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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had a thought: what is the worst ever detail or design feature added to a sailboat? It could be the most dangerous or most dysfunctional - something that really ought not to be there.

My own candidate by a fair margin is the swing keel.

No doubt they will eventually figure out relatively foolproof ways to apply this - a fluid-based, counter-balanced system, perhaps - but to me, the notion of having a movable mechanical contraption to hold the ballast where it is needed seems to be inviting disaster.

"Why did you capsize?"
"Oh, we had the ballast to lee" or "The wind shifted" or "We turned too quickly" or, as in the Volvo race: "The keel got stuck to one side."


Can you raise the stakes much higher than that?
 

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The leg-breaker / head-crusher

I've been looking at various production boats recently and recently saw this example of what IMHO is the most potentially dangerous companionway / galley configuration I've yet to come across.

(click on Hunter's own 3D tour and look towards the companionway)

The Hunter 45DS carries a CE "A" certification which I find laughable when considering the design of the companionway steps. They include a foot/leg sized gap between steps & side rail that to me screams "broken leg zone". Follow that up with the location of the galley's centerline counter right at the foot of the companionway that would make a wonderful target for a headbutt if you should slip on those miniature steps. And the ankle height grab rails aren't going to help you recover your balance after you've broken your ankle and dented your skull.

And this is on an "Ocean" rated vessel that will likely be thrashing around underfoot and wet from time to time. Maybe I'm a nervous klutz but Egads !!!

:confused:
 

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I think what you are really refering to a Canting Keel, when I think of the term swing keel I think of small trailor sailors and such , which have keels that are retracted by a cable of some sort and swing up into the keel trunk. These have been around forever.
The Canting Keels on these go fast boats are the ones you hear of falling off and causing problems, but I still knew what you ment.
 

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Trolling for controversy is against forums rules

Two hulls?

:D :D :D :D
:D :D :D :D

I kind of thought the whole idea of bolting lead to something that is supposed to float is counter intuitive. Yet, it mostly works... except when they swing it side-to-side. Oh yeah - you caught that one.

Let's see....
* A head in the fore peak. Try using that off-shore. Fine in small boats - that I understand.
* Twin anchor rollers 3 inches apart.
* Stern light mounted between the davits, which were factory.
* Through hull fittings not in baffled compartments. Lets drill lotsa holes, heck, extras for stuff you don't even need.
* Boating magazines. Now we have so many projects we never go sailing.
* Nav lights on a roatating mast. No will know which way you are headed or what you are.

This should be a long, healthy, thread.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Engine access on a Ryton 38.

To change a fanbelt you lift all the cockpit floorboards then dismantle the floor,lifting the heavy stainless steel covers to one side, before getting to the engine.

Argh. Still I sailed it for seven years across the Atlantic and around the Caribbean.
 

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A canting keel is not the same thing as a swing keel.

A swing keel is a heavily ballasted centerboard. A canting keel is a bulb keel on a long strut that can be swung lateral, to alter the ballast position and help keep the boat level. This is a photo of a swing keel with keelstub.



The Volvo Ocean Race boats have a canting keel, and have supplemental daggerboards to help prevent leeway when the canting keel is canted and will do little to prevent leeway. Here's a photo of a boat with a canting keel.

 

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WOrst feature on a boat......hmmmmm.........

smackdaddy doing......no make that attempting to do a BFS!


Not what you were looking for?

Reality is, what is worst for me, is not worst for you! Along with what seems like a good idea, when perfected can be fun. BUT, for worst, I would be sharkskin/golfball dimpled hulls. Canting keels, once engineered etc correctly, and cost lowered.......they might be fun for us lower end players when the time comes!

Marty
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Yeah John! Quit being a troll!

I'm sorry, that's just funny.
From now on, I'm going to call it "a laterally mobile pendulum keel".

Some time ago, I saw a canting keel referred to as "swing" and didn't pay too much attention, but the word stuck and I often misuse it now. I should know better, as my own boat has a swing keel and I love it :) :) :)

As a curiosity: Alubat (Ovni maker) have fought against the term "centerboard" for their keel because people associate with dinghies and flimsy thin plywood boards. Anyway it is not a centerboard since it tilts up. Perhaps they also don't want to draw attention to others, say the British Southerly range, so they avoid saying "swing keel", they call it "tilting." Now, in a late version of their FAQ, I notice that the term "centreboard" slipped under the guard. What next?

Try this one, Smack: in one of your posts, sneak in a completely nonsensical nautical term and see if it ends up in one of my posts one day. Remember, English is not my first language, one can be quite gullible at times :)
 

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Beneteau calls it a "lifting keel," which is appropriate because it has a fair amount of ballast. I have one and love it. But those canting keels seem to me to have demonstrated they are hazardous. The big difference is what happens in failure mode. With a lifting keel, failure usually means it won't retract or lower. This is not catastrophic. With a canting keel, failure mode seems to be falling off the boat, but even if it simply stopped being controlled, the usual result is a capsize. What an awful idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nautical language

Bring it on! I can feel the heat even before I post this...:(

Still, let's throw it in and see what comes back: How about nautical language?

