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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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Old 10-28-2010
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Question Interesting Keel Design

Here is my new boat! She's a 1969 Westerly 28 and every time I look at her I wonder about her keel design. The vertical leading edge would be prone to catching kelp, debris, ect. and I hate to think about running aground.



What do you think? Also, how hard would it be to modify the leading edge to make it less vertical?
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Old 10-28-2010
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I think the vertical leading edge will be less of an issue than you think.
Adding enough material to make a difference will change your center of lateral resistance- probably for the worse.
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Old 10-28-2010
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Very pretty! congrats!
it's a dark pic but it doesn't look like something you even need to worry about the keel. Running aground? and you haven't even sailed her yet? Know the waters and charts of where you plan to sail. and have a real time depth finder. GPS depth is chart depth. I had an argument with someone about that.
(Unless the gps has a connection to a transponder.)
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Old 10-28-2010
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A chain saw can easily modify it, but then you'd also be moving the center of effort, the center of mass, etc. toward the rear and slightly up as well. Probably would affect pointing, stability, and then it is your gamble whether you can accept that, or fix it some other way.

The alternative would be to fill something in front, but that's going to be much more work and still may be a regret afterwards.
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Old 10-28-2010
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Your worried about what? why?

The only reason to run aground here in cascadia, assuming on the sound or north, not one of the rivers or slightly shallow lakes, is if you are not paying attention.

As far as kelp.......that will catch you be it an angle or straight down!

I would keep what you have frankly. Along with, your draft is pretty shallow all thing considering...... i know of two with 8-9' drafts, your ensy bitty what maybe 4' draft is nothing! 40+ foot power boats have more draft than you!

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm sure you're all right about not fretting over it. The only reason I become concerned in the first place is that a friend who is a respected sailor started muttering about the keel design and how it could be a problem. Like y'all said, better to stick with what I've got, at least for now.
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Old 10-28-2010
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no offence to your asteemed sailing colegue but i would assume that mr butler thought his design through however thatsjustmy opinion as a retired shipfitter.
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Old 10-28-2010
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I would leave it - Butler knew what he was doing.
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Interesting Keel Design-1.jpg   Interesting Keel Design-2.jpg   Interesting Keel Design-3.jpg  
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Old 10-28-2010
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If he is really a friend, and if he was really concerned about the keel form, he would have told you BEFORE you made the purchase. Bringing it up after is just latent jealousy coming out.
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Old 10-28-2010
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It does look funny on the trailer, but in the pic it looks fine to me. Congrats and very cool boat!
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