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Old 07-03-2013, 20:21   #31
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

Can't agree with that..you could take a Westsail 32 and put brand new plastic sails on it, inner tracks and a crew from the America's Cup and almost any later model fin keel boat will out point you by a very large margin.

Nothing will help you go to weather better than a deep fin keel and the deeper the better. Even if you threw a pair of older sails on it you'd still outpoint the Westsail or most full keel boats by a large margin.
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Old 07-03-2013, 20:57   #32
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

We all know that newer performance boats have fin keels, but the OP asked whether a full keel "will go to weather," and the best answer is that it depends on the boat. Some full keel race boats will tack through 80 degrees. The Charles W Morgan tacks through 150 degrees. There are many factors: hull shape, rig, sails, etc. It's best to talk about specific boats.
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Old 07-03-2013, 21:00   #33
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

I agree each boat is different. Which full keel boat will tack thru 80 degrees???
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Old 07-03-2013, 21:03   #34
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

If there's enough wind to occasionally dip my rail, my Cape Dory 25D, with a full keel with a cut away fore foot, will out point Catalina 27 and 30 and 34 when flying nothing but my 130 headsail and they are flying both a main and head sail. All three of the Catalinas are in my marina and were shocked the first time this happened beating up the lake. Now they just laugh and complain about blown out sails and dirty bottoms...

As the winds gets up over 30 I put a double reefed main and roll my 130 to 100% and carry on. They all go back to the dock, saying it's a tad too windy.

When I want to eat or relax and kick back I heave to and float along sitting 45-60 degrees off the wind making .5-1.5kts.

My bilge is arms length deep and can hold lots of water IF need be w/o any sloshing on the cabin sole.

No keel bolts to rust. No one in recorded history has ever had a full keel fall off.

The motion in a seaway is night and day better than a Hunter 36 with quartering seas hitting the stern. The Hunter 36 I charted acts like all wide beam shallow hull designs in that it wallows like a drunk in following seas. Only time I've ever felt queasy on a boat.

I take a full keel any day in any conditions over a fin keel.
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Old 07-03-2013, 21:04   #35
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Can't agree with that..you could take a Westsail 32 and put brand new plastic sails on it, inner tracks and a crew from the America's Cup and almost any later model fin keel boat will out point you by a very large margin.

Nothing will help you go to weather better than a deep fin keel and the deeper the better. Even if you threw a pair of older sails on it you'd still outpoint the Westsail or most full keel boats by a large margin.
There are also long keel boats (i'm thinking some of the old designs by, for example Sparkman & Stevens) that will go to windward better than certain fin keel boats.

My point was that the keel type doesn't say as much about pointing ability as one might think, and that pointing ability doesn't say as much about the suitability of a boat as one might think. There is not "universal rule" of keel type, nor a magic number for pointing ability, at which the boat somehow passes the "pointing" test. You may disagree. The world would be a dull place if everyone agreed with everyone else all the time.
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Old 07-03-2013, 21:25   #36
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

OK we can agree on that. Yes there are some full keel boats that do sail fairly close to the wind and there are some fin keel boats that don't point that high. Something like a Cape Dory 25 (pretty little boats) only has around a 7 foot beam and is fairly deep so it can go upwind. They heel very easy so if its a fresh breeze you'll be on your ear and they can be wet. A Catalina 27 with good sails and a decent sailor will outpoint the CD. I personally love the timeless lines of many of the full keeled boats but their days are over from a new boat perspective. Newer boats are extremely beamy, much more so than the full keelers and many of them still go upwind very well. Hard to find a beamy full keeler that will point high upwind. Yes isn't it great that we disagree, I never learned a damn thing from someone that I always agreed with.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:08   #37
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Robertsailor has it right. Basically, pointing ability is a factor of draft. The shape of the keel, fin or full, is not what makes it point, a shallow fin keel will not point as well as a deep full keel. A deep high aspect NACA foil keel with a bulb allows you to reduce wetted surface and drag, a full keel tracks better, is more stable, and turns slower. If you want to point high, the trade off is deep draft, or the added complexity of a lifting scheme. A deep full keel, like a J class yacht points very well, a shallow fin keel does not, hence the multitude of conflicting viewpoints. If the only difference between two boats were the shape of the keel (LWL, draft, displacement, etc.), both should point equally. The full keel boat would be slower, more stable, offer a more pleasant ride in a seaway, but be harder to spin in a fairway, than its fin keeled counterpart.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:13   #38
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(LWL, draft, displacement, etc.), both should point equally..
Should say: (LWL, draft, displacement, etc., being the same)
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:34   #39
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

Lots of good comments on here, especially Kettlewell's and Ocean Girl's at the beginning of the thread.

There's no simplistic answer to the question since -- as others have said -- various designs are very different.

All other things being equal (which they never are!), the shorter and deeper the keel is, the more hydrodynamically efficient it is, the more lift it develops, and so the faster and more weatherly the boat. But for this to be practically useful, the rest of the boat needs to be designed for it. A short, deep keel and spade rudder are useless on a boat with a low ketch rig.