To the novice, it is like learning Chinese. Having precise terms for unique fittings is one thing, but do we - honestly - need "port"; "galley"; "heads" and a few more?

They have historic origins, it is very well for the old salt to use them for bravado, but do they for instance contribute one iota to safety onboard? Or to efficiency?
 

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Yes, much of the nautical terminology is designed to clarify and specify over what terrestrial language would do... Saying port and starboard leaves little doubt as to what side of the boat you're discussing, where left and right can be ambiguous, since it would depend on what direction you're facing.

Similarly, sheets, halyards, guys, downhauls, outhauls are all specific names for lines with specific functions-when you say to someone ease the main halyard, it specifically refers to the line that was used to hoist the mainsail and is attached to the head of the mainsail, and means you're requesting the luff tension be lowered or the sail be lowered depending on when you ask them to stop.

Yelling at someone to ease "that line over there..." really doesn't mean much and might get the job done, but also might result in disaster, if they think that the line over there is the wrong line... For instance, say you're turning downwind from closehauled and you tell them to "ease that line over there" referring to the main sheet...and they ease the outhaul instead.... on a multihull, that could well lead to user-induced capsize. :)

Using the proper language for a given discipline, whether it be rock climbing, hacking, medicine, or sailing, you reduce the chances of error, and simplify communication by giving greater clarity.
Bring it on! I can feel the heat even before I post this...:(

Still, let's throw it in and see what comes back: How about nautical language?

To the novice, it is like learning Chinese. Having precise terms for unique fittings is one thing, but do we - honestly - need "port"; "galley"; "heads" and a few more?

They have historic origins, it is very well for the old salt to use them for bravado, but do they for instance contribute one iota to safety onboard? Or to efficiency?
 

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I LIKE that the corners of chutes are color coded...

Yes, much of the nautical terminology is designed to clarify and specify over what terrestrial language would do... Saying port and starboard leaves little doubt as to what side of the boat you're discussing, where left and right can be ambiguous, since it would depend on what direction you're facing.

Similarly, sheets, halyards, guys, downhauls, outhauls are all specific names for lines with specific functions-when you say to someone ease the main halyard, it specifically refers to the line that was used to hoist the mainsail and is attached to the head of the mainsail, and means you're requesting the luff tension be lowered or the sail be lowered depending on when you ask them to stop.

Yelling at someone to ease "that line over there..." really doesn't mean much and might get the job done, but also might result in disaster, if they think that the line over there is the wrong line... For instance, say you're turning downwind from closehauled and you tell them to "ease that line over there" referring to the main sheet...and they ease the outhaul instead.... on a multihull, that could well lead to user-induced capsize. :)

Using the proper language for a given discipline, whether it be rock climbing, hacking, medicine, or sailing, you reduce the chances of error, and simplify communication by giving greater clarity.
that piston hanks ALWAYS open the same way, and that "bare off" always means the same thing.

I believe that historians will remind us that the common "sailing" language developed over many years as multi-national crews sought nomenclature they all understood.

I like to think when climbing that "belay on" means more than some has the climbing rope in their hands. It implies much more; a real anchor that can handle a 2000 pound impact. We need to be CLEAR.

It is all part of what they call "learning the ropes", and once you get the standard rigging down, you will be surprised how well it transfers from boat to boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I believe that historians will remind us that the common "sailing" language developed over many years as multi-national crews sought nomenclature they all understood.
If only that were so...
Of course I expected this response, and I support a common technical language. What I ask is might it be cleaned up a little to avoid reinventing the wheel and actually speeding the learning for novices?

Nautical terms are international only in limited cases. Try sailing with the French or Russians. I have direct experience from a schizophrenic life at sea: as young, going out in small boats in Norway, then merchant navy for years during holidays; then sailing proper in Australia and now Norway, with several nationalities. Result: I have some terms imprinted in Norwegian and struggle to recall the English in a hurry; others were only learnt in English and I scrounge around to find the Norwegian. They are not at all "common" apart from the more obvious ones. Try "kryssholt" - it means "cleat" and I have a block there all the time.

I can see no earthly reason why "left" and "right" would be misunderstood. We don't need them in cars or on bikes - one knows which way is forward and hence where "right" is. And "Head"? At one time one did go to the head, but I'd love to see your female crew to so today.
 

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I believe that historians will remind us that the common "sailing" language developed over many years as multi-national crews sought nomenclature they all understood.
OK - boom vang versus kicking strap. Anyone know the derivations?

Jack
 

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Left and right are relative terms, often based on the position of the person speaking. Port and starboard are absolute terms...with no ambiguity..... How many times have you said to someone, "It's on the right" and they'ver replied, "Your right or my right?" or you've had to say to them, "Your other right," because they were going the WRONG way.

I can see no earthly reason why "left" and "right" would be misunderstood. We don't need them in cars or on bikes - one knows which way is forward and hence where "right" is. And "Head"? At one time one did go to the head, but I'd love to see your female crew to so today.
 

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B and R rigs coupled with roller furling mains. I though the whole point to get a high roach main that would not foul on the backstay.

Close second - travellers mounted on cockpit arches.

Really - I am not picking on any particular manufacturer.
 
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