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Old 30-07-2014, 10:20   #16
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

My last boat was shallow ands my current one is deep draft. My shallow boat sailed closer to the wind, but my current handles gusts a lot better and I would take a deep draft over the shallow just for that.

On the other hand I've only been aground once, and it was in the shallow draft boat!
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Old 30-07-2014, 10:25   #17
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

In the PNW I think you probably should just choose the boat you like best. However, if undecided I would go shallower even here. There are always places you could tuck in better, especially if crowded. But when ceruising, I only sail to weather if I'm in the mood to tack and have fun. otherwise I often motorsail to weather unless theres 15 knots of wind etc.
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Old 30-07-2014, 10:26   #18
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

The boat I just bought is a Tartan 40, which replaces my Luders 33. One big draw of Tartan is K/CB. So I reduce draft to 4'9" but can drop board to 8'5" for windward performance. Nearly perfect solution, but if I sailed on West Coast I would prefer deep keel for simplicity and performance.

There will always be a tradeoff with shoal draft for windward performance and stability. The deeper the ballast, the better. Assuming no draft restrictions...
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Old 30-07-2014, 10:35   #19
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

The boats I am most familiar with, the C34s and C36s, have one thing in common: both were made with shoal or deep keels. The consensus, after over 4,000 hulls was this: PNW and California and Mexico - deep keel. Anywhere back east: shoal keel.

The Why? has already been answered. Some claim to be able to tell the upwind sailing differences, but a friend of mine with a C34 shoal keel keeps up with me sailing all the time, no racing mind you.

Your boat, your choices.
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Old 30-07-2014, 11:45   #20
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
What about Carleton Mitchell's S&S designed Finisterra for starters. First in the Bermuda race in '56, '58 and '60 and yet the smallest boat in the fleet.
Racing handicap rules account for a lot of interesting variations on sailboat design.

Here it mentions that the CCA rule gave a favorable handicap to centerboards:
Boats We Sail Part 1: The 1960s | Sail Magazine
CCA also was responsible for the popularity of yawls.

IOR gave us tiny mains.

How about plank on edge boats:
Boat designs influenced by rules? History shows us canting keel maxis are stupid | Storer Boat Plans in Wood and Plywood
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Old 30-07-2014, 12:23   #21
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

At the risk of a repeating the whole thread, how deep is deep, and how shallow is shallow?

Its 3 foot draft is one of the big reasons I like my Morgan 28 Centerboard. Another is that it is the smallest boat I found with 6'2"head room, a must for me. Plus all the delights of a Charlie Morgan design, perfect for my Gulf Coast gunkholing.

But to repeat, how deep is deep, and how shallow is shallow?
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Old 30-07-2014, 12:32   #22
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

Im at 6.5 feet, thats deep.
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Old 30-07-2014, 12:42   #23
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

Meh! 6 1/2 feet is sort of middle ground, deep is when your over 8 feet
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Old 30-07-2014, 15:24   #24
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

In the question of going aground, ALL sailors (that actually go somewhere) run aground at times, no matter what their draft.

Shallow draft boats do so closer to shore.

Jim
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Old 30-07-2014, 16:12   #25
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

In the past six months I have been fortunate enough to sail a 49ds 2011 model ? and a 53 ds 2013 model the 49ds had 1.85 meter fin bulb keel ex charter boat and had only been in charter for 2 yrs The thing we noticed the most was weather helm real bad now the 53 was a dream it had a 2.5 Finn keel and it sailed really nice and was not heavy at all at the helm
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Old 30-07-2014, 16:18   #26
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

Mine feels pretty deep at 7'8", I am located in the PNW. I have a custom built 41' cutter. My last boat was only 5' 6" draft (chaser29), and at the time I thought that was deep :P
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Old 30-07-2014, 16:54   #27
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

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In the past six months I have been fortunate enough to sail a 49ds 2011 model ? and a 53 ds 2013 model the 49ds had 1.85 meter fin bulb keel ex charter boat and had only been in charter for 2 yrs The thing we noticed the most was weather helm real bad now the 53 was a dream it had a 2.5 Finn keel and it sailed really nice and was not heavy at all at the helm
Our 2006 49 DS is the deep (2.2m) keel and it has almost no weather helm. However I wonder if the helm difference has more to do with the sails.
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Old 30-07-2014, 17:01   #28
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

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In the question of going aground, ALL sailors (that actually go somewhere) run aground at times, no matter what their draft.

Shallow draft boats do so closer to shore.

Jim
Not if their board is partially down. Pull it up and sail away. Done it a few times myself....
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Old 30-07-2014, 17:22   #29
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

My previous boat (Bluewater Blackwatch #60) had only two-foot draft but that didn't mean I didn't go aground in the shallow San Francisco estuarian waters. Regardless, the boat did well enough to windward.
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Old 30-07-2014, 17:51   #30
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Re: Deep VS Shoal Keel

I've got a shoal keel, it was a critical factor in selecting my boat. My mooring is in about 5' of water - more or less depending on the wind.

My boat didn't even come with a depth sounder, and I didn't get one until recently. Sailed it thousands of nm without one, and while the ocean stuff is not relevant, I have poked my nose in every creek and bay in the NC sounds, chesapeake, and all the other shallow places gulf side, etc.

I guess my point is to Jim, in that with 4' you have to kind of work at running aground, if you're a thoughtful pilot. I guess people with shoal drafts run aground too, but in my experience, it's not that easy to do. Not yet, anyway.

If you want flexibility in where you go and anchor, I highly recommend it. I would not notice the performance difference with my sails anyway.
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