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Old 07-08-2016, 10:40   #16
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southwest Floria
Boat: Beneteau Oceanus 331
Posts: 11
Re: Retractable Keel while underway

I have a 2002 Beneteau 331 with 2'-11" draft + 4' centerboard. Cruising in Florida and the Bahamas I generally leave the centerboard up. Spending serious time in deep water, typically during crossings, I put it down and don't think too much about it otherwise. Comments in this thread make me wonder if I'm too casual in my practice. Your thoughts?

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Old 08-08-2016, 07:06   #17
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lake Ontario
Boat: Douglas 32 Mk II
Posts: 2,002
Re: Retractable Keel while underway

I concur with many of the points mentioned:

1. Yes, the boat can be sailed with the weighted swing keel partially or all the way up.
2. As the boat still has some swing keel exposed under the hull when fully retracted, it can be sailed close-hauled, albeit at a somewhat lower point of sail, with increased leeway, and greater heel. Other boat models where the keel fully retracts into the hull (beachable) will not sail to windward well.
3. Sailing downwind, with the keel fully retracted, the wetted surface is reduced and the boat will go faster. (If the boat is heavily laden, it will tend to get a little squirrely as hull speed is approached. Be careful to extend the keel in high wind before turning off a downwind run, as it will tend to broach (round up) as the turn is made.
4. I will add that the CLR can be adjusted aft by retracting the keel slightly, to reduce weather helm (if needed, typically in higher winds).

Rod Brandon
Sheen Marine
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