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Old 25-06-2011, 08:32   #1
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Hare-brained Scheme

It all started ten years ago, in the summer of 2001. I had gone down to Port Street to buy some waterproofing for the canvas on our Trojan. The sign on the door said, "Back in :15 min", so I thought I would kill the time by wandering into the air-conditioned brokerage/dealership next door. I looked at the photo listings on the cork board, and was soon approached by a broker. At that time, our intention had previously been to eventually trade our Trojan in on a trawler, but the price of trawlers had gone into the stratosphere, with the decline of the Canadian dollar. I mentioned to the broker that I had a hankering for a Monk trawler. His answer was, "Those boats all have osmosis. Why would you spend that kind of money on a 15-20 year-old trawler, when I can put you in a brand-new sailboat for the same money?" It sort of made sense, so I looked at his wares. In short, I was not impressed.

The following year found me looking at another brand of sailboat in the same industrial complex. These boats were priced a little higher, but appeared on the surface to be of somewhat better quality that the previous offerings. I looked the boats over, but there were things we didn't like. One of them was the sail-drive. The straw that broke the camel's back for us was the fact that if I opted for a shoal-draft keel, it would be steel, instead of lead. This was unacceptable to us. "No problem," said the dealer. "We can order the boat with the deep draft lead keel, cut a piece off, split the cut piece in half like a banana for a banana split, and attach the two halves to the keel." We were not impressed with this idea.

This was our first exposure to sailboat option prices like:

$600 for a microwave
$1,097 FM radio with CD player & 2 speakers
$6,494 ST 5000 autopilot
$975 VHF
$8,401 Air Conditioning (I had just replaced my home unit for $2,000)
$663 for a salon cushion
$773 Deck hatch blinds
$6,998 cabin heater
$5,460 commissioning

Having previously purchased four new powerboats, I had never heard of the term, "commissioning".

When I added it all up, including the taxes, the boat would have cost a staggering amount of money. When considered in the context of the boat's shortcomings, we decided to take a pass.

At any rate, here we are, looking for a used boat to buy. Some of them have drafts that are deeper than we can use. It occurred to me that if I find the right boat for us, with the draft being the only obstacle, I might be able to resort to the above mentioned 'cut and paste' keel draft reduction. I wondered whether this idea is feasible, or as whacky as I originally thought it was.

Nomad
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Old 25-06-2011, 09:03   #2
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

Have a chat with Mars-Metal / Mars Keel. They are right in your neighborhood, Burlington.

Mars Metal. Contact us

MarsKeel - Technology
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Old 25-06-2011, 09:19   #3
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

Split or "wing" keels were the rage some time ago. The idea was that the "wings" would help reduce lee slippage. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But what wing keels did do was make it very difficult to get "un-stuck" during a grounding. That big flat area gets stuck in the mud or bottom and you cannot use "heeling" or rocking to free the boat. Only tilting the boat forward - raising the stern and putting the bow closer to the water sometimes works - otherwise you have to get towed/dragged off the grounding.
- - However, on the "up-side" in major tidal range anchorages, if you misjudge the boat remains upright versus falling over on a side as conventional keeled boat do.
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Old 25-06-2011, 09:24   #4
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

Hmm, two thoughts.

Firstly, nothing wrong with steel as a keel material. Sure it needs looking after and touching up each year but that's not a problem.

Secondly why not buy the right boat in the first place with a shallow draft rather than alter one that was designed for use with a deep fin.

This one is a little far from you but there are a few about, we nearly bought her sister yacht.

JEANNEAU SUNSHINE 36 1985. 35' YACHT WITH LIFTING KEEL | eBay UK

What is your draft limit?

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Old 25-06-2011, 09:45   #5
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

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Originally Posted by LeaseOnLife View Post
Have a chat with Mars-Metal / Mars Keel. They are right in your neighborhood, Burlington.

Mars Metal. Contact us

MarsKeel - Technology
Thanks, I'll give them a call.

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Old 25-06-2011, 09:49   #6
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

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Split or "wing" keels were the rage some time ago. The idea was that the "wings" would help reduce lee slippage. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But what wing keels did do was make it very difficult to get "un-stuck" during a grounding. That big flat area gets stuck in the mud or bottom and you cannot use "heeling" or rocking to free the boat. Only tilting the boat forward - raising the stern and putting the bow closer to the water sometimes works - otherwise you have to get towed/dragged off the grounding.
- - However, on the "up-side" in major tidal range anchorages, if you misjudge the boat remains upright versus falling over on a side as conventional keeled boat do.
osirissail,

I'm familiar with the wing keel controversy. I did not understand the dealer to mean that he intended to create a wing keel, but rather to split the cut-off piece in half and simply bolt the two halves to the side of the keel close to the bottom, thus making the bottom portion of the keel thicker. He said it would cost $5,000 to do this. I could have done it myself with a saw, a jack, and a drill.

At any rate, we took a pass, as the boat would have cost too many of our $0.61 dollars. Today, those boats are advertised on Yachtworld for 1/3 of what it would have cost us. There were just too many other issues with the boat.

Regards,

Nomad
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Old 25-06-2011, 09:59   #7
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

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Hmm, two thoughts.

Secondly why not buy the right boat in the first place with a shallow draft rather than alter one that was designed for use with a deep fin.

