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View Poll Results: FULL or FIN
Full Keel 67 67.00%
Fin Keel 33 33.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15-01-2008, 22:18   #46
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Mark
Now that sounds like a perfect answer to a question that was never asked!
LOL Sorry! I'll go the the fridge.
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Old 15-01-2008, 23:33   #47
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Of course you can ask the Dashew's and they will tell you fin keel with spade rudder is best...That's what they have as would Josh Slokum tell you the only way is a full keel.
I have owned a modified Fin with a spade rudder, a 3/4 full keel with attached rudder and now a full, full keel with an outboard barn door. With the latest, I can let go the tiller and go about business on deck for a few minutes alone and that is great. But coming into the slip is what I call a controlled crash. I have to be doing 2+ knots to keep steerage and with a 8 ft. bowsprit, its a challenge at times. As far as speed...they all do their hull speed. Not a lot of differences between the lot actually.
To say a fin keel has an advantage during a grounding is ridiculous! I love walking boat yards and I have seen the after math of a fin keel after a grounding or hitting something...not a pretty site.
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Old 16-01-2008, 01:16   #48
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Go the fin keel. Had a heavy displacement full keeler and wouldn't have another. I now have a fairly light displacement fin keel and feel it's the way. We did 5500 nm last year in the full keel and about the same this year in the Farr and I'm sorry guys but the fin is the better option in my hunble opinion. All sailing involved rough offshore passages of several thousand miles in both cases. With the fin we could keep our daily averages up when the weather got nasty and we were able to maintain short surfs in a fully loaded cruising boat 2 handed. We would have been crawling along in our full keeler reducing our margin of safety. Docking the yacht is a lot easier and is now done without sheer panic. The ability to 'park' the current boat and not have to maintain speed to keep steerage is a definite advantage. From my observations most cruisers in the South Pacific are in Fin Keelers or cut away designs. Maybe when I'm older and need a rum and coke to sail I'll get another full keel. As a compromise a cut away full keel offers many of the advantages of the fin whilst keeping the ability to dry the boat out and is probably the safer option when grounded. Maybe when we go to the ice sometime in the future that will be our choice.
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Old 16-01-2008, 11:10   #49
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To say a fin keel has an advantage during a grounding is ridiculous! I love walking boat yards and I have seen the after math of a fin keel after a grounding or hitting something...not a pretty site.
In a grounding hard enough to cause hull damage, I am not sure it matters if you have a full or a fin. Most "groundings" are pretty slow speed affairs. I have bumped bottoms many times and thanks to the low surface area of the fin was able to rotate, sail and motor my way free.

The fin also let me power my way into a pass that was a couple of inches shallower than my draft.

In either case, what I would really avoid is an encapsulated keel. Have you seen what happens when the FRP hits coral? Talk about spending some time in the yard!
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Old 16-01-2008, 11:38   #50
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I consider the top two in the "full keel" catagory, and the bottom in the "fin" catagory. I think the idea that a full keel boat can take a groundin better than a fin keel comes from the old full keel boats being over built. thicker fiberglass. whereas the newer production toys (opps i mean boats) have thinner skins. true?
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Old 16-01-2008, 11:53   #51
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I have bumped bottoms many times and thanks to the low surface area of the fin was able to rotate, sail and motor my way free.
I can agree! There has been a couple times I've grounded and just pulled hard over on the rudder, spun around 180 and went right back out. I don't think that would be possible with a full keeler!

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The fin also let me power my way into a pass that was a couple of inches shallower than my draft.
Did you happen to plant some rice on your way through.
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In either case, what I would really avoid is an encapsulated keel. Have you seen what happens when the FRP hits coral? Talk about spending some time in the yard!
Having a full lead keel with only epoxy covering it, I would rather have it encapsulated! I have a few chunks of lead missing from my keel, which I have faired back in with epoxy. If it were glassed over it would be an EZer fix. Hand working with lead is a toxic job.
Besides the fact there are little concerns about keel bolts.

BTW Welcome aboard!
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Old 16-01-2008, 12:08   #52
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this year in the Farr and I'm sorry guys but the fin is the better option
Hi Southernman. I think the reason why yours sails better, is because it is a Farr. I bet there are some other fins out there that don't sail as good and full keel would keep up with just fine.

Hope you had a great Holiday season. When are you coming down this way??
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Old 16-01-2008, 12:09   #53
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I think your diagram brings up a good point about definition. I think you have two fins, one full and a modified fin/full. Fin keels can have skeg hung rudders. I think it might also depend on where the hull ends and where the keel begins. In pic #2, if the hull extends low enough, it would be a pure fin.

