Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-04-2010, 15:31   #1
Registered User
 
mintyspilot's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 834
Keel Types - What Is Your Preference, and Why ?

I'm a little mesmerised by all the different keel types - there seems to be an awful lot of them. Whilst I did not have a boat yet I was wondering if there are any types best avoided?

So far I rather fancy the idea of bilge keels since the boat can sit on them if necessary. That must be a boon for maintenance, but I understand that the performance of a bilge keeled boat is lessened by the split keels.

My boat (when I get it) will be a cruiser, not a racer. Comfort will be a big part of it.

I'd appreciate any thoughts that people may have.
__________________

__________________
mintyspilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 15:33   #2
Registered User
 
mintyspilot's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 834
BTW - How strong are things like bilge keels? They do not seem all that thick and yet boats weighing several tonnes sit on them. Do they ever snap off?
__________________

__________________
mintyspilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 16:29   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Aloha,
Each keel type has a little different function and depending upon what type of performance you like or where you do most of your sailing is what keel will best serve you. Deep fins for performance to weather. Shallow or centerboard keels for shallow water and long full keels for downwind tracking cruisers. Bilge keels for areas of great tides and you want to sit on the bottom. There are various degrees of each for those who just want to have a combination of each attribute.
Good luck on your boat search.
regards,
__________________
John
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 16:31   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
I haven't heard of bilge keels breaking off but I think that would be more a function of how it is attached to the hull and of what material it is made. It would be worth looking into.
regards,
__________________
John
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 16:37   #5
Registered User
 
bastonjock's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lincolnshire UK
Boat: Mac 26x
Posts: 169
Hi Minty

you tend to find bilge keelers on the Uk,s east coast and in Parts of wales .With different keel types there are advantages and disadvantages.Bilge keelrs are very popular where i sail as we have to contend with 6 meter tides,and a lack of deep water harbours,boats that can take the bottom can be moored in less expensive spots.

I have sent you a PM
__________________
bastonjock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 18:12   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,368
Disclaimer: All statements and claims below are based on general design principals and some specific designs may differ in their performance.

Well, if you haven't figured it out yet, on a boat almost everything involves trade-offs or compromises. Keels are no exception.

Deep fin keel gives you better windward performance but you have to deal with deep draft. Long, full keel tracks better, shallower draft, attached rudder strong and protected but you give up windward performance and have a wider turning radius in tight quarters.

I chose a modified fin keel with a rudder on a full length skeg. Shallower draft than a deep fin, better windward performance and better handling in tight quarters than a full length keel. This is the compromise that works for me. Others may differ.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 18:39   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Wells, Vt
Boat: 42ft Colvin Gazelle - TLA HLA
Posts: 504
Be sure to think about the waters you will cruise. Shallow draft can open many places not available to deeper draft. Also, a primary concern to some, longer (not deeper) keels can ballance well, especially with a spread out rig, without the need for "self stearing" gizmos and gadgets.
__________________
ConradG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 19:44   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 107
There is an article in this months Good Old Boat all about keel types
__________________
Morgan3820 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 20:29   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cruising NC, FL, Bahamas, TCI & VIs
Boat: 1964 Pearson Ariel 'Faith' / Pearson 424, sv Emerald Tide
Posts: 1,531
I am in favor of keels....
__________________
s/v 'Faith' is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 03:02   #10
Registered User
 
mintyspilot's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 834
Bastonjock's sent me a link which led me through a number of websites and articles on this. The prevailing "wisdom" seems to be

  1. On older boats, bilge keels were too shallow and caused a small performance penalty.
  2. On more modern boats, bilge keels are a little deeper and the performance penalty is less pronounced.
  3. Bilge keels are very useful in the UK due to our tidal ranges and can be a boon for boat maintenance (providing you get it done between tides)
  4. Bilge keels can be noisier if the higher keel (when heeled over) flies over the waves.

So if I get the option I'll probably choose a bilge keeler but I will not turn down a good boat just because it has a fin keel.

Deep keels or full length keels seem to be out of favour.
__________________
mintyspilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 03:25   #11
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,514
Images: 14
Around the Solent with 5m tides bilge keels come into there own, with many drying moorings. We might loose a little pointing ability and a fraction of a knot over the equivalent fin keeled Moody 31, but its a cruising yacht. If we wanted to go fast we would buy a trimaran, or a folding prop at least which should be good for 1/2 knot over our fixed prop. Quality and condition of sails would also make a big difference also the way the yacht is sailed, husband and wife just ploding along or a charter yacht with the skipper exercising the crew, it would make a big difference.

