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View Poll Results: FULL or FIN
Full Keel 67 67.00%
Fin Keel 33 33.00%
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Old 16-01-2008, 13:38   #61
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I'm not going to agree with a blanket statement like "all production boats are junk", but I also don't know that I would use a lack of lawsuits as a benchmark for the quality of construction in any product, especially boats, but maybe that's just me.

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Old 16-01-2008, 14:30   #62
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Originally Posted by Latitude9.5 View Post
I'm not going to agree with a blanket statement like "all production boats are junk", but I also don't know that I would use a lack of lawsuits as a benchmark for the quality of construction in any product, especially boats, but maybe that's just me.
That's true. Also, it is not logical to pronounce all production, spade rudder, boats as safe because racing boats have been using spade rudders in extreme conditions.

First of all most of your, high dollar, spade rudder racing boats have rudder shafts made of titanium and the rudder (on it's own) costs more than most conventional yachts. Even with all that high tech, high dollar gear, they loose one now and then.

I am not saying that all spade rudder boats are unsafe. I am merely stating that a pruduction yacht with a rudder that has 3 or more bearing points is far less likely to be damaged or lost than a production yacht that has a rudder supported by 3 or more bearing points, like a full or skegg hung rudder.

The bottom line is, if you are cruising, speed kills. If you push any boat too hard or through too severe weather, you are more likely to break something. Rudder failure is one of the items to be most conserned about. If all hell brakes loose, it's best to be equiped to have the ability to stop sailing until you have better weather. As I have said many times before, your best defence in severe conditions is a para-anchor, ready to deploy at all times.

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Old 16-01-2008, 20:32   #63
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Hey Ken take it easy. You sound as if you take it personally because you have a fin keel. I don't know how you compiled your info, or put it in your book, but I own a 15.5 Idylles. Thats 51ft. No fin and it turns on a dime. As far as bad wheather, lost both of my sails of cape fear, watched the tape peel out of the furler. Had to cut it loose witha steak knife to release it from the boat so I could start the motor. The only reason I didn't crap in my pants was because I knew I had a lot of ballast under me and not a finn keel. Lets just say I smoked a pack of butts that day and I don't even smoke. Nelson. SV Lazy Palm
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Old 16-01-2008, 20:38   #64
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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

You might have seen this video of the sailboat breaking in half.

I see what you are saying.

But It should also be noted that many of these boats are raced for very short periods of time. one race? maybe a whole year?

40 years of racing history... my boat is just a few years away from being 40! kinda like comparing 40 paper plates to one cast iron pan
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Old 16-01-2008, 20:43   #65
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In my opinion everything comes down to the cost . Finn 's are cheaper to produce . The hull comes of the mold ,the keel is bolted to it , done . Now imagine mass production of the full , or cut away keel ,how much extra labour is that . I regularly race on Catalina Capri 31 ,but would never take that boat cruising , bought cut away full keel with the skeg hung rudder . Last year Bavaria had a recall on 150 boats after one of their charter boats lost a keel and a guy died . The keel's backing plate was to small .
Ask Skip from Flying Pig who sometimes frequents this board if he want to have a fin keel boat . Their 1981 Morgan 46 last year ended up on the rocks in Marathon ,Fl. For three days sea was pounding her when she laid on her side ,throwing her against the rocks . What they did?
They pull her of ,towed back to St Pete ,fixed it and are sailing again living the dream . Now tell me that the any of those mass production boats would survive what Flying Pig went through ?
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Old 16-01-2008, 21:00   #66
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This is somewhat akin to talking about the weather….so many variables.

But I do agree with Kanani that speed kills and I used to remind my delivery crews on heavy weather jobs… that racing is bad seamanship.

If you were to simply measure 2 equal boats and crew, one with a go fast underwater appendage and the other with a full keel caught in the same survival storm…which one would you rather be on?
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Old 16-01-2008, 21:39   #67
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Originally Posted by chad.lawie View Post
YouTube - One Australia Sinks - America's Cup 1995
You are a cruel man to bring that up!!!!
I love that bit of video! I still crack up laughing when I see it. I've got tears now from it . It just goes down so fast! from boom to tip of the toppy bit is 10 seconds!

But the bit I love best is the 2 guys on the bow who dont want to get wet! ROTFLMAO. I'm sure they were wanting to crawl up the forestay rather than jump in.

Obviously the Kiwis sabotaged the boat
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Old 16-01-2008, 23:13   #68
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Full keel boats have slack bilges. That makes for a softer motion and extremely high ultimate stability. Both attributes that are good for long distance cruising. Many full keel boats that have been driven ashore have been salvaged and returned to the sea. Fin keelers seem to end up with the keel driven up through the hull which plays hell with the interior furniture. Encapsulated keels are way better than bolted on keels. Real easy to drop a bolted keel, almost impossible to lose an encapsulated keel without taking most of the rest of the boat with it. Full keel boats don't end up with twisted keels after a grounding. All full keel boats have a decent sump to trap bilge water. Way too many fin keelers don't even have a bilge, let alone a sump, so every bit of water that gets below gets into everything. Most full keel boats have a draft less than 6'. Most fin keelers of similar length are dredging the bottom as the full keeler sails along undisturbed.

A well designed and equipped full keel/heavy displacement boat will give up a bit of speed in winds under 5 knot but get it back in winds over 15 knots. In most cases, the full keeler will do hull speed for days on end without ever touching the helm and little, if any drama. A fin keeler will not do it as smoothly and will require a lot more work and personal attention.