What is your draft limit?

Pete
The reason for considering the cut-and-paste is that in the Toronto area there are some boats available at a decent price that are highly regarded, but often have deep keels. I posed the question, since I did not want to pass up what might be a good boat simply because of the draft. One broker has six examples of this boat, three of which have the shoal draft. They are priced on average $9,000 higher than the deep draft models. (Last year, he had only one shoal draft of six examples.)

If I can have one cut and pasted, it might be a better deal, especially if one of the deep draft boats is in better condition than the others.

Our draft limit is about 5', would prefer closer to 4, but I doubt that will be found on a 36.

Regards,

Nomad
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Old 25-06-2011, 11:05   #8
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

The point has become moot. It is cost prohibitive.

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Old 25-06-2011, 11:25   #9
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

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Originally Posted by Nomad57 View Post
The reason for considering the cut-and-paste is that in the Toronto area there are some boats available at a decent price that are highly regarded, but often have deep keels. I posed the question, since I did not want to pass up what might be a good boat simply because of the draft. One broker has six examples of this boat, three of which have the shoal draft. They are priced on average $9,000 higher than the deep draft models. (Last year, he had only one shoal draft of six examples.)

If I can have one cut and pasted, it might be a better deal, especially if one of the deep draft boats is in better condition than the others.

Our draft limit is about 5', would prefer closer to 4, but I doubt that will be found on a 36.

Regards,

Nomad
If I had strict shallow draft limits, I would be looking at centerboards or catamarans. A well-made centerboard, of course, can go from 3.5 to 8 feet as needed.

The other option is to buy a bilge keeler in England, I suppose. Very few were made here. If you need comfort, access, and safety (and not so much performance), bilge keelers are great.

I personally think that the tradeoffs with a shallow draft keel are considerable. You might consider a full keel or a full keel with cutaway forefoot. These give you 4.5-5 foot draft over 30-33 feet, but are very spacious in terms of tankage, meaning you get more time "out there" in the same length of hull. Full keels have more wetted surface (slower) but track better (good for windvane or self-steering).

I think you may have to widen your parameters. If you need shallow draft for gunkholing in Georgian Bay, consider a centerboarder. Or extending your dock. Or dynamiting a trench through the rock to your dock.
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Old 25-06-2011, 15:23   #10
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

That is a big difference in price, don't suppose the original manufacturer is still going are they? and instead of a cut and shunt on the keel buy a new keel but shoal draft, that way you know it will work because its already been tried.

If you could get a line drawing you could even have one made locally in steel.

Alternatively to be comfortably within 5 feet draft limit you are probably looking for a European yacht. Wonder what it would cost to have delivered. Were is Phil?

1984 Moody 31 BilgeKeel Sail New and Used Boats for Sale -

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Old 25-06-2011, 17:30   #11
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

Basically, anything that makes the bottom of the keel wider increases the difficulty of getting the boat off a grounding. Considering that there are only two kinds of sailors those who admit going aground and those that lie about it, I suggest it is a consideration albeit maybe not as limiting as a full winged keel boat.
- - A few years ago, there was a popular US built cruising sailboat that came with a 7 ft keel which was designed by the factory to have several feet of the keel "sawed" off if the owner wanted to go shoal draft.
- - Centerboard or lifting keel boats are great for getting into shallow waters and also for being able to drop some "serious" amount of keel when in deep waters. However, in real life - in the Tropics or Temperate waters they have a major problem with sea growth getting up inside the trunk of the centerboard. It doesn't take long before the centerboard/lifting keel cannot be raised or lowered due to barnacles, etc. jamming the trunk. Standard equipment for owners of those types of boats is a long bladed Japanese double sided stab saw. Periodically you have to go underwater and saw out the sea growth from the centerboard/lifting keel trunk.
- - There is no end of "good" ideas out there for new and improved but sometimes they just don't work very well in real life cruising.
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Old 25-06-2011, 17:36   #12
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

Quote:
I wondered whether this idea is feasible, or as wacky as I originally thought it was.
Mostly wacky. You don't modify the fundamental shape of the boat. You don't know why is the best reason.

When you buy add ons the installation often costs more than the part being added. An autopilot is a good example. Boat installation is not like adding something to your house or even your car. You could probably do it yourself for less and screw it up. You also can pay a lot and have it done poorly too. Qualtiy boat installations are not simple - even if you think they should be.
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Old 25-06-2011, 19:37   #13
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

Being a Saturday, I haven't been able to reach Mars Metal, but someone I believe is in the know said the cost for modifying a keel in that fashion could cost $10,000. I hadn't realized that it was that much.

The boats that I'm looking at (CS36), the ones with shoal draft cost a little more, but they are also a bit newer, on average. I'll just pay the difference. The shoal draft on the CS36 is 4'11", and I'll live with that.

Thanks, all, for the feedback.
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Old 25-06-2011, 19:54   #14
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

Check US listings for CS boats. They tend to much cheaper here, as they aren't as popular or well known here as they are in Canada. For comparison sake, I have a Canadian friend listing her CS 27 for 21,000 Canadian, and US friend listing his for 12,500 US $. Same year, same overall condition.
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Old 26-06-2011, 08:25   #15
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Re: Hare-brained Scheme

How about a cat?

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