I doubt you could break one of our bilge keels as they are a streamlined shape but probably 6" solid cast iron in the middle.

Oh and we don't fall over on the hard either, that photo of dozens of yachts in Plymouth a couple of years ago all doing a domino effect looked shocking.

The only full length keel I saw at Southampotn Boat show last year was a folk boat. All the rest were fin or a variety of it, with the occasional lifting keel.
Pete
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Moody keels2.JPG
Views:	501
Size:	52.9 KB
ID:	14750  
__________________
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 05:22   #12
Registered User
 
mintyspilot's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 834
@Pete7 - I'm quite taken with Moodys, they seem to be a cruiser's yacht, but they only seem to come in "large" these days. Ideally I'm looking (I think) for a 36' boat. I took a boat plan of a bavaria in sizes 30,33,37 & 39 and laid them out in the garden to get an idea of size.

I think that the internal layout is going to be a big factor in choosing a comfortable boat. I plan to go cruising for months at a time. The Moodys seem to have a big aft cabin (stateroom?? ) and I'm not planning to spend my life sleeping, but I like the Moodys nonetheless.

Some of the older boats like Westerlys seem interesting, even in the 33' versions.

Is age all that important? I get the impression that just about every GRP boat eve built is still floating around (excepting accidents). I know that the Moody 31s are a 1980s boat but I get the impression that those GRPs that have not succumbed to osmosis seem to last really well.
__________________
mintyspilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 06:52   #13
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,726
Bilge keels are great in tidal areas and where your plans are pottering around and not sailing long distances. Pointing ability is much compromised as far as I can tell and bilge keel boats are much slower (more than a fraction of a knot -- because of great increase in wetted area), but again -- if you're pottering around the coast, this is no big deal, whereas the access to all kinds of shallow areas and ability to take the ground are wonderful things.

We have the opposite kind of boat -- deep high performance bulb keel. For cranking out miles, you can't beat it. The pointing ability is wonderful, because it means you can make progress upwind and keep sailing in all kinds of conditions where you would otherwise be forced to resort to the engine. But with 7'6" of draft, we can't even get in sight of land in some places where bilge keelers have rich cruising grounds. Like almost everything in sailing it's a tradeoff.

Concerning Moodys -- we bought ours last year and are delighted with it. We had wanted a much more expensive Oyster, and bought the Moody on the rebound after the Oyster deal fell through, and have been astonished at the extent to which the Moody has turned out to be fully comparable to the Oyster in so many aspects of design, engineering, construction, quality. They are great boats, very high quality and well designed, especially the rig and deck hardware. Excellent value for the money, too, being a level cheaper than Oyster, Hallberg-Rassey, and other "premium" makes. I think most or all of them since early 1980's were design by Bill Dixon.

Yes, age is important. A cruising sailboat is a collection of systems each with its own lifespan, like say a helicopter. A cheap older boat where major upgrades or replacements are required to most of the systems might be worth less than the cost of all the work, so could be a bad deal even if acquisition cost were zero. Plus technology and design improved continuously over the years, and understanding of osmosis and quality of resins continuously improved. Buy the newest (and more importantly -- best maintained and most frequently updated) boat you can afford.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 07:13   #14
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,514
Images: 14
Our experience of buying a yacht seemed to be going nowhere fast after SWMBO rejected a couple of french yachts because they were to "scruffy" and the brokers selling them hopeless. I feel for the sellers paying 8% +VAT, if they knew how little effort their brokers were making to a potential cash buyer, I think they would have been shocked and justifiably angry. The state of some yachts also left not a little, but a huge amount to be desired. A Dufour on the Hamble with a new antifouling job, only they hadn't levelled the underlying coat so it looked like a relief map of the Himalayas Then a cheap old 35 foot Jeanneau in Port Solent. When you looked up the mast it was S shaped and badly so. Batteries flat despite the wind generator and holes in the cushions. Had potential until I asked why their were 4 x 12v fans in the saloon. Turned out the boat had been to Antiqua a couple of times, or had it been imported? Broker couldn't offer any paperwork other than a dodgy looking receipt from another broker, which meant we were looking at a possible 6k VAT bill

Somewhat disolutioned I took a trip down the Moodys second hand boat show (each Sept) and found 5 Moody 31's, a 346 and a couple of larger sizes. 1 of the M31s was superb, 3 were very good and the final 1 scruffy and neglected, although the price reflected this. However the expresion of my 13 year old when she smelt the heads "wiff" throughout the boat said it all, no way was her mother ever going to accept this one.

