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I recently bought this boat (1985, 35'') and I''m considering some casual PHRF non-spinnaker racing, mostly in San Diego Bay. My racing experience is as crew only, mostly on smaller boats, and some Schock 35''s.

Upon survey the underbody was found to be in very good condition, however the cast iron keel was modestly pitted. The boat has a new f/b North main, new Kevlar 155 genoa and folding prop. Would some kind of fairing of the keel significantly improve performance, and if so, by what method?

I would welcome any comments. Merry Christmas!!

Art

P.S.- I believe the PHRF rating will be 132
 

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The Optima is a very nice boat that sails quite well. Dehler''s cruising boats are quite well constructed and seem to perform very well. The Optima is based on an IOR hull form and in its day was optomized for the IOR rule ,which, along with, cost is the reason for the cast iron keel.

A fair keel makes a big difference in light air and also when beating at all wind speeds. Depending on the extent of the pitting minor fairing is easily done with a thickened epoxy. WEST System <www.westsystem.com> used to have an online article on fairing keels. WEST also used have a free pamphlet that covered the same subject.


Fractional rigged boats like the Optima should do quite well in non-spinacker classes as long as you don''t get suckered into sailing them like a masthead rigged boat. Masthead boats can often point higher and als rund closer to dead down wind. Fractional riggers don''t like to be pinched and so do better cracked off slightly. They also don''t like to run wing and wing until you are in a plenty of wind (most times over 12 or 15 knots) and so staying on a more of a broad reach prodces a greater VMC. Typically fractional riggers make up for the longer distances sailed with higher speed on these points of sail.

Jeff
 

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Thanks Jeff,

Your comments are always appreciated. I hope the faired keel will be all that is needed to keep the boat somewhat competitive, crew skills notwithstanding (my first sailboat!). I don''t have time to do it myself, so the next chore is finding the right boatyard.

Art

P.S.-Someone suggested I mark my prop shaft to keep the folding prop horizontal when sailing, which would prevent the lower blade from unfolding if the prop stopped in the vertical position. Is this overkill for casual handicap racing?
 

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Putting a small scratch mark on your prop shaft to indicate when the blades won''t droop won''t cost anything and WILL help your speed. Ensuring the blades are properly closed this way may also prevent the prop from spinning while under way, which can damage some transmissions.
 

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Take a mask and snorkel and some rubber bands when you''re racing (the thin ones). Then draw straws. Otherwise, my engine manufacturer says "leave it in reverse gear" while sailing....go figure...
 
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