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Old 05-08-2016, 20:08   #1
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Retractable Keel while underway

My neighbor is considering getting a trailerable sail boat and has a nice
Chrysler 26 available locally. He asked me if you can sail with the keel partially retracted to reduce draft to clear a shallow area.
I don't have a clue (no comment please...). Anybody have some knowledge or experience about this?
Thanks.


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Old 05-08-2016, 20:42   #2
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

You can sail I'm sure with it fully retracted, but your course is going to be affected.
I have never sailed a retractable keel boat, and I forget what the name is, but it amounts to you being blown downwind some, but to get over a sand bar of something, I'm sure it can be done, let's see what others say


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Old 05-08-2016, 20:43   #3
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

Depends a little on the boat. I have a seaway 25 and it ok up a little but get it up half way and it starts to become uncontrollable.

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Old 05-08-2016, 20:48   #4
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

BF says if you are sailing against the wind you will want your keel down but you can gave it fully up dead down wind. If you you have it partially up and sailing close to the wind you will slide sideways.
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Old 05-08-2016, 20:49   #5
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

Hi,

You can lift your keel to get through shallow water. The amount by which you can lift it depends on the wind direction relative to the direction in which you want to travel.

The purpose of the keel is to reduce sideways downwind (leeward) movement of the yacht. Sailing toward the wind, say 45 degrees, is difficult without a keel.

As the sailing direction relative to the wind increases there is less pressure causing drift to leeward, and so less need for the keel.

Racers lift the keel entirely if sailing directly with the wind, ie 180 degrees, as there is no drift to leeward, and reducing the amount of boat in the water, (wetted surface) increases speed.

The tidal range of the area in which your neighbour is intending to sail may be a factor in determining the extent to which he need to lift his keel when leaving or returning to the launch beach, as do any regular wind conditions in that area .. eg leave the beach in the morning generally not much wind, return in the afternoon, when there may be generally a seebreeze, blowing from sea to shore - which means in a sea breeze area the wind can generally be from astern when you return in the afternoon, you'll be sailing with the wind, meaning you can lift the keel without reducing yacht performance.

Hope this helps.

Diagrams available on a google search "points of sailing" demonstrate this.
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Old 05-08-2016, 21:20   #6
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

you lose some stability because the weight is not as low... so you have to adjust sail to not tip the boat over.

The boat will slip to the side when not running with the wind due to less side force.

But its kind of expected for the retractable keel boats to do some sailing with the keel up.
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Old 05-08-2016, 21:45   #7
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

It all depends on your ballast situation, if you have internal ballast you can generally lift it (incrementally) at any point of sail other than hard on the wind. You adjust it to minimise leeway as you come off the wind. If you rely on the board for your main ballast then I would leave it down wherever possible. I have a centreboarder with two boards, (non ballasted) I can tune them from both down when going to windward to only using the aft board when running off the wind, tracks like a surf board in this configuration.
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Old 05-08-2016, 22:48   #8
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

We had a Chrysler 26' a long time ago. And they're okay to sail with the centerboard partially or fully retracted. Though the boats are somewhat tender to begin with due to their hull form (shape), & somewhat narrow beam. The latter allowing them to easily meet the trailerable requirements. And as stated, with the board up, stabilty is reduced some, & she'll make more leeway, but you can then get into thinner water. And for something of that vintage they sail pretty well.

In addition to the normal things to look at during an inspection (or survey) prior to purchase. Look at the centerboard, wire board pendant, winch, & kick up rudder. Plus the board's pivot pin, if you can.
Also, on these boats, as with most in that size & price range, the hull to deck joint is pretty lightly built. Pop rivets, or sheet metal screws as I recall. So the joint's also somewhat leak prone.

Oh, & there were a couple of variants built. One had a fordeck which literally had as much camber (rounding on top) as a wine bottle, which made it "interesting" to do headsail changes & such from. While later versions of the boat had a more user friendly, less cambered, foredeck.


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Old 06-08-2016, 04:12   #9
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

We own a 78 Chrysler 26 and sail on the Chesapeake. We've sailed in the Northern end of the Bay were it has a sandy bottom and can be very shallow. The C26 is perfect for what you're describing. With the keel fully retracted the boat draws less then 3'. The keel provides much of the ballast (900 pounds) and creates a shoal draft keel due to its housing when retracted. You do lose the ability to point as high into the wind in that configuration. With the keel extended she draws about 7'.

It's a great boat and very stable, don't find it tender at all. Our other boat is a Capri 25, however, and it is tender and about 2000 pounds lighter. Check out all the places mentioned and there is help online for questions specific to this model.


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Old 06-08-2016, 07:52   #10
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

It depends on the boat. I have sailed with a friend who has an Island Packet 26 with a centerboard. It almost seems to make no difference at all, but I have seen it out of the water and it is a pretty small board.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:41   #11
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

The keel on the C26 is approx 900 lbs of cast iron. Its position has a huge impact on point and heel.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:44   #12
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

The Chrysler 26 has a swing keel with about 950 lbs of ballast in the keel and around the same amount again in the bottom of the boat. The lower the keel the lower the weight distribution and the more stable the boat. Thus you have plenty of balast, but the boat will definately be more stable in higher winds with the keel down. All said about boat drifting is true too.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:56   #13
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

^^^^ What Capt Canuck and Snowdog said. Chrysler 26 pretty good boat. Friend had one.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:23   #14
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

We have a Venture 25, cast iron retractable keel 800 pounds . When our keel is up it still protrudes 6" at the forward end to 9" at the aft end. We launch is some shallow areas and keep the keel up until we get to deep water. One ramp we need to be rudder up and just use the outboard to steer till we get to deeper water. Sailing we have done down wind runs with the keel up, and we make no sudden changes. As others have said mostly depends on wind and where you want to go. Cranked up we still have a keel just a shallow one 7' long.
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Old 06-08-2016, 19:04   #15
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Re: Retractable Keel while underway

Thanks everyone for the responses. Good info. hopefully he'll pull the trigger and get the beast.
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