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Old 24-06-2013, 21:40   #1
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Balboa 20 Limits?

I just bought a Balboa 20 and I love the boat and sailing in general. I have learned all the basics and have a decent idea of what im doing so far. the main thing i dont know and am also afraid to find out on my own is; how far can this boat heel before it tips? I have gone through a few gusts that make the boat feel like its about to tip. I know the keel on this boat should do a decent job but i have no idea what the limits are. Ive heard people saying this boat is impossible to capsize and i sorta believe it is but sometimes it just scares the crap out of me on a big gust. the rail is always still plenty above the water also. maybe i just need to get used to boating sideways. if anyone has this same boat please give me some info on what I can do with this boat.


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Old 25-06-2013, 05:02   #2
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Re: Balboa 20 Limits?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, bigler.

See the brochure ➥

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Old 25-06-2013, 05:28   #3
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pirate Re: Balboa 20 Limits?

Fit an Inclometer in the cockpit... if it goes past 35 degrees and stays there... REEF....

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Old 25-06-2013, 07:57   #4
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Re: Balboa 20 Limits?

G'Day Bigler,

I have never sailed a Balboa 20, so can't give any specific advice re that design. However, essentially ANY ballasted sailboat should recover from a 90 degree knockdown, let alone just heeling with the rail still above the water.

I imagine that your boat has a swing keel. If so, do be sure that it is locked in the down position when sailing. There have been events where trailer sailors have had knockdowns with the keel unlocked, and once slightly past 90 degrees the keel has swung back to its raised position. This dramatically reduces the righting moment and recovery is slowed.

Personal experience: many years ago I owned an early (hull # 61) Catalina 22 with a swing keel. I was very inexperienced, but pretty enthusiastic, and soon was racing her on SF Bay. One of the course markers was often at Yellow Bluffs, a place where the topography caused the wind to be gusty and to have a strong vertical component. Several times in that area we experienced brief knockdowns, once with the mast in the water. Scary as hell, but the boat always popped back up. I don't know how the Balboa and the Catalina compare, but suspect that they behave somewhat similarly.

Oh.. if you are sailing in conditions where big gusts are around it is a good idea to keep your companionway closed up. This limits the amount of water that gets below should you be knocked down or take a big sea on board.


Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Pittwater, NSW fora while.
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Old 25-06-2013, 13:07   #5
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Re: Balboa 20 Limits?

ok this all helps a ton. I am pretty sure i knew this already but i need to hear it from a few more experienced sailors. physics are pretty clear here but im just not used to boating at that angle and it freaks me out. i really like the swing keel on this boat because i can tie up at any dock pretty much.
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