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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live on the indian river lagoon where the water is shallow I like to sail up and down the lagoon but I also want to sail to the Bahamas and beyond so im torn between a almond 31 shallow draft and lots of room and a Freya 39 deep draft and built like a tank and im not a racer but want a boat that's not going to fall apart in rough sea I go out when im off work and rarely check the weather .rough seas is kind of like rideing a motor cycle I like the excitement no problem. Is there a boat that is good for both smooth lagoon sailing and rough seas?
 

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What's your budget? There are some "blue water" boats with swing keels or centerboards. Southerly, some Tartans, some Bristols, some Hinckley (I believe).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
knew several people with swing keels cable broke on 2 and eye bolt corroded out on one so not that keen on swing keels
 

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What's the budget?

A 30ish foot catamaran or something like a Corsair 31 tri would be my recomendation. Shallow enough draft for a bay with the board up, and you can drop the centerboard for offshore work.
 

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Once you actually get to the Bahamas, you might appreciate a shallow draft again. On a charter in the Abacos, we found even a 5 ft draft enough to make us very tide sensitive when entering or leaving various harbors.
 

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A Freya 35 (approximately) arrived at my Club 2 years ago. Before it hit the water, the owner had added lead to the sides of the keel, cut off what was below the lead, then faired everything. Voila, a shoal keel.
 

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knew several people with swing keels cable broke on 2 and eye bolt corroded out on one so not that keen on swing keels
Butch,

Swing keels have tradeoffs as all designs do. They allow the use of shallow water as full keel boats do but provide the pointing and lifting efficiencies of modern low aspect deep draft keels when in deep water. They can also be adjusted as another way to balance the boat. However, owners should do an annual inspection and maintenance of the keel and the parts that control it. The problems you mentions are what happens if you don't.

I don't own a swing keel boat myself, but my understanding is you should haul the boat annually, inspect the keel and hardware for wear, corrosion, and other issues and replace as needed, clean out the crustations that can make the swing keel stick, and keep your bottom paint on the keel and in the slot fresh.

Regards,

Tom
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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knew several people with swing keels cable broke on 2 and eye bolt corroded out on one so not that keen on swing keels
Guess they could tried some maintenance along the way. We have a c/b on a heavy 45 footer. It is great to have 5 foot draft when we need it and 12 feet when we want to go to windward.
 

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A Freya 35 (approximately) arrived at my Club 2 years ago. Before it hit the water, the owner had added lead to the sides of the keel, cut off what was below the lead, then faired everything. Voila, a shoal keel.
those are called torpedos...

there is an islander 36(my boat model) who did this mod quite succesfully took at least a foot off the keel than slapped on some 500lb or so lead torpedos and through bolted them on each side...

he said it was worth it and didnt affect handling in any noticeable way...but he was now just under 5 feet draft versus 6 ft and 6inches that some islander 36 had

I beleive the iron keels were a little bit longer than the lead keels

:)
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I almost bought a P-40 which has a swing keel. One of the reasons for finally going with a fixed keel was doubt about the long-term viability of a mechanism such as that. I'd also worry more about it getting jammed and its strength if/when it hits something. Being able to decrease draft is a tempting feature.
 

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What's the budget?

A 30ish foot catamaran or something like a Corsair 31 tri would be my recomendation. Shallow enough draft for a bay with the board up, and you can drop the centerboard for offshore work.
Not sure I would want to be offshore in Corsair 31 in heavy weather.
 

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Note there is a big difference between a centerboard and a swing keel. Swing keels are not common on larger boats. Mostly found on trailerable smaller cruising boats.
 

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Not sure I would want to be offshore in Corsair 31 in heavy weather.
It wouldn't be my first choice. But he is talking about Florida-Bahamas on a boat that will do 15kn. That's a little over an hour weather window for open water.
 

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All else being equal, a boat has two wings and flies using them both. The short wing, in the water, and the larger wing, the sails. Cut down the water wing and it has to make a difference, you won't be able to "climb" as in point as high. Maybe still high enough--but not as high, unless the boat had too much keel to start with. Unlikely since keels cost money.

Yes, more ballast can help the boat stay upright with less keel, but that still is not compensating for the loss of the aerodynamic (hydrodynamic) "wing" down there.

Still, the SawzAll School of Design may make an owner happy until it comes time to sell the boat, when everyone else refers to the [email protected] job and finds someplace else to go.

Which is why centerboards were invented. They're a reasonable compromise for a boat that needs to live in shoal waters and occasionally perform in deeper ones but ocean voyagers seem to almost universally have the same hesitation about centerboards. You've got a major mechanical part totally inaccessible under the boat and in the even that you have a really dreadful Blue Water Event, i.e. roll or pitchpole, that centerboard is going to come back inside the trunk like a huge fast guillotine blade, isn't it?

Making it less attractive if you plan to spend time in blue water, as opposed to just crossing it from time to time to get into shoal cruising grounds.

Same problem with clothing: I can't find a tuxedo that's worth a damn as a wetsuit. Sometimes, you just have to dress appropriately before you leave home.
 

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Most trimarans use a centerboard. Since the righting moment comes from the wings not the ballast weight, the board don't need any weight, just profile and strength. This makes them very light.

The advantage of a trimaran here is that they are very shallow boats (mine draws 9" boards up) but still go upwind like a monohull with the boards down. In very shallow water we can still sail since the hulls provide some, though not a huge amount of lift.
 
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