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Old 26-03-2012, 02:07   #1
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Keels

Any advice based on experience appreciated.
Basically , I have only ever sailed long keelers but here in oz most for sale yachts seem to be fin with skegs .
What differences am I likely to experience ?
Are they generally not as efficient as traditional long keelers ?

Also , any thoughts on the sea keeping qualities of an Ohlson 34 yawl ?
Thanks
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Old 26-03-2012, 02:36   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperscouse
Any advice based on experience appreciated.
Basically , I have only ever sailed long keelers but here in oz most for sale yachts seem to be fin with skegs .
What differences am I likely to experience ?
Are they generally not as efficient as traditional long keelers ?

Also , any thoughts on the sea keeping qualities of an Ohlson 34 yawl ?
Thanks
They are significantly more efficient then long keels. Other then the fact that it leaves the rudder more exposed, fin and Skegs are better in all areas then long keels, which are a throwback to the limitations of the construction methods of the time.

Dave
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Old 26-03-2012, 02:52   #3
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Re: Keels

Fin keels are more efficient and hence faster (all other factors equal) then full or 3/4 keels due to smaller wetted area. However, the big advantage of long keels is that the boat tracks truer. From your experience with long keelers, you will find the fin keeler "twitchy", with many unable to self steer for any appreciable amount of time without input to the wheel/tiller. The other major disadvantage is that the shape of the fin and rudder makes them more prone to snagging lines or other debris.
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Old 26-03-2012, 05:55   #4
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Re: Keels

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However, the big advantage of long keels is that the boat tracks truer.
including when you really don't want them to , like in a marina.!
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Old 26-03-2012, 06:00   #5
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Re: Keels

Handling the boat under power is easier with a fin keel, as it provides a pivot point around which the boat can turn, which allows shorter raius turns than a full keel vessel.
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Old 26-03-2012, 14:29   #6
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Re: Keels

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Originally Posted by shorebird View Post
Handling the boat under power is easier with a fin keel, as it provides a pivot point around which the boat can turn, which allows shorter raius turns than a full keel vessel.
Well, true to some extent for maneuverability. Powering in a full keeler keeps a steadier course. Powering with a fin keeler sometimes is twitchy because of the wash on the spade rudder from the prop.

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Old 26-03-2012, 15:17   #7
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Re: Keels

Another point to consider, is that the full keel will typically have a shallower draft. Especially for the same displacement.

Compare two Island Packets and the Hunter 50 deep and shoal draft:
IP 485: foil keel 52' 2" LOA, Draft 5' 3" Disp. 44,150 lbs
IP 465: foil keel 48' 9" LOA, Draft 5' 0" Disp. 34,500 lbs
Hunter 50: fin keel 49' 11" LOA, Draft 7' Disp. 33,538 (Deep)
Hunter 50: fin keel 49' 11" LOA, Draft 5' 6" Disp 36,945 lbs (Shoal)

This is something to look at depending on where you are sailing. In the area I sail now (San Diego and the southwest US) the 7 foot draft looks good. However, where I plan on sailing (Fla, the Carib and the inter coastal waterways) the 7 foot draft looks like a real challenge.
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Old 26-03-2012, 15:29   #8
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Re: Keels

If you tend to run you boat onto the reefs a full keel is better. If I was to spend all my time messing about in these reef strewn waters I'd probably get a full-keeled boat. On the other hand, I can turn away from a hazard in a boat length with this fin keel and spade rudder.

Either beats working for a living.
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Old 26-03-2012, 16:05   #9
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Re: Keels

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
If you tend to run you boat onto the reefs a full keel is better. If I was to spend all my time messing about in these reef strewn waters I'd probably get a full-keeled boat. On the other hand, I can turn away from a hazard in a boat length with this fin keel and spade rudder.

Either beats working for a living.
with a name like "Reefmagnet" that's EXACTLY why I traded the fin keeler for a long keeler lol
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Old 26-03-2012, 16:22   #10
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Re: Keels

You will love the fin keelers but you will ask for a bigger boat to get the same movement you had in the long keel boat. Most of the time the fin keeler sails faster and points higher that the long keeler. Many long keel boats track very well and are easy on the crew. Some fin keelers are a hell to handle - they seem to be everywhere at the same time, will broach and bang upwind (sure some long keel boats are equally bad). But a good fin keeler is better than sliced bread, same as a good long keeler is.

Ohlson 34 no idea but Ohlson 38 a cream boat.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 31-03-2012, 06:26   #11
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Re: Keels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
Fin keels are more efficient and hence faster (all other factors equal) then full or 3/4 keels due to smaller wetted area. However, the big advantage of long keels is that the boat tracks truer. From your experience with long keelers, you will find the fin keeler "twitchy", with many unable to self steer for any appreciable amount of time without input to the wheel/tiller. The other major disadvantage is that the shape of the fin and rudder makes them more prone to snagging lines or other debris.
In our opinion the claims about long keels tracking truer and that fin keels are twitchy, or are unable to self steer, while often quoted, are basically myths.

The difference is that the fin keel/spade rudder boat will respond better to rudder input. All boats, fin keel or long, will be knocked off course by waves bigger than the boat but a fin keel/spade rudder boat will return to course quickly and easily. A long keel boat may have more problems doing that, and may require more helm input, and may slew around more. With a keel-hung rudder the required helm input may be hard to provide because those boats rarely have balanced rudders.


In our opinion the fin keel is better because boats with fin keels generally sail better and respond better to helm inputs. They are faster because the keel works better to resist lateral motion. As far as being unable to self steer, this is not generally true and is more a factor of how a balanced sail plan you have and availability of clear air around the wind vane (how much structure you have added to the afterdeck.)

In our case (we have an 8ft draft fin keel and a spade rudder) the monitor self steering works perfectly, we use it over 99% of the time while making passages, in big winds or small, upwind or down. Our electric autopilot is rarely taken off standby unless we are motoring.

Ability to manuver in port, and manuver in reverse, are two more huge advantages. There are few things more terrifying than being caught in a tight marina on a windy day and being unable to turn the boat or drive out to open water.

As to the issues about snagging lines or nets, I conceed that point, and it has happened to us, once in 38,000 miles. As to the ability to withstand groundings, I'd say that staying off the bricks is a good idea regardless of what keel you have. Grounding on a reef will require a haulout and repair on any boat. Getting off is sometimes easier on a fin keel boat.

Bottom line for us: We like sailing and we like to sail. Having a boat which feels good sailing, and sails well, is the most important thing for us. We can't imagine having a boat which feels sluggish and can't perform and spending years not enjoying it just so we can hit reefs or sail over fishing nets with impunity. And we like that we can get into or out of virtually any berth generally without yelling for help from everyone within earshot ashore.
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