We spent 3 days pouring over the internet and couldn't find anything really bad about the mark. Naturally we offered on the nicest one and it was accepted. One owner, with log book of every engine hour logged over the past 19 years and all servicing receipts etc. Survey was good (with low moisture readings) and sailed well on the test. She suites Viv and I very well with lots of space for the two of us plus dog. though we have had the two teenagers on board for a fortnight and survived entertaining two teenagers on a 31 foot boat when its been raining for 4 days is challenging

Now in our 3rd year with half a dozen channel crossings under our belt she really looks after us. Exploring the bits you can't normally see on an inspection shows she is really well put together and still water tight, with completely dry bilges.

If you are looking for live aboard for a few months you will probably want the slightly larger 34/346/35/36 range or the last 333's which have a walk through to the stern cabin (earlier ones had separate cabin via centre cockpit hatch).

I won't knock the Westerlies because they also have a very loyal following and good owners association, but I prefer the Moodys style and the very active association web site dedicated to the mark:

Topics - Moody Owners Information Exchange

I think one problem choosing a yacht is possibly too much choice with so many different makes and models. Don't overlook chartering to get feel of what then are like. We chartered a Bavaria 34, then bought a Moody.

Pete
__________________
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2010, 07:20   #15
Registered User
 
mintyspilot's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Bilge keels are great in tidal areas and where your plans are pottering around and not sailing long distances.
TIme will not be a factor. I will not be racing anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Pointing ability is much compromised as far as I can tell and bilge keel boats are much slower (more than a fraction of a knot -- because of great increase in wetted area)
Reports on this seem to vary, but everyone seems to agree that bliges are "slower and doesn't point as well". I have seen some comments that lengthening the bilge keels has eliminated some of this problem, but where do you get a longer bilge keel when you need one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
but again -- if you're pottering around the coast, this is no big deal, whereas the access to all kinds of shallow areas and ability to take the ground are wonderful things.
That is more what we want. The plan is to potter round the UK for a while then move down to France, Spain and into the Med. It is no problem if it takes a year or two, we are in no rush. If the boat does 5kts, then the boat does 5kts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
We have the opposite kind of boat -- deep high performance bulb keel. For cranking out miles, you can't beat it. The pointing ability is wonderful, because it means you can make progress upwind and keep sailing in all kinds of conditions where you would otherwise be forced to resort to the engine.
I've looked at the brochure for the Moody 54. Afterwards I dowsed myself in cold water to cool down.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
But with 7'6" of draft,



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Concerning Moodys -- we bought ours last year and are delighted with it..... They are great boats, very high quality and well designed, especially the rig and deck hardware. Excellent value for the money, too, being a level cheaper than Oyster, Hallberg-Rassey, and other "premium" makes. I think most or all of them since early 1980's were design by Bill Dixon.
I do like the look and the layout of them. They are high on my list.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yes, age is important... Buy the newest (and more importantly -- best maintained and most frequently updated) boat you can afford.
Oh I will, but point my was perhaps badly made. Who would buy a 30 year old car (or even a 15 year old car) for everyday general use on the road? Yet a boat of that age is not, seemingly, past its best. I will be buying the youngest boat that meets my budget and requirements and since time will not be an issue for me and I'm handy with tools I will be able to do a great deal of work myself if needs be. I'm also a software developer so the IT side holds no fears and the wife is also very good at upholstery and sewing. She even has a certification in upholstery and another in Electrical Engineering so with a bit of luck...

Who knows. We might wind up with a bilge-keel Moody and a completely re-upholstered interior and all the ship systems in tip-top condition.

__________________

__________________
mintyspilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fin Keel? Long Keel? Jeff? bob_deb Monohull Sailboats 89 13-03-2012 12:28
Oyster 46 Shoal Keel vs Long Keel utahmonty Monohull Sailboats 7 15-11-2009 16:37
Mast Wiring Preference pdbms Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 07-09-2009 04:25
Preference for Bluewater Boat? 3333feet General Sailing Forum 6 10-06-2009 13:58
Twin keel v Fin keel, pro's n con's ? Davegw Monohull Sailboats 6 12-02-2009 03:08



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:08.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.