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Old 22-12-2012, 17:06   #16
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Ahoy tommyh,
I completely disagree with some responders comments. At the very least, they are grossly misleading. As a delivery skipper I have found no benefit to sailing a smallish fin keel boat. (In the under 40’ sizes) The speed advantage that is often attributed to the fin keeled boat or long keeled boat does not exist. Yes, the advantage can exist if the fin keeled boat is kept light/empty. When the very same Erickson, or Beneteau, or Tartan, or whatever, is loaded like a live-aboard or for cruising then the speed advantage disappears, and in fact, is replaced with a speed disadvantage.
Obviously my opinion is in the minority just as the full keeled boats are in the minority. But I have delivered a Fuji 32 (a short distance) and the Fuji 35 (a long distance). For comparison purposes I have also delivered Westsails, Catalinas, Hunters, and almost everything else, long distances.
It is said about full keeled boats “they are much slower”, “hard to maneuver”, hurts performance a lot”, blah, blah, blah. The truth is that different boats are sailed and handled differently but when sailed or handled correctly the full keeled and/or heavier boat will sail far better than most people would believe.
The Fuji 32 is a good choice for a boat. The keel it has is a good choice for that boat.
Good luck.
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Old 22-12-2012, 17:35   #17
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You have said what I have been thinking,I needed to hear it from some one who has done it. Thanks for your input.
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Old 22-12-2012, 18:01   #18
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Re: Long keel, full keel

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Originally Posted by oregonian View Post
It is said about full keeled boats “they are much slower”, “hard to maneuver”, hurts performance a lot”, blah, blah, blah. The truth is that different boats are sailed and handled differently but when sailed or handled correctly the full keeled and/or heavier boat will sail far better than most people would believe.
Naturally a long keeled boat sailed well might even sail faster than a fin keeled boat sailed poorly. One should always say when comparing anything having to do with boats -- "all other things being equal".

And you do make a good point that an overloaded, light, fin keeled boat will lose its superior sailing qualities very fast. If you have a couple of tons of gear then in that size range, there is no big advantage of a light displacement fin keel boat.

Of course it's also a matter of taste and the OP should sail as many boats as he can and make up his own mind. But as a person who has owned both a long keel boat and a bulb keel boat all I can say is -- physics is physics, and you just can't get away from wetted surface.

And there is also a distinct and consistent different between long and short keeled boats in reversing -- I have never seen a long keeled boat which could back up straight, and that can cause a lot of problems maneuvering. Of course, a 32 foot boat can be manhandled around the dock so it's not the end of the world, but it is a really big inherent disadvantage of that kind of boat.

But as I said, it's also a matter of taste and the OP should form his own opinion. Some people just love the motion and the feel of long keel boats -- and love their salty looks and just don't care about the rest of it -- that's ok too.

Speaking for myself, and my own subjective case, I was awfully glad to get rid of my long keeled boat and acquire a boat with a keel which develops lift and lets you really make miles upwind. It made the difference between motoring most of the time, and sailing most of the time, in my particular case, and made the sailing a lot more fun.
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Old 22-12-2012, 21:52   #19
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Re: Long keel, full keel

True full keel boats will not be 'Fun' to sail. They react slowly to the helm, usually are heavy displacement so are slow to surf and generally just not exciting. Of course, do you want exciting when you are 2,000 miles from anywhere with another 1,000 miles to sail??

As far as speed, our Westsail 32 made faster passages than most any other boat within 5' of our waterline length. We embarassed many a fin keel boat, even one international 1 ton racer. With the large wetted surface, a full keel boat will not be sterling performers in light air but they will still sail. Once the winds get to about 10kn. or so, watch out. We clocked better than 170 mile day's runs through the water with 3 different Westsails. Our daily average for over 10,000 miles of ocean sailing was 118nm per day and we almost never ran the engine. Our daily runs stretched from 12nm to 178nm. The best thing about it, the Aries vane steered for about 99% of those miles.

We didn't have a ton of high tech sails to make those miles. Our sail inventory consisted of a light Dacron reacher/drifter, mid weight yankee, heavy loose footed staysail and the main with 3 reef sets. Our boat was also heavily loaded, 6" down on her lines which I calculated to be about 5,000 heavier than her design displacement. The more we added, the better she seemed to sail. Carrying ability is very important for a cruiser because 'stuff' just gets added to
a cruising boat. Don't think I saw a single mono cruiser that hadn't upped the bottom paint by at least a couple of inches.

