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OsmundL 05-15-2009 08:33 PM

The Worst Ever Feature
I have had a thought: what is the worst ever detail or design feature added to a sailboat? It could be the most dangerous or most dysfunctional – something that really ought not to be there.

My own candidate by a fair margin is the swing keel.

No doubt they will eventually figure out relatively foolproof ways to apply this – a fluid-based, counter-balanced system, perhaps – but to me, the notion of having a movable mechanical contraption to hold the ballast where it is needed seems to be inviting disaster.

“Why did you capsize?”
“Oh, we had the ballast to lee” or “The wind shifted” or “We turned too quickly” or, as in the Volvo race: “The keel got stuck to one side.”

Can you raise the stakes much higher than that?

JohnRPollard 05-15-2009 10:29 PM


Originally Posted by OsmundL (Post 486425)
Can you raise the stakes much higher than that?

Two hulls?

:D :D :D :D

SeanRW 05-15-2009 10:30 PM

The leg-breaker / head-crusher
I've been looking at various production boats recently and recently saw this example of what IMHO is the most potentially dangerous companionway / galley configuration I've yet to come across.

(click on Hunter's own 3D tour and look towards the companionway)

The Hunter 45DS carries a CE "A" certification which I find laughable when considering the design of the companionway steps. They include a foot/leg sized gap between steps & side rail that to me screams "broken leg zone". Follow that up with the location of the galley's centerline counter right at the foot of the companionway that would make a wonderful target for a headbutt if you should slip on those miniature steps. And the ankle height grab rails aren't going to help you recover your balance after you've broken your ankle and dented your skull.

And this is on an "Ocean" rated vessel that will likely be thrashing around underfoot and wet from time to time. Maybe I'm a nervous klutz but Egads !!!


sailortjk1 05-15-2009 10:42 PM

I think what you are really refering to a Canting Keel, when I think of the term swing keel I think of small trailor sailors and such , which have keels that are retracted by a cable of some sort and swing up into the keel trunk. These have been around forever.
The Canting Keels on these go fast boats are the ones you hear of falling off and causing problems, but I still knew what you ment.

pdqaltair 05-15-2009 10:43 PM

Trolling for controversy is against forums rules

Originally Posted by JohnRPollard (Post 486443)
Two hulls?

:D :D :D :D

:D :D :D :D

I kind of thought the whole idea of bolting lead to something that is supposed to float is counter intuitive. Yet, it mostly works... except when they swing it side-to-side. Oh yeah - you caught that one.

Let's see....
* A head in the fore peak. Try using that off-shore. Fine in small boats - that I understand.
* Twin anchor rollers 3 inches apart.
* Stern light mounted between the davits, which were factory.
* Through hull fittings not in baffled compartments. Lets drill lotsa holes, heck, extras for stuff you don't even need.
* Boating magazines. Now we have so many projects we never go sailing.
* Nav lights on a roatating mast. No will know which way you are headed or what you are.

This should be a long, healthy, thread.

sailortjk1 05-15-2009 10:47 PM


Originally Posted by pdqaltair (Post 486447)
* Nav lights on a roatating mast. No will know which way you are headed or what you are.

LMAO! Well done. Good call.

OsmundL 05-16-2009 03:56 AM


Originally Posted by sailortjk1 (Post 486446)
I think what you are really refering to a Canting Keel

Absolutely. Even within English there are dialects :) :) :) but canting is the better term.

TQA 05-16-2009 07:50 PM

Engine access on a Ryton 38.

To change a fanbelt you lift all the cockpit floorboards then dismantle the floor,lifting the heavy stainless steel covers to one side, before getting to the engine.

Argh. Still I sailed it for seven years across the Atlantic and around the Caribbean.

sailingdog 05-16-2009 09:04 PM

A canting keel is not the same thing as a swing keel.

A swing keel is a heavily ballasted centerboard. A canting keel is a bulb keel on a long strut that can be swung lateral, to alter the ballast position and help keep the boat level. This is a photo of a swing keel with keelstub.

The Volvo Ocean Race boats have a canting keel, and have supplemental daggerboards to help prevent leeway when the canting keel is canted and will do little to prevent leeway. Here's a photo of a boat with a canting keel.,0.jpg

smackdaddy 05-16-2009 11:33 PM

78 Attachment(s)
Yeah John! Quit being a troll!

I'm sorry, that's just funny.

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