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Old 17-01-2018, 00:07   #1
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Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

I keep reading accounts on westerly bilge keel issues in the past. Were these sufficiently taken care of in the subsequent recalls? Are there any signs one could identify during purchase that the advertised boat was properly strengthened?

OTOH: how about the Moody 33 bilge-keel version as an alternative?
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Old 17-01-2018, 05:03   #2
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pirate Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

The only issues I'm aware off with Westerly bilge keels are down to owners who kept them on drying moorings in exposed mooring fields because they were cheap.
Laurent Giles designed them to be more splayed for better hydro-dynamics resulting in a better performance than the standard straight down keels or slightly splayed keels on other bilge keelers of that time such as the Macwester, Vivacity to name a couple.
The pounding on the bottom twice a day tends to have an effect over the years.
To the best of my knowledge there were no recalls.. the same thing would apply to a Moody or any other boat in these circumstances.
You will find boats the same year with or without this problem.. depending on their past.
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Old 17-01-2018, 05:23   #3
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

Quote:
The pounding on the bottom twice a day tends to have an effect over the years.
Jeez... If I want to destroy my boat, I get a pickaxe instead of putting the poor thing on a dryin reef. Crazy.
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Old 17-01-2018, 05:49   #4
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pirate Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

The UK and N France have pretty large tide variations.. the difference between MHWS and MLWS can be as much as 40ft in some places.. makes space a premium hence the creation the Lee Board boats then later centreboards and then triple keels.. then came the pure bilge keeler.
This is Poole harbour which has 100's of moorings.. it has 4 High waters every 24 hrs
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Old 17-01-2018, 05:58   #5
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

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Jeez... If I want to destroy my boat, I get a pickaxe instead of putting the poor thing on a dryin reef. Crazy.
Thousands and tens of thousands of boats in the UK and Atlantic France live on drying moorings. It's all which is available at a reasonable price in some of the most beautiful harbors. There are many wonderful harbors in this area which are entirely drying -- no water at all at low tide.

If the bottom is suitably soft and the boat is made to take the ground, it's no big deal.
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Old 17-01-2018, 06:03   #6
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTom View Post
I keep reading accounts on westerly bilge keel issues in the past. Were these sufficiently taken care of in the subsequent recalls? Are there any signs one could identify during purchase that the advertised boat was properly strengthened?

OTOH: how about the Moody 33 bilge-keel version as an alternative?
I know about the Discus only from its good reputation, but I do know the Moodys in person, and they are really lovely and good sailing boats. A friend of mine has a Moody 31 bilge keel, Bill Dixon design, which is one of the nicest boats of this size I've ever seen.

I like bilge keels for these waters for many reasons -- they open up all kinds of great places for exploration which you can't reach in a fin keel boat, you mostly don't worry about running aground (so long as you have tea on board ), you can use drying harbors and anchorages without hassle, and you can work on the bottom of the boat, change anodes, scrub off, etc., without paying for a lift out. The cost for all of these boons is only a certain quantum of upwind performance, which most cruisers don't use anyway. I love them.
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Old 17-01-2018, 09:33   #7
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
The only issues I'm aware off with Westerly bilge keels are down to owners who kept them on drying moorings in exposed mooring fields because they were cheap.
Laurent Giles designed them to be more splayed for better hydro-dynamics resulting in a better performance than the standard straight down keels or slightly splayed keels on other bilge keelers of that time such as the Macwester, Vivacity to name a couple.
The pounding on the bottom twice a day tends to have an effect over the years.
To the best of my knowledge there were no recalls.. the same thing would apply to a Moody or any other boat in these circumstances.
You will find boats the same year with or without this problem.. depending on their past.
I think the word 'grounding' would be better and more reasonable than the word 'pounding'. The latter only happens in extreme weather.

Bilge keelers were designed to take the ground. I had three drop keeled boats on drying moorings with two tides a day and they were fine.
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Old 17-01-2018, 09:48   #8
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

With the Bilge keels, its so easy to check the exterior when drying.. A quick scrub as things start to develop.. a slap on of anti fouling if some has been rubbed off.. a look at all seacocks..

In my Northern home town... in the UK, the sea could back off a mile with a 39 foot tide... and that allowed for the seabed to be really firm underfoot. Ive driven the landrover out to the boat to swap out bits and pieces...Until I sailed in other places, I didnt appreciate the long tides...

Performance? no overtly noticeable loss, especially with the Westerlys, well maybe some loss upwind. Ive had 3 so I was happy. Not a sprinter to be sure but solid and reliable. The Centaur has sold over 2500 during its manufacture.

I know Boatie has been the owner of Westerlys, but not sure if any were bilge keel. He likes 'em too.

Edit: I see DH said the same thing about upwind performance.
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Old 17-01-2018, 09:48   #9
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pirate Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kelly View Post
I think the word 'grounding' would be better and more reasonable than the word 'pounding'. The latter only happens in extreme weather.

Bilge keelers were designed to take the ground. I had three drop keeled boats on drying moorings with two tides a day and they were fine.
Your from Poole I see.. I used to work as Bosun at what was Lilliput Yacht Station.. just to the East of Salterns.. and when there was a strong SW'ly wind the fetch would build up from Green Island.. over 1 mile, nearer 2 or more.. and the boats on the drying moorings would pound the sand bottom then just as they settled the 2nd high would come in and lift them enough to start pounding again till the ebb began again.. same between the channels.
Further up towards the Wareham river its more protected and in Holes Bay where its mud it is okay but all along the North side from Poole Quay to Sandbanks untill the lee of Brownsea Island this was a problem.
Hobby horsing from toe to heel is Not what these keels are designed for.. and the mast judders was awesome to see.
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Old 17-01-2018, 10:09   #10
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pirate Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

A cut and paste from Sailing Today.. may be of use to first time visitors and save them embarrassment if visiting..


