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Thread: Keel depth importance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Northern Virginia, USA
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    10

    Default Keel depth importance

    Hi Folks,

    I've been talking with a builder about purchasing one of their 8m daysailers, which come in two keel depths, 1.03m standard and 1.3m "racing keel." I don't understand why the difference...it seems to me the racing keel, being deeper, would provide more stability so why would one NOT want that in all circumstances? What are the advantages/disadvantages of each depth?

    Thanks in advance!
    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    40,356

    Default Re: Keel depth importance

    We can talk generalities... but isn't that a question for the builder? They can give you details much more accurate to THAT design.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
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    16,884

    Default Re: Keel depth importance

    You are talking about 8"
    If you are in the Cheasapeake that will be a lot of area you can't sail in. If you are in Maine 8" makes no difference.
    I suspect there is more to it than just the depth, and I would always choose the better performer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    42,050

    Default Re: Keel depth importance

    Many boats come in "racing" or "standard" and also "shoal" or "cruising". In many cruising grounds, it can make a difference. Around here, for example, it can make the difference between enjoying Waquoit or not.

    The thing to watch for is that if you've a spade or skeg rudder, the shoal version may not have the rudder enough higher than the keel for safety. I was helping deliver a new boat when we came down on nothing worse than hard sand. Bent the rudder back so it was jammed under the transom. Shot a mooring under sail trim and an incredibly courageous foredeck person.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
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    1,712

    Default Re: Keel depth importance

    Please do more homework.. stability is only part of what keels are about.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Pukekohe, New Zealand
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    111

    Default Re: Keel depth importance

    Matt, you started something here.
    So many differences.
    Draft is important - exactly as Canoeyawl stated above. Enough said
    Marina berth depths especially at low tide. The 8 metre berths are normally in the shallowest part of the marina.
    Does your berth dry out at low tide? Make your choice then after studying the depth of mud you have.
    Keel design - I mean shape. Cruising keels are often built to take the hard if the boat hull has to be cleaned or for maintenance. Racing keels often need a travel lift or fork lift to haul out.
    Racing keels are designed for lift (point higher) with 4 guys stacked on the rail. Standard keels are designed for lift with you and the Missus inside the cockpit.

    If still in doubt ask the boat builder to arrange a demo sail in each - only then will you be able to make up your mind.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wongawallan Oz
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    14,738

    Default Re: Keel depth importance

    Quote Originally Posted by Don MacLeod View Post
    Matt, you started something here.
    So many differences.
    Draft is important - exactly as Canoeyawl stated above. Enough said
    Marina berth depths especially at low tide. The 8 metre berths are normally in the shallowest part of the marina.
    Does your berth dry out at low tide? Make your choice then after studying the depth of mud you have.
    Keel design - I mean shape. Cruising keels are often built to take the hard if the boat hull has to be cleaned or for maintenance. Racing keels often need a travel lift or fork lift to haul out.
    Racing keels are designed for lift (point higher) with 4 guys stacked on the rail. Standard keels are designed for lift with you and the Missus inside the cockpit.

    If still in doubt ask the boat builder to arrange a demo sail in each - only then will you be able to make up your mind.

    That’s about as good an explanation as you’re ever likely to get.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    Default Re: Keel depth importance

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    That’s about as good a quick explanation as you’re ever likely to get.
    ftfy
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Coast
    Posts
    3,385

    Default Re: Keel depth importance

    The racing foil will be a more efficient foil and will provide better windward performance in pretty much all circumstances. reaching and running pretty much the same or possibly very slightly poorer speed. You may be slightly stiffer with a lower cg, but i doubt you would notice it...much. If depth/draft is a big factor for where and how you sail, I'd go for the shallower foil, but if you keep a safe distance from shoals you mightl ike the more efficient foil and slightly better overall performance.

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