If coastal cruising was going to be my sailing experience, would not want a full keel, heavy displacement boat. You'll be seeing a lot of headwinds and light air which are not the strong point of these boats. if you are trying to keep a schedule, you'll be motoring more than you'd like, certainly more than I'd like. Still, there is something about sailing a veteran cruising design that seems to make up for most shortcomings in light air performance.

Full keel boats are not nimble on their feet. Backing can be an adventure. Our Westsail did pretty well in reverse, my Pearson goes where it wants to go. They will also not turn on a dime so slips with tight fairways are to be avoided. I've single handed my Pearson 35 almost exclusively and have gotten along. My wife and I put our Westsail to bed without much, if any difficulty. If you are out cruising, that kind of maneuverability is not an issue. You'll be sailing into anchorages. We usually sailed our W32 into and out of anchorages only using the motor to set the hook.

Different Strokes for Different Folks and different conditions too.
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Old 22-12-2012, 22:18   #20
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All this great info is starting to add up. I knew this would be a good topic,there is much for me to learn.
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Old 23-12-2012, 00:17   #21
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Ted Brewer talks about short full keels and long fin keels in this article:

Good Old Boat - Keel design: What's best? article

Bob Perry participates in another forum and says you have to look at the entire design. Making general statements about boats just based on full versus fin keels will not get you anywhere.
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Old 23-12-2012, 06:50   #22
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyh View Post
I think the info im really after is performance. Will the long as apposed to the full keel perform as well in a sea way and or in tight and limited areas of navagation. Im not sure if I am explaining my needs correctley. My backround is only lighter fin keeled boats,I am interested in a more robust sailboat and all have the full or long keel.
If predicting speed performance is the issue then the keel design is one of about 4-7 major design factors that affect speed, too many to isolate the effect of the keel. Instead what you want to look at is speed predictions for the boats you are interested in.

The two ways I am comfortable with for comparing relative speeds are PHRF ratings and the Leonard/Starzinger formula.

PHRF ratings are based on the results of a large number of races with a large number of different types of boats. There are a number of places on the internet that you can find the ratings. Different areas in the US have slightly varying ratings because of differences in the typical winds in those areas.

L/S formula is Daily Average Mileage =24*(2.62 + 0.066*SA/D+ 0.051*LWL ) obtained from their website and based on reviewing the logs of a bunch of boats they met while cruising and running the data thru a mathematical regression to determine what the important variables are.

Generally the PHRF ratings indicate faster performance with bigger spreads between boats than the L/S formula indicates.

My expectation is that if you push the boat hard it will be closer to the PHRF number, and if you cruise along it will be closer to the L/S number. For short 1-2day passages you can meet the PHRF rating, in the long haul the L/S formula will give you a better estimate of performance.
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Old 23-12-2012, 10:11   #23
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The Ted Brewer article was very informative. When you bring up keels and how they relate to keel boats then controversy prevails. My answer lies some whare in the middle of all this. I love the traditional sailboat but need the modern hull shape.Thats the gist of what im reading.
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Old 23-12-2012, 10:25   #24
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Re: Long keel, full keel

There's another strategy or compromise not yet mentioned and this is the very long keel design to allow for a very shallow draft,- a gunkholer's favorite!
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Old 23-12-2012, 10:48   #25
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyh View Post
The Ted Brewer article was very informative. When you bring up keels and how they relate to keel boats then controversy prevails. My answer lies some whare in the middle of all this. I love the traditional sailboat but need the modern hull shape.Thats the gist of what im reading.
It was a very interesting article.

In any case, I do agree with Bob Perry about looking at the boat as a whole.

