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Old 21-07-2016, 16:06   #1
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Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

Hi All,

First time Post. Been subscribed for a while and learning alot. I'm getting close to moving up from a 28 footer to a 38 footer and intending to get out of Sydney Harbour a bit more often, and maybe back into some Bluewater.

I'm interested in Beneteau 38S5s. There are a few available, all in pretty well set up for live aboard. one is Shoal draft(1.56m with little wings) the other two 2m draft.

In General terms if anyone has experience of sailing not necessarily these boats in particular, but any other class which has both options. Performance variation. I assume Windward performance will be where the variation occurs.

Also any general experience and opinions about the 38S5 would be appreciated as well.
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Old 22-07-2016, 00:37   #2
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

A deeper keel does go upwind better.
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Old 22-07-2016, 03:07   #3
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

Look for a set of Polars for both boats, & they'll answer some of your questions, in greater depth (no pun intended). And there are also some websites that have the Polars for several hundred boats, gratis, so you could use such to compare designs when boat shopping, in additon to their racing ratings. Such as ratings that are available for most boats via PHRF handicapping. The rating comparisons under said system are in seconds per mile, & cover an 'average' set of conditions. Both for ocean racing, & buoys.
PHRF New England - Handicapping - Base Handicaps
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Old 22-07-2016, 19:55   #4
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

Thanks Civilized. That link is fine. It has a rating for a 38s5 winged keel only, which is the Shoal draft version I think.. but I'm happy to look at other classes flagged SD(shoal draft) and DK(deep keel) for performance charateristics.
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Old 22-07-2016, 20:09   #5
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

I would stay away from winged keels, they get stuck in coral and mud more easily than normal keels of the same depth.
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Old 22-07-2016, 23:36   #6
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

Yes, I was up for a Canadian Sailcraft 40, but it has a massive winged keel, and I figure what happens when I run aground and the tide goes out.. Sit's on it's keel for a while and then falls over??? Not that I ever attempt shoaling areas on a falling tide. :-)
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Old 23-07-2016, 05:33   #7
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

I've had both and the biggest difference sailing is that deep draft handles wind gusts a lot better. And yes wings really stick in mud!
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Old 23-07-2016, 07:03   #8
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

Thx. So shoal draft not only not as good to windward but tender as well. Makes sense.
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Old 23-07-2016, 08:07   #9
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

Go deep.

Watch any shallow draft boat sailing. They point forward and go sideways. Not good. So you miss a few anchorages. Who cares ! Those are the places full of motor boats playing the stereo too loud and running their generators all night.

The best advice I can give any sailor is - always go the extra mile that the lazy guys won't for that is where the good stuff lies.
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Old 23-07-2016, 09:34   #10
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

In the context of sailing, "there is no substitute for draft." Pretty sure that's a Bob Perry quote. The world is a really big place and you'll ever be able to visit only a very tiny fraction of it. Allowing the draft of the boat to exclude a few places shouldn't even make a noticeable difference.
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Old 23-07-2016, 10:22   #11
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

I'm going to assume there's somewhere between 1000-2000 lbs difference in ballast between shoal draft and deep draft. That's an extra 1000 lbs or so you are dragging through the water with a shoal keel, or you can look at it as 1000 lbs less gear you can carry vs. the deep draft version.

However, if you plan to go to a lot of shallow spots, particularly up and down the ICW, I would go with the shoal keel. Could save you a lot of headaches.
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Old 23-07-2016, 10:22   #12
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caribbeachbum View Post
In the context of sailing, "there is no substitute for draft." Pretty sure that's a Bob Perry quote. The world is a really big place and you'll ever be able to visit only a very tiny fraction of it. Allowing the draft of the boat to exclude a few places shouldn't even make a noticeable difference.
He also defended his use of shorter keels on some of his boats. In that post he stated that the deeper keel was most helpful upwind.
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Old 23-07-2016, 10:24   #13
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

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Originally Posted by ronjgarner1 View Post
Thx. So shoal draft not only not as good to windward but tender as well. Makes sense.
Depends on the boat, usually the shorter draft has more weight to compensate for the loss of leverage.
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Old 23-07-2016, 15:53   #14
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

A shoal draft keel needn't be heavierr than a deep draft one in order to have the same righting moment RM). As if it has a bulb or wings, then you can put a big lump of lead down at the bottom of it & wind up with the same RM as a deep, skinny fin of the same overall weight. Look at how much RM racing boats get with their giant bulbs hung off of the tip of what amounts to a metal or composite daggerboard.
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Old 23-07-2016, 16:34   #15
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Re: Deep Keel or Shoal Draft

Haha. I think that is the way I'll go.
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