All other things being equal, a boat with a short, deep keel will not track as well and will not have as pleasant a motion in rough weather, compared to a boat with a long, shallow keel.

All other things being equal, a boat with a long keel is much harder to maneuver in close quarters and will not reverse as well.

I've owned both types, and certainly prefer what I have now -- a bulb keel but with a moderate aspect ratio, partial skeg rudder, moderate hull shape with narrow-ish stern and not very flat forefoot. With a long waterline (46') and a light displacement for the size (D/L of 200), this produces very good (if not ultimate) performance but with good motion and without pounding.

My previous boat (a sloop, but designed as a ketch) with a long keel could not go to weather to save its life, and was a nightmare to dock. However, this kind of keel might be ok on a boat with a low ketch rig and heavy displacement -- you consciously sacrifice to-weather performance for other qualities which are great for long-distance passage-making.

And to underline Kettlewell's point about the keel not being the only determinate of performance:

I raced the Jolie Brise last year from Weymouth all the way into the Hamble, about 53 miles, in a stiff wind, F6 or F7. Jolie Brise is an antique wooden gaff-rigger, who won the very first Fastnet race in the 1920's. My boat could run away from her on a reach -- 8 tons of lead in the bulb keel on my boat gives sail-carrying ability in a strong wind which an old wooden gaff-rigger can't possibly match. We hove-to for lunch and let her catch up near Anvil Point, whereupon we turned upwind, hard on the wind.

You can imagine my amazement when Jolie Brise pointed at the exact same angle as my best, and gave us a hell of a run on the upwind leg. I could not lose her to save my life. Now how is it, that an antique wooden full keeled gaff rigger can sail upwind as fast and as high as a modern bulb keeler of similar size, waterline length, and weight? Well, you've got me there, actually. All I can say is that "all other things being equal" doesn't always apply.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:35   #40
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What did your boat draw dockhead? Jolie Brise draws 10'2". I think that explains why she could point as high. It's great she could keep up. I couldn't find her SA, but I'm sure it's a lot. Nice to see she's being put through her paces rather than wasting away a a dock.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:46   #41
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

i figger if you truly wish to go to weather, a 747 does the job nicely...also if you desire speed, same answer.... or race.

i cruise--my full keel formosa is a good surprise, as i thunk she wouldnt tightly turn..lol she does...and i thunk she would be a brick--well, until she gains her way, she is. once she begins to get going, do not get in her way. even at 3 kts she can be formidable...so i have 6 or 6 1/2 ft of solid stem to stern deep keel with a cutaway forefoot for handling--the latest thing in 1976..
tracks awesome well--donot need a hand on wheel for long times, and she sails awesome, even with blown out old cruising sails....so i only get 3-4 kts out of her--wait until the truly BIG winds blow--i will be sailing onward and yŠll with lesser stuff under water will be waiting out the gale....enjoy your boats--
i love the handling of my formosa and the way she takes a 60 kt chubasco and makes it seem a gentle breeze.....cannot dp that in a fin.spade nor a fin/skeg combo..and forget that deep lil spikey thing they like to try to call a keel in racey boats--eeps--love my sturdy deep full keel brick. she is also short of stick so i can pass under any bridges i might be able to get to pass under.....
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:57   #42
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

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I suspect that a boat's ability to point will, in general, have more to do with the condition of its canvas and the ability of its crew than the shape and / or length of its keel. At the risk of sounding like an ass (and I have a knack for doing that), if you are predicating your choice of boat on its ability (or otherwise) to sail to windward or on its keel type, I think you should review your selection criteria.
This guy does make a pretty good point. I've watched the Thursday Night Races here in Norfolk where some boats that should be easily outpointing others have waaay too much sail up for the conditions and get beat to the weather mark by much less efficient boats. And these guys are the racers.

Take your average sailor, he may only know to pull in his sheet as tight as he can get it (whereas your experienced sailor will tighten to the optimum position depending on the conditions). Average sailor guy may not know to tighten/adjust the downhull/ outhaul to the most efficient position, or to rake his mast, or get his slot working correctly..............

Also, he may be a crappy helmsman and not know how to anticipate the coming wind gusts and steer efficiently through them.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:41   #43
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

Darn Im glad I don't like going hard to weather!! Ive only had full keel boats so far ! But I like to sail easy and even a little slow ! Going hard to weather is for racers, not for us old cruisers !! we are Never that much in a hurry LOL
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:48   #44
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

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Darn Im glad I don't like going hard to weather!! Ive only had full keel boats so far ! But I like to sail easy and even a little slow ! Going hard to weather is for racers, not for us old cruisers !! we are Never that much in a hurry LOL


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Old 08-03-2013, 08:52   #45
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Re: Full vs Fin? Will it go to Weather?

Going faster doesn't necessarily mean pointing better. Just ask those guys with too much sail up...........
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