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Old 04-03-2009, 05:06   #1
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Name for a keel

Forgive me, a newbie and completely ignorant when it comes to things nautical, and I've really just jumped in here in the hope that someone can help me. I've looked in a few places...

I'm looking for a word that will cover any type of keel that protrudes significantly from the hull of a ship. As a landlubber, I'm tempted to say "ships with keels", but of course, all ships have keels (except, I suppose, flat-bottomed barges and the like). Wikipedia has a long list of types of keel: full keels, long keels, fin keels, winged keels, bulb keels, and bilge keels (whatever they may all be), but no general term for keels that protrude.

If it helps to know the context, I'm writing about how Arab dhows could easily be pulled up on a beach because they don't have "keels", but rather rounded hulls, whereas European ships, with "keels" couldn't do this without falling over on their sides.

Does that make sense? Any suggestions? Be very grateful!
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:46   #2
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How about protrusions?
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:49   #3
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Flat bottom boats have keels; it's the element of construction regardless of whether or not it protrudes. On a submarine, there is a date that the "keel was layed", and there's certainly nothing sticking out from the bottom. Although funny enough submarines have sails. Anyway...

In general you could ask about the "hull design", and ask what the underwater surface looks like. To confuse things even more, you could have a boat with a dagger board, in which case you can control whether or not anything sticks out of the bottom.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:51   #4
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I'm glad that's not MY problem. With my reputation I would be forever suspected of double entendre' were I to discuss smooth bottoms vs. nether appendages.

Beaching a "european" keel was never a serious problem, it was just something to deal with, an added complexity that really didn't interfere with business. In fact it made it possible to effect repairs on the bottom-most planks, which required a drydock or beach rollers to do on a dhow.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:57   #5
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Not to mention protrusions...

Sounds like you know a little of the context, Sandy - surely beaching a "European" keel (I'm increasingly leaning towards calling it a "deep keel") is going to tip the boat over and make it difficult to load and unload cargo, etc.? Wouldn't that interfere with business? The reason why Europeans didn't visit the island I'm writing about is that the ships apparently couldn't (or wouldn't?) beach, and couldn't find a decent anchorage. The water was either too deep, or too shallow, or too close to shore. Although I'm beginning to wonder just how valid these excuses were.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbahundra View Post
The reason why Europeans didn't visit the island I'm writing about is that the ships apparently couldn't (or wouldn't?) beach, and couldn't find a decent anchorage. The water was either too deep, or too shallow, or too close to shore. Although I'm beginning to wonder just how valid these excuses were.
You dont give a date so I will have to generalise. In early years mariners used to beach their craft as a means of loading. In Europe, the vessels got larger and the potential damage caused by beaching, plus the danger of stranding meant that jetties were created allowing vessels to remain alongside afloat and thus avoid the damage underwater. Weather conditions in the north atlantic make this an essential requirement!

The underwater shape of sailing merchant ships was just as suitable for drying out, as the local craft. The distance needed to travel to a boat repair area is a much more relevant reason, plus the size of the vessel, and its impact on ease of movement from the beach.

Another point is that local knowledge would be much better on the tidal range, thus again allowing local craft to beach more safely than long distance mariners.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:27   #7
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I've seen lots of Arab Dhows beached and also under construction and they would all fall over if they weren’t propped up.
Are you sure your looking at a typical dhow....most in our neck of the woods are 30 to 50 ft.
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Old 05-03-2009, 13:43   #8
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"The reason why Europeans didn't visit the island I'm writing about is that the ships apparently couldn't (or wouldn't?) beach, and couldn't find a decent anchorage. The water was either too deep, or too shallow, or too close to shore. Although I'm beginning to wonder just how valid these excuses were. "

That can't be true; generally speaking the water is almost always close to shore

I suspect that the reason an island was only visited by one culture or another has more to do with proximity and politics than with the angle of repose of the bottom. English and Dutch Traders found little appeal in a beach with nothing but sand storms beyond, and were probably not going to be able to trade competitively in Urdu. It was a much bigger World then; there were plenty of safer places to get rich.
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Old 06-03-2009, 00:54   #9
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It may be a question of the size of the boat.

Dhows are very lightly constructed and are almost considered disposable.

A village can drag a 30 - 40ft dhow on and off the beach with no trouble....not sure if that can be said about the European boats.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:24   #10
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how about the french word "appendice" meaning I think "appendage" ??
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Old 09-03-2009, 04:50   #11
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generally speaking the water is almost always close to shore

You'd be surprised. when the tide is out...

This is interesting, and I've only take this issue on good faith. I'm talking about the Comoro Islands, where European ships in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries stopped at the island of Ndzwani for supplies rather than Ngazidja; the people of Ngazidja sent their cattle and foodstuffs to Ndzwani for sale to the English.

The reasons for not stopping at Ngazidja (and buying directly) are given as 1. No water (the island has no rivers, lakes or wells), and that is quite a good reason; and 2. No safe anchorage.

The local craft did just pull up on the beach (and were, and still are, either propped up or left leaning at an angle) and were of course small enough to be handled by a group of people. The assumption was that European ships had a more prominent keel (and this may be incorrect) and would thus end up pretty much lying on their sides.

Of course, it may also have to do with what's inside. If "Pirates of the Caribbean" is anything to go by , if the ship tipped on its side, all the tables with their bottles of rum and maps and so on would slide across the deck and out a porthole...
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:21   #12
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Ballast keels, bilge runners/stringers, bilg keels, skegs, centerboards, and even rudders are all hull appendages. (Not sure whether leeboards would be - some of them are not literally attached to the hull.)
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Old 10-03-2009, 14:01   #13
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How about calling it a "protruding keel" ?

Keels are, after all, never external or internal, they are rather intrinsic to the hull.
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Old 10-03-2009, 17:46   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbahundra View Post

I'm looking for a word that will cover any type of keel that protrudes significantly from the hull of a ship. As a landlubber, I'm tempted to say "ships with keels", but of course, all ships have keels (except, I suppose, flat-bottomed barges and the like). Wikipedia has a long list of types of keel: full keels, long keels, fin keels, winged keels, bulb keels, and bilge keels (whatever they may all be), but no general term for keels that protrude.
Perhaps “Deep Draft Keel” is the term you are looking for.

The deeper the draft the more difficult to beach in shallow water, the harder to refloat and the angle of repose will be more extreme.
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