I would go nowhere in one of those ultra short keeled modern racing boats. They simply aren't safe in the rough and tumble of cruising. Some of the longer keeled boats might make decent cruisers if they weren't designed with aberant forms dictated by a rating rule rather than good sense. Still prefer a full keel boat especially when I sail through a crab/lobster pot farm.

CT (Chinese Turkey) 41's are not well designed boats, btw. Do you know they will surf backwards.

Peter O.
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Old 17-01-2008, 03:53   #69
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Much of the discussion here has been about design but no consideration has been given to scantlings and construction methodology/technique. Strong fin keel boats with balanced spade rudders can take heavy groundings if designed and built properly.

I think the majority of boats used for cruising are modern fin keel boats. That is hardly a surprise though since most boats being built today are fin keel.

Of the 260 boats that sailed the 07 ARC most were fin keel boats. It is interesting to note that during the 07 ARC only 10 boats managed 200 miles days. The daily average mileage runs seemed to correspond to waterline length more then any other design aspect.
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Old 17-01-2008, 06:58   #70
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SATORI and the Perfect Storm

I tried to refrain but I just couldn't resist. Do you really want to be in a situation like this in a fin keeled, spade ruddered vessel. I want to name some boats by name but at the risk of offending I will contain myself, but in the last year alone I can think of several instances of lost rudders, bulb keels, wing keels etc, resulting in the loss of life, boat, etc. When was the last time you heard of a rudder being lost on a Valiant of Pacific Seacraft.

To somehow assume that because most of the boats sailing in a particular race are fin keelers is somehow a validation that this design type and represents a superior alternative is folly. Racers are usually looking for speed, quite often at the expense of safety. Do a refresher read on the 79 Fastnet race and the evolution of the SOLAS regulations.

To assume that during a grounding event that a fin keeled boat is going to magically pop up, turn around and sail of from whence it came is laughable. Yeah this might happen on a beautiful warm sunny day when you hit the sand bar in front of the marina. What about when you hit the rocks or coral heads with a ferocious sea state running ?

If one would take into consideration the basic laws of leverage it can be demonstrated quite clearly the structural characteristics of the two design types. Take two models of the two hull types, clamp the keelsons in a bench vise and start twisting, which do you think will fail first.

In closing I wanted to say that the footage of the cup boat sinking was very demonstrative of what happens when structural integrity of a vessel is not up to the forces of the sea. Racing is about going the fastest and will always push envelopes. I also laughed till it hurt as well.
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Old 17-01-2008, 10:38   #71
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And was this boat above salvaged???? And at what cost. Most boats that get grounded in far away places get stripped and end up a loss anyway, that includes catamarans.

This example just doesn't work for full vs fin argument. It's the captain's responsibility to stay off shore and to avoid collisions!!!
And that's part of the law of the sea. Driving a tank in traffic doesn't give one special privileges.
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Old 17-01-2008, 11:23   #72
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Wow, this thread is more fiesty than the arguments of FC vs whatever discussions :-)
One comment Roverhi, can you translate please
Full keel boats have slack bilges
What do you mean by the word "Slack". My english would use this word as lose or not tight. The scentance to me would mean to me that the bilge had lots of movement and I don't think that is what you meant.
Now in regards to the general discussion,
My opinion to all this is that at the mo is, no one is seeing the wood for all the tree's. The must be drawn a clear line to Fin boats designed specificly for racing as against those designed for cruising. Many of the issues of Fin Keels falling off and boats breaking in two etc etc, are because the boat has been made as light as possible for that race. The line, "if it didn't break, we made it too heavy" was a famouse one by some famouse racer, but can't remember who and what race. But I don't think we can suggest that Fin keels are weaker because...... and then use a racing boat as an example.

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
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Old 17-01-2008, 11:39   #73
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slack is a weird word to use... but I think he means that full keel boats have roomy, deep, large, bilges.

many fin keels have a few inches between the hull and the floorboards.
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Old 17-01-2008, 11:47   #74
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Actually Alan, whether the boat is sea-worthy is just as important to a racer as it is to a cruiser. The big difference here is not strength in the racing boats vs cruising boats, it's the general purpose and use of each.

As we all know, every single boat made is just a different mixture of compromises. On racing boats, comfort gives way to weight, tracking ability gives way to manueverability etc.

There is really no way to justify buying a cruising yacht based on the atributes of any racing yacht and visa versa. They are 2 different vessels used for very different purposes.

I would say that anyone that would think that a cruising yacht with a spade rudder is just as safe as a cruising yacht with a fixed rudder, based on the fact that spade rudders are routinely used on racing boats, may be misunderstanding the fundementals of boat building and therefore doing themself a dis-service.

It would be sorta like saying, I'm going to put drag slicks on my family car because dragsters run them under very extreme conditions and they are good for over 200MPH. It makes no sence and it is comparing apples to oranges.

I agree with you. When talking cruising boats, racing boat examples are irrelevant IMO.
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Old 17-01-2008, 12:18   #75

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This thread looks to have no chance of being resolved as each boat owner tends to latch on to the attributes that favor their preference and ingore those that don't.

For those of you anchored, look out the hatch and count the number of fin vs. full. Everywhere I have been, the fins outnumber the fulls. There have been more fins made so this makes sense.

The truth is that all kinds of boats have cruised successfully. To say broadly one is better or safer is subjective. If we all sat in a room and compared individual boats, we might agree. but maybe not.

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