As many of you may know, Poole has unusual tides when compared to most of Britain. Visitors to the harbour are often puzzled by the small tidal range and double High Waters. Indeed, why should Poole enjoy double high waters, when, a few miles west, Weymouth suffers double low waters? Well, thanks to some useful information passed on from the UK Hydrographic Office, we will attempt an explanation.
Double high and low waters occur in the vicinity of nodal points of the main tide; a nodal point
being where the size (range) of the tide is very small or nil. Admiralty Chart 5058 [see sailingtoday.co.uk/shop] shows the entire UK with lines drawn to show places of equal tide range and tide times. Surprisingly, the chart reveals that there are about half dozen locations around the coast where there is little or no tidal range.
In other words, the tidal stream might very well flow one way and then the other, but the actual height above chart datum remains constant. Poole is one of these locations. Others can be found in the North Sea and at either end of the Irish Sea.
Poole happens to be close to a nodal point, owing to its position approximately halfway between Land’s End and the Dover Strait. In the English Channel there occurs a ‘standing wave’, rather like the wave you get by slopping water about in a bath. The pivot point of this wave is in the vicinity of Poole. Hence a mean range at Poole of 1.6m springs and 0.5m neaps, as compared with 3.9m and 1.9m respectively at Portsmouth. As you move away from Poole, so the size of the tide increases.
Interestingly, Portland and Southampton, both roughly equidistant from Poole, have “mirror image” tidal curves with a low water and a high water “stand” respectively. By the time Dartmouth and Shoreham are reached, again both fairly equidistant from Poole, the tidal curve has settled down to the conventional semi-diurnal curve.
With it so far? Good! Now let us complicate the matter by introducing friction. In shallow water, friction causes a distortion of the tide in such a way that it introduces another ‘standing wave’ into the cycle. A tidal graph will show it as a second ‘blip’ on the curve. However, when the main tide range becomes small, the frictional effect distorts the tidal curve more and more, eventually producing either ‘double high’ or ‘double low’ waters, depending on the phasing of the tidal curve.
Strictly speaking these are not ‘double highs or lows’ but a diminution of the normal twice daily tide cycle. Where the semi-diurnal tide range is small, any shallow water tide effect remains a constant. Hence during neap tides at Poole, the tide is mostly due to shallow water tide constituents.
Poole Harbour consists of a large basin with only one entrance. As described above, the tidal stream is mainly quarter diurnal. In other words the stream at the entrance ebbs and flows eight times per day as opposed to the normal four times per day round the rest of the coast. Though the tide range is small, even at springs, the quantity of water that must run out of the harbour to empty it is very great indeed. Hence the strong tidal streams to be experienced at the harbour entrance.
So you see, the explanation of the Poole double tides being a result of two separate tidal waves reaching the area, one from the east and one from the west, is entirely untrue, as is the story that the Poole tides and indeed the Solent anomalies are due to the presence of the Isle of Wight.
Hope this helps and it may give you something on which to ponder, while firmly on the mud or sand
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Old 17-01-2018, 10:17   #11
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

Thank you for all reflections, indeed, the possibility to dry the boat AND the 4.5' draft is a huge advantage.

Googling more, it seems that insurers nowadays require the bilge-keeled boats to be strengthened. I just have to decide if I want to include this in my sailing budget. (I am aware, fins also need some attention, but apparently twice more keels twice as many problems)
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Old 17-01-2018, 11:25   #12
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

As I understand it, the real issue with needing to strengthen the roots of bilge keels was due to a particular combination of circumstances. If you have splayed (angled) bilge keels, as many do, AND you keep your boat on a drying mooring over deep soft mud, as many do in Portsmouth Harbour UK for example, and I am sure lots of places elsewhere, then you can get a problem.

Pounding is a non - issue (because its soft mud) but as the splayed keels sink deeper down into the mud, that mud is being forced into a smaller and smaller space BETWEEN the 2 angled keels, whereas the mud OUTSIDE the 2 keels is getting further away from the keels themselves, so not providing any countering support.

So if this cycle carries on twice each day, over time it is tending to lever the 2 keels apart a bit on every tide. This is why extra strengthening work might be needed. This isnt a Moody vs Westerly issue - its just a question of where the boat has been kept. Drying moorings are obviously much cheaper than deep water moorings - but can lead to this problem (among others).

Find out where the boat has been moored in the past, if you can. Hope that helps.
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Old 17-01-2018, 11:42   #13
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

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Thank you for all reflections, indeed, the possibility to dry the boat AND the 4.5' draft is a huge advantage.

Googling more, it seems that insurers nowadays require the bilge-keeled boats to be strengthened. I just have to decide if I want to include this in my sailing budget. (I am aware, fins also need some attention, but apparently twice more keels twice as many problems)
Lets just correct this, insurance companies may require some Westerly Yachts to have their hulls modified. Doesn't apply to all models and doesn't apply to some other makes. The thread you linked to isn't about build quality, he dried out on an obstruction.

Pantaenius didn't require anything from me other than a copy of the survey report when I bought me Moody 31.

As to the extra work, well couple of hours a year touching up the paint isn't very much in the grand scheme of things. You probably spend longer in airports for a single return flight.

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Old 17-01-2018, 12:04   #14
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Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

The insurance required a survey from the chap and the surveyor recommended strengthening. I am wondering the cost range of such a complex GRP work...
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Old 17-01-2018, 12:16   #15
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pirate Re: Discus vs Moody 33 bilge keel?

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The insurance required a survey from the chap and the surveyor recommended strengthening. I am wondering the cost range of such a complex GRP work...
The train fare to the next boat on your list..???
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