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Old 12-06-2008, 12:31   #1
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Round chine or hard chine ??

I am in the market for a newer 45' to 50' Trawler with plenty of comfort. Can any one tell me the pros and cons of a round bottom soft chine boat? I see most of the newer trawler type boats are the semi hard chine type. I am looking at a trawler fan tail to buy. Is this good or not good? Most of my boating will be in protected waters of the inside passage to south east Alaska but would like to cruse at least one time down the Pacific coast to Bahamas. Maybe cruse a few years around there.

Any advise as to what type of boat to buy??

Jim
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Old 12-06-2008, 13:13   #2
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Originally Posted by Jim Sprague View Post
I am in the market for a newer 45' to 50' Trawler with plenty of comfort. Can any one tell me the pros and cons of a round bottom soft chine boat? I see most of the newer trawler type boats are the semi hard chine type. I am looking at a trawler fan tail to buy. Is this good or not good?
A chined boat is generally easier to build than a round hull. This is pretty much true for metal, wood or glass. The reason is because you can work with flat sections which things like metal and wood tend to come in.

The disadvantage is the chines increase the wetted surface and has a somewhat negative effect on the boats performance. They also are the weak link in the chain. Finally, to my eye, they are not as pleasing.

So, oversimplified, Chines cost less but are weaker. But things are rarely that simple.

One factor is the number of chines. Two chine boats look a bit nicer and are a bit more round. Some people would even throw the term sea kindly at it. I don’t that would be appropriate as more factors than the number of chines have to do with motion. The thing with a boat with two chines is the builder (or you) have more work to do in putting the boat together. Why stop with two? Why not a 12 chined boat? That would look really nice and round but the work involved would not make cheaper. In other words the chined boat would be more expensive that the round boat.

There is another option known as a radius chine. Dudley Dix has some nice boats of this type. I suppose he should since he came up with it. He has even written some articles which you can find here. I rather his work. The same is true for Ted Brewer . Bruce Roberts works a lot with hard chined boats and the Spray is, I think, his best known example of one of his chined boats. I don’t personally care for them in general, but all the ones I have seen have been (poorly) home-built – so I reserve my final judgment

None of this really has to do with you though. So let’s get to the subject at hand. If I were you, I would first go with how is handles for your crew. That is a pretty good sized boat you are looking at and most cruisers go with a relatively few number of folks; often only a couple at that. If used, obviously a survey (in and out of the water) and a seatest will be in order.

Now, all things being equal … the number of chines will still have nothing to do with it. Check out the other features. They will be much more important.

It would also be helpful if you could tell us what specific boats you are looking at.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-06-2008, 14:29   #3
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A single hard chine gives higher initial stability.
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Old 12-06-2008, 20:15   #4
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Hard chines damp some of the rolling for not much extra in skin friction
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Old 12-06-2008, 21:42   #5
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skin friction

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Hard chines damp some of the rolling for not much extra in skin friction

What does it mean when you say for not much extra in skin friction? is that a good thing or not a good thing?

jim
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Old 12-06-2008, 21:55   #6
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The increase in hull area (skin friction) with a hard chine is relatively small compared against the gain in roll dampening.
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