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Thread: Weighted keel on small sailboat

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
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    4,064

    Default Re: Weighted keel on small sailboat

    Quote Originally Posted by beam reach View Post
    The absolute lower bounds for a monohull with side-bench seating seems to be around 650-700lbs empty displacement. NanoShip gets there in part with 375lbs of water ballast.
    Based on personal experience (and not any marked theoretical knowledge), I think you're a bit off here. Ross Lillistone's Phoenix III design, a 15' beach cruiser I have logged many miles in, has a listed displacement of 595 pounds:

    DSCN3171.jpg

    The side bench seating is perfectly comfortable, and the boat is plenty stable to handle it. That's not far at all from the limits you mentioned, but I thought it might be worth a mention.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  2. #37
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Pacific drifting
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    441

    Default Re: Weighted keel on small sailboat

    Thanks for the insight Tom.

    The quote for the numbers of 650-700lbs empty displacement were from designer John Harriss at CLC.

    I`m looking for a similar small craft that Rick is seeking , I need a boat for two adults and a large dog.

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    24,947

    Default Re: Weighted keel on small sailboat

    Ballast used to be pretty standard on small boats. The Wenaumet Kitten, 13'6" x 6', carries 400 lb. inside ballast, for example. As small boats became more influenced by racing, it became clear that boats with less weight were faster. The Redwing dinghy, an Uffa Fox deign, started out with a 134 lb. steel centerboard, but now carries a wooden board and has a trapeze instead.

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    42,779

    Default Re: Weighted keel on small sailboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I have a little experience with Valgerda, and lovely as they are disappointing is putting it mildly.
    She probably needs to sit a little deeper, so that the shear strake is getting wet. Then she will have more form stability and will stand up to more sail. I have found that Peerie Maa should have some ballast, even with two up.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  5. #40
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Pacific drifting
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: Weighted keel on small sailboat

    PM for you Nick.

  6. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Weighted keel on small sailboat

    IMHO:

    "Why do small boat designs shy away from having any sort of outside ballast keel?"
    -Possibly to keep weight down for shore handling, trailering and ease of construction. Shift from workboat mentality of the late 1800s to "lighter, faster better" mindset of the recreational/racing sailor. And small boats are usually gunkholers, set up to work small waters and get on and off beaches.

    "I like the stability of a weighted keel to keep me upright in a gust."
    -Design philosophy there is to keep sail plan lower, versatile and agile, 2-3 small sails (cat ketch) vs 1-2 big sails (sloop).

    "I love sailing on keel boats, but that doesn't seem to translate into small boats (16' or smaller)."
    -Small boats are like little fighter jets, where stability is traded off for performance. There must be a sweet spot where the hull shape and LWL swing from being tender to more stable. I like stable boats and the lapstrake hull/multiple chine on our 14 foot Penobscot feels good to me, nice higher sides and a meaty gunwale to grab onto. Spritsail and long leaf pine power, built primarily for rowing and then sail home on a run if we time the tide right. The 17 foot O'Day Day Sailer has a rounded chine and she feels like a sports car and the Skipper loves to see me hanging on in that one. The longer thinner Penobscot 17 iss a racer with 2 balanced lugs and a lot of sticks and strings in the cockpit, great for a single hander who wants to sit low, set sail and beat the fleet. Go up a foot and a half and the Drascombe Lugger is a sweetheart, sea kindly hull with multiple motive power options of motor, sail or oar. Easy to trailer at 1200 pounds boat and trailer. Fun to go muck marining in.


    Is it that the designers just figure that crew weight is good enough ballast?
    -Yes

    "Concerns that launching from a ramp is harder?"
    -Yes

    "Would a weighted keel of that small size not be enough to improve stability?"
    -I think it would improve stability but you lose flexibility of sitting higher on the launch trailer and having more draft. Compromise. The smaller boats require more flexibility in weight and balance, need to be able to adjust position of crew, gear, sails and centerboard if so equipped.

    Perhaps the fixed ballast keel is a limitation in that regard?
    -I don't think a little weight would be a limitation if it were designed to fit a certain hull/sail plan for a certain purpose to be used in specific water under a tight range of conditions. The Capn has to decide if that will work or a Jack-of-All-Trades-Master-Of-None (JOATMON) boat. So to make that decision we keep several boats But if it came down to one, you'd see the Lugger nosed up onto our beach.

    As for the 12 1/2, is the Somes Sound 12 1/2 is a lapstrake version of Joel White's boat, drawn up by John Brooks. All I know about I just read in the Small Boats Monthly article from June 2015, Reader Built Boat by David Johnson. (In publication for 4 years now, Small Boats Monthly has a lot of good resource Boat Profiles and Reader Built Boat articles gathered up by WoodenBoat's Chris Cunningham and Anne Bryant. Easy to search on their webpage).

    Here's a boat for ya, 16 foot lapstrake and cross planked catboat by Culler.

    IMG_4180.jpg

    Cheers
    Kent and Skipper

    Last edited by signalcharlie; 01-07-2019 at 08:04 AM.

  7. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
    Posts
    16,561

    Default Re: Weighted keel on small sailboat

    Originally Posted by Canoeyawl

    I have a little experience with Valgerda, and lovely as they are disappointing is putting it mildly.
    Thanks for that insight.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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