Swing Keal..good or bad - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-02-2007
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Swing Keal..good or bad

We have found "the right boat"..a 42ft Maple Leaf but concerned about the swing keal. Any info anyone could share? Also, anyone have a Maple Leaf?
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Old 11-02-2007
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I can't comment from experience about swing keels on large boats, but I do have a swing keel on my 25' boat. For me, the swing keel allows me to have a very shallow draft (18") with the keel up, which is perfect for gunkholing, exploring backwaters, and getting to the beach and shallow anchorages.

The downside is that there are two additional holes in the hull: 1 for the keel cable and another for the keel's pivot bolt. I am not sure if other boats are set up the same way. For my particular boat, I'm told the cable assembly and keel pivot bolt are both well designed and hold up for many years. However, a regular visual inspection of both is necessary.
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Old 11-02-2007
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Lesmusic-

There are a few Maple Leaf owners on the board... so I'll let them respond re the boat itself. BTW, a swing keel is just a fancy way of saying the boat has a weighted centerboard.
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Old 11-02-2007
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In general a swing keel when grounded just bumps up and out of the way. However, you need to keep an eye on the keel bolt washers (no matter what material they're made of) and in some instances the bolts have broken after years of wear. Things you don't need to worry about with a fixed keel. Downside of a fixed keel, is that you have a deeper draft, and when you groudn it, she doesn't give. You just stop or break something.
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Old 11-02-2007
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The grounding question is obvious, but what about sailing characteristics?
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Like all centerboard boats, a swing keel will point better when the keel is down, rather than when it is up. It will also be a bit more stable, but not significantly so. Finally, like all centerboard boats, the boat's center of lateral resistance will shift slightly, depending on the position of the swing keel.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 11-02-2007
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They don't sail quite as close to the wind becuase the centreboard is usuallly flat, rather than a foil, hence the lift that they generate is not significant. But then - if you're not sailing the fin keel properly you're not getting a lot of lift of the keel either so ...

The short answer is that it's not a big concern as far as sailing performance goes. One thing to keep in mind is that the centreboards have a tendency to clunk from side to side in the centreboard case when the wind is light and this can be INCREDIBLY irritating 'round about the fourth day of listening to it...
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Old 11-02-2007
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Some centerboards are foil shaped... like the one on my boat. Also, not all centerboards clunk. My rudder clunks a little, but the centerboard is completely quiet.

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They don't sail quite as close to the wind becuase the centreboard is usuallly flat, rather than a foil, hence the lift that they generate is not significant. But then - if you're not sailing the fin keel properly you're not getting a lot of lift of the keel either so ...

The short answer is that it's not a big concern as far as sailing performance goes. One thing to keep in mind is that the centreboards have a tendency to clunk from side to side in the centreboard case when the wind is light and this can be INCREDIBLY irritating 'round about the fourth day of listening to it...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 11-02-2007
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Quote:
Some centerboards are foil shaped... like the one on my boat. Also, not all centerboards clunk. My rudder clunks a little, but the centerboard is completely quiet.
I'm talking about normal boats
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Old 11-02-2007
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LOL... depends on what you consider normal.
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I'm talking about normal boats
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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