Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Marathon, Florida
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Re: Opinions on these Catalina 30s
Wing VS Fin comes up a lot on this forum.
I've seen scuttlebutt and generalizations repeated as gospel that don't match my experience sailing a boat with a wing keel.
The following is specific to the Catalina 30 the original poster was asking about.
You give up pointing and performance going with a wing.
Umm, No. You really don't unless you're a competitive one design racer.
The theoretical performance difference between the C30 fin and C30 wing is 3 seconds per mile; or about two minutes difference in six hours of sailing.
That's significant only to one design racers. In the real world sails aren't new, halyards have stretch, you carry a lot of "stuff" on board and you're not constantly adjusting sail shape. In the real world you occasionally tweak the sails, have conversations with guests and some of us (ahem) won't have perfect form when we tack.
So there is no real world performance difference. This may not be true of all brands/models with wing keels, bu Gerry Douglas did a good job keeping things equal on the C30.
Wing Keels are harder to get off if you go aground
I have a lot of respect for Jeff, but his anecdotal evidence doesn't match my ten years of experience sailing a wing in the VERY shallow waters of Barnegat Bay, where going aground at some point is pretty much guaranteed. If you release your sheets quickly, fire up the motor and take your time easing her off I haven't had a problem.
The wing keel exposes your rudder in a grounding
I can't speak for other models but on the C30 the rudder is shorter than the keel (at least on my 1995).
Obviously being able to sail and anchor in shallower waters.
But another positive is that she sits 16 inches lower when on the hard. That may not sound like much until you hit the end of a long day doing maintenance and there's three less rungs you have to climb to get back on the boat with 50 year old knees. Even less than that if you have an open transom.
ďThe sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau