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Old 19-05-2011, 10:34   #31
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

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Originally Posted by capnorv View Post
More to the point would be which is more important to you, speed and performance or comfort? I mean we're talking sailboats here, right?
It's a matter of taste, but for me at least, all of it.

If you're just out for a doddle along the coast, performance might not be so important. You can choose to sail where the wind is blowing that day or motor upwind, and it's not so important how many miles you can make in a day. On the other hand, if you're trying to get places under sail, and especially, if you can't always choose to sail downwind, then performance starts to become important.

Our previous boat had a long, shallow iron fin keel and a full skeg rudder -- the kind of boat the "I don't care how slow it is, as long as it is extremely strong and seaworthy" camp likes. She was a good boat and I spent many happy days and nights on her, but we motored most of the time because we could not make practical progress upwind in her. And she would not move under sail in less than 10 knots of wind. So the iron genny got a lot of use.

The new boat has a high performance lead bulb keel and partial skeg. The difference is night and day. If I motored 75% of the time before, I now sail 75% or more of the time. I can make meaningful progress dead upwind under sail, tacking through 95 degrees or so. An 80 mile passage can be done in one watch, if the wind is even half decent. My cruising horizons have been greatly expanded.

It's only my opinion -- and everyone has his own -- but I don't like slow sailboats that don't go upwind. I like to sail. And I like to actually go places under sail, not just bob around in the water somewhere.
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Old 19-05-2011, 11:05   #32
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

It certainly would be nice to go faster and not watch those sails disappear over the horizon AND to be able to move astern with ANY control but I do like the fact that most things like lost floating hawsers, pieces of gill net and other flotsam is less likely to get wrapped somewhere or bend the rudder back (although I have proved that warp line CAN get wrapped around the prop with a keel mounted rudder). How's that for a run-on sentence? I think one of those little spade rudders though would always make me feel vulnerable. The idea of running aground with a fragile fin keel and rudder hanging down is scary. It looks like the leverage that might be applied to the junction of the keel and hull could be enough to create serious damage.
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Old 19-05-2011, 11:10   #33
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

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Originally Posted by capnorv View Post
More to the point would be which is more important to you, speed and performance or comfort?
That's a false dichotomy. It's possible to have speed, performance and comfort all in the same boat.
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Old 19-05-2011, 11:12   #34
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Re: fin keels, skeg hung rudders, full keels...

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Nothing better than a long passage when, after going days without seeing another boat, at sunrise I spot the glint of a distant set of sails on the horizon. I pull out my binoculars, steady myself against the dodger, and discover that the vessel ahead of me is an ancient vessel with a full keel. I sit back and chuckle softly because, in those precious situations, I know that with my fin keel and spade rudder I'll pass him by noon and do a horizon job on him by sundown.

Those are good days, out there on the big blue.


Ah yes, but if you really want to arrive quickly, safely, cheaply and in comfort, book a flight. If passagemaking was all about being in a hurry and arriving 1 day sooner on a 30 day passage, you'd find a better way to get there.
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Old 19-05-2011, 11:24   #35
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

As a more serious reply, the generalizations of this thread can be somewhat misleading.

There are some poorly designed, dog slow fin keel boats that sail like poop to windward. Ditto for "full" keelers.
Then there are performance oriented or designed boats with full keels and with fin keels. These sail nicely to windward
There are many fin keel boats I wouldn't want to leave the dock in, and some where I wouldn't feel troubled at all.

A nicely designed full keeler will keep up with most equal waterline length well designed fin keel boats on a passage with little difference. Upwind it is more about sheeting angles and foils. However I find that in open water fin keel boats lose their edge due to inboard sheeting leads and high aspect foils because of the need to foot off to keep speed up through chop and waves. Ie around a race course in calm water, tacking angles <90 degrees are nice, but on the ocean it is a rare boat that will sail <45 off the wind for a long passage.

Bash's example I am sure holds true at times, but I am fairly certain that if he were sailing against a nicely designed equal sized full keel boat, there would be no contest.
I routinely pass fin keel boats, but not because of the keel- more because of the relative lack of skill of the sailor or the designer.
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Old 19-05-2011, 11:45   #36
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Re: fin keels, skeg hung rudders, full keels...

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Ah yes, but if you really want to arrive quickly, safely, cheaply and in comfort, book a flight. If passagemaking was all about being in a hurry and arriving 1 day sooner on a 30 day passage, you'd find a better way to get there.
It's often far more than a single day.

A boat averaging 4 knots will average 96 nm per days, which means in 30 days it will travel 2,880 nm. A boat averaging 7 knots, which will average 168 nm days, will make that same passage in 17 days.

That's a huge difference.

I will grant the argument that there are full-keel boats that average better than 96 nm days, but the reality is that for an awful lot of cruisers, a 100-mile day is about all they can ever hope for. Others among us, mostly fin-keelers with an LWL of 40' or more, have a shot at making 200nm days in the tradewinds. For me, that sort of sailing is a lot more fun. It's not that I'm in a hurry, I just like the type of sailing where I start seeing eights and nines on the knot log. And if I happen to get into port two weeks before the dude stuck back there on a four-knot passagemaker, I can live with that.
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Old 19-05-2011, 11:59   #37
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

ummm...at 40', I don't know many full keel boats that will only make 4 kts / 100mp day averages in trades...just by SQRT waterline SA/D stats.

and depends on the boat and the cut of the full keel

Fuji?
Rafiki?

are extremes...

well...despite speed I am not sure the cut of a Rafiki keel is a safe boat and the myths.
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Old 19-05-2011, 12:12   #38
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

Dockhead, you are right about Hawk being a great boat. Unfortunately its not a production boat, its a custom design and built of aluminum. No bolt on keel on Hawk. I don't know what size and strength the rudder shaft is but I would bet its much stronger than what you find on most production boats. A tall rig. I would bet the rig is spec'd stronger than most production boats.

I agree that there are boats out there with fins and spades that are very seaworthy boats. But most production boats are not built like that and are not meant to cruise the world. Many do and most have a good ending, but then again, some don't.
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Old 19-05-2011, 12:16   #39
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pirate Re: fin keels, skeg hung rudders, full keels...

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
It's often far more than a single day.

A boat averaging 4 knots will average 96 nm per days, which means in 30 days it will travel 2,880 nm. A boat averaging 7 knots, which will average 168 nm days, will make that same passage in 17 days.

That's a huge difference.

I will grant the argument that there are full-keel boats that average better than 96 nm days, but the reality is that for an awful lot of cruisers, a 100-mile day is about all they can ever hope for. Others among us, mostly fin-keelers with an LWL of 40' or more, have a shot at making 200nm days in the tradewinds. For me, that sort of sailing is a lot more fun. It's not that I'm in a hurry, I just like the type of sailing where I start seeing eights and nines on the knot log. And if I happen to get into port two weeks before the dude stuck back there on a four-knot passagemaker, I can live with that.
LOL.... you guys should get a 'Real Boat'..... LWL 16ft 3in.... 150miles in 30hrs...
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Old 19-05-2011, 12:26   #40
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

boaty - Wharrum you comin' from?

heh
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Old 19-05-2011, 12:58   #41
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

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is it crazy to do offshore cruising in a boat with a fin keel and no rudder protection..?
Yep. Crazy.
I was killed 1/2 an hour into the Pacific.
When I got the the Pearly Gates St Peter said: "You bought a BENETEAU???????????????"

Then he kicked me out and I had to start again.

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Old 19-05-2011, 13:04   #42
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Re: fin keels, skeg hung rudders, full keels...

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I know that with my fin keel and spade rudder I'll pass him by noon and do a horizon job on him by sundown
just don't let go of that wheel !! your boat will round up into the wind quick as a wink whilst the full keel will sail a straight line to the horizon
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Old 19-05-2011, 13:13   #43
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pirate Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

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Yep. Crazy.
I was killed 1/2 an hour into the Pacific.
When I got the the Pearly Gates St Peter said: "You bought a BENETEAU???????????????"

Then he kicked me out and I had to start again.

ROTFLMBO...................

Salty.... thats was on my little Corribee 21... why dya think Ellen MacArthur chose one to start her on her 'Road to Fame'...
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Old 19-05-2011, 14:53   #44
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Re: fin keels, skeg hung rudders, full keels...

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It's often far more than a single day.

A boat averaging 4 knots will average 96 nm per days, which means in 30 days it will travel 2,880 nm. A boat averaging 7 knots, which will average 168 nm days, will make that same passage in 17 days.

That's a huge difference.

I will grant the argument that there are full-keel boats that average better than 96 nm days, but the reality is that for an awful lot of cruisers, a 100-mile day is about all they can ever hope for. Others among us, mostly fin-keelers with an LWL of 40' or more, have a shot at making 200nm days in the tradewinds. For me, that sort of sailing is a lot more fun. It's not that I'm in a hurry, I just like the type of sailing where I start seeing eights and nines on the knot log. And if I happen to get into port two weeks before the dude stuck back there on a four-knot passagemaker, I can live with that.

I love the hyperbole. If there is a wellfound boat that is similar in length to your "14 M Sloop" that can't hang within 0.5 knots of you in passage conditions, I'd like to see it.
Again, you are comparing your large boat to the average full keel cruiser which may be over 10 feet shorter than yours (and 6 figures cheaper).
In conditions in which your Hunter would average 7 knots, any similar waterline boat will average close to the same thing. To argue that there is any boat over 30 feet that can't average well over 4 knots when you average 7 is sheer lunacy.
Heck, in 10 knots of breeze my boat easily reaches 6.0-6.5 knots, and it is a 60s full keeler with 24' LWL. It takes nothing for the Hinckley Bermuda 40 I have done passages on to reach 7-7.5 knots in moderate breeze reaching, and 6.5 knots upwind. And it still is shorter than your boat.
Perhaps in light wind conditions there would be a difference, but you won't be doing 7 knots on the ocean in light winds without your Yanmar genoa.

Believe it or not, as nice as your Hunter is- and I believe it is- there isn't some magic that the design has to make it sail 50% faster than classic boats. In fact, many older boats, because they were not built to interior specs (ie accomodations), sail as fast as their modern brethren. If you are talking about 200NM days, then you are talking about speeds limited by waterline length mostly- and then equal sized boats will keep up....
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Old 19-05-2011, 14:59   #45
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Re: Fin Keels - Skeg Hung Rudders - Full Keels

As an aerospace engineer, I understand aspect ratio, lift to drag, etc. and why a fin keel is much better going upwind. However, many passages (most, in fact) are downwind affairs. In this case, it would seem that at moderate to low speeds a long keel will give some disadvantage due to larger wetted surface area, but the top speed is still all about LWL. Assuming wind abaft the beam and strong, tradewind conditions, would a full keeler not do just as well as any other displacement hull?
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