keel on my Beneteau and it's great!
It does not clunk back and forth and it raises and lowers very easily, taking me from a 4' draft to 8'. Natually we do point better and it does shift the center of gravity of the boat forward. When we round the mark to run, in racing, we raise it about 3/4. I've seen it from below in detail and it doesn't seem to use a cable, but a worm gear...but it could be that I couldn't see a very short cable up near the top.

The swing keel means I can sail in shallow bays and yet not give up windward performance. I looked for this for a year before I found one. Now I don't know how I got along without it.
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