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Old 22-07-2019, 16:59   #1
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Cruising Keels

What are the opinions on shoal depth keels as opposed to standard or deep keels for long term cruising. Does the convenience of a shallow keel outweigh the loss of performance and do they effect general stability. Just trying to work my way through the various options available, so Iíd appreciate opinions for and against.
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Old 22-07-2019, 17:11   #2
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Re: Cruising Keels

It may not matter since most of the cruisers I see are motoring when the "sail" upwind.
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Old 22-07-2019, 18:08   #3
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Re: Cruising Keels

I don't know how bigger difference the deep draft makes, I've never sailed two boats exactly the same boat other than draft to compare.

What I can tell you is, I'm happy with my 2.4m draft, very rarely is my draft ever an issue. I sail 30į apparent when other boats around me often motor sail, and I seem more stable both at sea and anchor than many other mono hulls, is this the deeper keel? Maybe.
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Old 22-07-2019, 18:11   #4
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Re: Cruising Keels

Ive sailed a few monos of the same model in both deep and shoal draft version. Hands down the deep draft versions have had better sailing performance, esp when conditions pick up a bit.
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Old 22-07-2019, 18:17   #5
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Cruising Keels

Depends completely on where you are.
Iíve never been there in a sail boat, but itís my understanding that on the West Coast of the US draft is irrelevant, but West coast of Fl. the keys and the Bahamas itís very relevant. Deep draft people often decide that they donít like the Keys and the Bahamas, for understandable reasons.
Then there is the ICW, Iíve known people who say they have done it with 7í, but I bet there was a whole lot more watching tides and drama than there is with me at 5í. I just go, donít worry about rides.

I go to windward from what Iíve seen about as good as an average cruising boat, we can sail up to 30 apparent, but really donít do well below 40. She will sail at 30. But your not really going anywhere.
Performance boats Iím certain can do much better, but they give up other things to get there, no free lunch.
Now motoring sailing of course makes it worse as it brings the apparent wind more off of the bow.
So closer than 40 we either just donít go, or Yanmar takes us there.
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Old 22-07-2019, 18:43   #6
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Re: Cruising Keels

Cavok,

A64's answer probably suits most people. Like daletournier, we have a relatively deep draft, ours is 2.2 m. (7'2"). We anchor further offshore than most of the catamarans, out of the buggy zones. Suits us fine. The boat performs quite well at sea, given a clean bottom, and I don't think we'd be happier with a tenderer shoal draft vessel. But, we are keener sailors than many cruising people. You'll never know how keen you'll be, but if your only cruising grounds are very shallow, you may be happy with a shoal draft boat.

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Old 22-07-2019, 18:57   #7
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Re: Cruising Keels

Sailing performance is great but if you run aground as much as we do, go shoal draft. Not only is it a shorter keel, it's also stronger, there might be a time when you go full power to get moving. I would not want to do the things we do with our big fat keel, as you might do with a fancy fin keel.
I don't seem to be getting much better with time either. You probably would be less of an idiot.
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Old 22-07-2019, 19:28   #8
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Re: Cruising Keels

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVOK View Post
What are the opinions on shoal depth keels as opposed to standard or deep keels for long term cruising. Does the convenience of a shallow keel outweigh the loss of performance and do they effect general stability. Just trying to work my way through the various options available, so Iíd appreciate opinions for and against.
I would say that if you are specifically going and spending lots of time somewhere with lots of shallow anchorages like parts of the Caribbean and the US gulf coast then it would be good to go with relatively shallow keel like 5', maybe 5'6" max. If the Caribbean is going to be a small part of a much wider voyage then 6' or 6'6" and accept that there will be locations where you will be inconvenienced.

Where are you going and what boats are you considering?
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Old 22-07-2019, 19:34   #9
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Re: Cruising Keels

You asked a very broad question. There are tons of info here and elsewhere online that you could have studied up first.



Now, since you asked.


My own take is that you want shallow keels when you cruise shallow waters (estuaries, Pacific atolls, extremely tidal areas, etc.. Or when you intend to beach / dry your boat between tides.


Mind now: deep keels can be lifted to get you basically the same functionality (e.g. Ovni, Southerly, Pogo, etc.)


Performance and cruising should not be discussed together. You will find a lifting keel Pogo to outperform a deep draft Swan. BUT .... and here we go!


I suggest you read all you can read. Think. Then ask again more specific questions. Then you will get more specific answers. Otherwise you will hear plenty of different pieces of information and will end up as lost as you had been prior.


In all other cases: get the boat that fits your cruising area best AND only then pick up the one of them that is the best performer. And only if you care about sailing. Because sailing and cruising are only loosely related.


Cheers,
barnakiel,
from a 'shallow, performance, keel boat' (6kts when it blows, 0kts when not)
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Old 22-07-2019, 19:49   #10
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Re: Cruising Keels

We have a "performance cruiser" with a shallow draft keel, living on the northern Gulf coast. I'm happy with the boat's performance, even knowing that it could be better with the deep keel. We race fairly often, and do pretty well, but of course get some help from our adjusted rating with the shallow keel. It's nice not having to worry so much about the occasional shoals, and I think that would apply to most of the east coast as well. As A64 pointed out, if you live on the west coast, none of that matters, and you would always go for the deep keel.
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