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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to SailNet and new to sailing and essentially new to Nova Scotia (retired engineer from western Canada).

I never got a chance to work in the marine environment during my engineering career, so decided to make up for that in retirement. Since the Bay of Fundy is just a few hundred metres >> over there >> I decided want to try my hand at sailing as a retirement hobby.

I've completed Sail Canada's Basic Cruising standard and now looking to acquire my own boat. Looking for a suitable coastal cruiser that can be single handed as Missus 82Crewe is not too interested in being on the water very much. I am looking for something used, 20 - 24 foot and sub $5K (without it being a major overhaul project). Have found a few, but stuck on the swing keel vs fixed keel question.

I thought it was worthwhile to get involved with an online sailing community so that I can further my research on boats and viable sailing strategies.

Thanks!

jb
 

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Hi JP, and welcome to SN. I can't offer much advice for your specific questions. I've sailed the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and most recently (and currently) Newfoundland. I have travelled through your area and been dutifully amazed by the Bay of Fundy waters. It does not look like an easy area to sail.

My experience with swing keels is limited to having friends with them. On the downside, they introduce an added system complication, and therefore an added failure path. But on the upside, it lets a boat operate in thin water. This could be especially helpful in areas like yours where tides are measured in tens of feet.

I recall being at St. Andrews hotel for a conference and watching all the boat in the mooring field completely dry out ever 12 hours. So having a small keel probably helps in this situation.
 

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NS is a great sailing location. Bay of Fundy may be the least desirable location.

Wander up to Shelborne, Lunenburg, and Halifax.

But then you also have Cape Breton - Bras d Or lakes.

It just gets better and better.
 
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Nice sailing up there when it's not foggy. For the swing/fixed keel issue, a lot depends upon what you want to do and how you go about sailing. If you're on a mooring, the fixed keel will hopefully have fewer moving parts than a swing keel, so less to maintain and less to possibly break.
If you're on a trailer, taking the boat over the road to other places to explore with day trips or overnights, a keel could make launching and retrieving difficult. Most of the areas around Nova Scotia seem to be plenty deep, so being able to get into the shallows with a swing-keel or centerboard might not be the big draw that it is in Chesapeake Bay, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all. My motto is that the journey is the best part of life's adventure. So far am having a great time in narrowing down what I want in a boat. There are few for sale in my local area (2 or 3 within 100 KM). I want to check them out to get the feel of the process. Other hobbies include auctions and vintage cars, so am used to putting on some miles to go look at a potential treasure or two.
 
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