I think, like all things, it is a generalization to say either is stronger. A newer, better designed fin keel might be stronger than a full keel of 50 years ago and visa/versa. The load of a full is spread more evenly but the attachment might not be very much stronger.

I have hit a coral head at full speed (during a race) hard enough to lift the boat out of the water and lodge the boat on top of the coral. No damage except for some gouges in the lead. It was a 70s racer cruiser with a fin keel.
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Old 16-01-2008, 12:12   #54
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Delmarrey,

I have to disagree. I have seen a number of encapsulated keels after reef contact. The fiberglass gets torn away. Then seawater penetrates inside and it takes forever to dry it out. Some boats are not sealed on top and this kind of contact can flood the boat.
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Old 16-01-2008, 12:32   #55
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Understandable!

I think I'd be a little more selective before buying in that design. If done properly the glass should be so thick as not to puncher or the glass to actually be bonded to the lead. IMHO

Even layers of Kevlar would be appropriate for a high impact area!
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Old 16-01-2008, 12:34   #56
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I find it hard to believe a fin keel would hold up better on impact then a full keel, but that said as mentioned previously the only times I have been grounded it's been at very low speed, grounding at high speed is "good" for anything.

I actually have a modified full keel, or some variation there of , I did ground my fin keel a couple times, but they were pretty soft in fact one of them I got free from the wake of a passing power boater (our c30 was a little underpowered).
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Old 16-01-2008, 12:46   #57
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9.5 I know it is an extreme example but I would think that the "fin" on a Hallberg Rassey is likely stronger than that of an old woodie that has been in the tropcs for a while.

My basic point is that one cannot easily discard the advantages of engineering. Just because it "looks" like a full keel should be stronger, does not mean that it is. I was really just trying to avoid peoples' generalizations.
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Old 16-01-2008, 12:51   #58
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9.5 I know it is an extreme example but I would think that the "fin" on a Hallberg Rassey is likely stronger than that of an old woodie that has been in the tropcs for a while.

My basic point is that one cannot easily discard the advantages of engineering. Just because it "looks" like a full keel should be stronger, does not mean that it is. I was really just trying to avoid peoples' generalizations.
I would definetely agree and like I said if i am going aground at 8 knots i would look into my piloting skills sooner then I would look into the keel design
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Old 16-01-2008, 12:51   #59
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I find it hard to believe a fin keel would hold up better on impact then a full keel, but that said as mentioned previously the only times I have been grounded it's been at very low speed, grounding at high speed is "good" for anything.
With a fin keel, and depending on the speed, the boat will nose dive and swing around. Whereas, the full keels kinetic energy will continue on in a straight path with little hull directional change, riding up on the ground (like a train). So in effect the keel on a fin will not impact as hard but will attempt to lift up and over the grounding. A fin is more like a pendulum on a stick/board compared to a hollow V shaped brick.

Sometimes it's a scary thing but I think a fin will incur less damage providing the keel is built properly. And that's what makes a buying decision important, even for coastal sailer's.
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Old 16-01-2008, 13:06   #60
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. whereas the newer production toys (opps i mean boats) have thinner skins. true?
I know this 'toy' thinking is in jest and Chad is just having fun, however it ought be pointed out that most boats that are made to sail hardest and go though the extremes of weather in the worlds worst areas including the Southern Ocean are fin keelers. These boats, of course are the racers of the Volvo style round the world full crewed and single handed races, races like the Sydney Hobart, just about any clown trying to break a record, Farr boats as mentioned previously, or any offshore racing boat build in the last 40 years. I say 40 years because I raced on a full keeler in offshore races and it was built in 1973 and I havent heard of one in Sydney since.

In all the time I can remember (my mind is quite patchy! ) so few times have I heard of any difficulty caused by the keel (other than lack of H2O), a few snapping in the Open 60 range, a couple of spade rudders floating a few miles after the yacht etc. Most difficulties that yachts get into are due to waves from people not using a para anchor, and rig damage from too much white stuff on the new carbon fiber or other exotic rig.

I don't think 40 years of racing history is wrong. I don't think the 2 styles of sailing, racing or cruising, are that far apart.

I also leave you with a fantastic point for all the American legal eagles... if the modern production boats were unsafe people would have, by now, died of that unsafety, and the lawyers would have the production boat companies in court seeking damages.

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