If you decide to forgo the advantages of a higher aspect keel, then you might as well take on the advantages of a lower aspect rig as well. A traditional ketch rig with relatively low masts starts to look good -- the sails are smaller and more easily handled, the center of effort of the sail plan is lower. You give up quite a bit of light air and upwind performance, but you gain a very stable, comfortable ride in other conditions. Considering how little most cruisers really sail upwind, this is probably a pretty good package for many cruisers. Biggest downside, actually, will be cost, which is probably the real reason such boats are no longer built.
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Old 23-12-2012, 11:38   #26
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As most of my cruising will be in side and just out side the S F Bay for the next 4 years I will need a boat with decent up wind performance. However when I am ready to expand my horizions I dont want to have to buy and outfit another boat..... Maybe a straight cutter is the best choice.....
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Old 23-12-2012, 11:42   #27
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonian View Post
Ahoy tommyh,
I completely disagree with some responders comments. At the very least, they are grossly misleading. As a delivery skipper I have found no benefit to sailing a smallish fin keel boat. (In the under 40’ sizes) The speed advantage that is often attributed to the fin keeled boat or long keeled boat does not exist. Yes, the advantage can exist if the fin keeled boat is kept light/empty. When the very same Erickson, or Beneteau, or Tartan, or whatever, is loaded like a live-aboard or for cruising then the speed advantage disappears, and in fact, is replaced with a speed disadvantage.
Obviously my opinion is in the minority just as the full keeled boats are in the minority. But I have delivered a Fuji 32 (a short distance) and the Fuji 35 (a long distance). For comparison purposes I have also delivered Westsails, Catalinas, Hunters, and almost everything else, long distances.
It is said about full keeled boats “they are much slower”, “hard to maneuver”, hurts performance a lot”, blah, blah, blah. The truth is that different boats are sailed and handled differently but when sailed or handled correctly the full keeled and/or heavier boat will sail far better than most people would believe.
The Fuji 32 is a good choice for a boat. The keel it has is a good choice for that boat.
Good luck.
No doubt about it, the only thing superior speed wise about a light, fin keeled boat is acceleration from 0 to hull speed. On anything other than a beat to weather, the heavy boat will be as fast as the light boat as it's determined by LWL and how you sail it.
Going to weather is another thing though for sure. The HC 38 shown in my avatar would tack about 120 degrees to weather on good day. Worse often. The boats I raced would do 90 degrees readily. However, when cruising I dont spend much time going to weather in light air without the engine on anyway.
Maneuvering a long keel boat is definitely not as easy in tight spaces... but like all things "boat"... you learn to use it.
The long keel of the Fuji will stay on track easily I would think.
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Old 23-12-2012, 12:32   #28
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Re: Long keel, full keel

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
No doubt about it, the only thing superior speed wise about a light, fin keeled boat is acceleration from 0 to hull speed. On anything other than a beat to weather, the heavy boat will be as fast as the light boat as it's determined by LWL and how you sail it.
This may or may not be true. You forgot to mention sailing downwind, where modern hull forms can have profound advantages, allowing you to surf and break hull speed. And disadvantages -- creating a tendency to broach in some cases, especially if the rudder is not big enough.

In conditions where all boats are hull speed limited and so every boat has excess power, then you are right to some extent, except that you still need more power to keep a long keel boat at hull speed. An easily driven modern hull requires less sail up and may be easier to sail.

And some boats with easily driven modern hull forms can break hull speed not only when surfing. I have exceeded hull speed in my boat (which is about 9.3 knots) on every point of sail, even beating. I easily get 10 knots on a reach even in a moderate, 17 knot breeze, as you can see here:

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That was taken on my last Channel crossing last summer. You can see the moderate angle of heel -- we are just loafing along, and effortlessly did the 90 miles in under 10 hours. That's just not possible in a boat with an old-fashioned hull form, and this belies your assertion that acceleration is the only benefit of an easily driven hull. You will never get a long keel boat with a 46 foot waterline to go 10 knots on a reach -- it's against the laws of physics.

That's well loaded down with tons of cruising gear, and with a full tank of duty-free fuel from Jersey (2/3 of a ton of it, enough to last until next summer ).

But for the avoidance of doubt, I say again --- different strokes for different folks. Every hull type has its own pluses and minuses -- there's not any type of boat which is right for everyone.
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Old 24-12-2012, 09:07   #29
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Full keel boats being slower than fin keelers is NOT what my experience has shown. Just three days ago my little Cape Dory 25D with a 19.5 foot w/l flying only a 130 genoa trounced a larger fin keeler flying all sails in 20+ to windward by a wide margin. Wasn't so much a difference in speed,though I was slightly faster, as it was in pointing ability. I could point much higher.

There's a Catalina 34 and a Catalina 27 in my marina that can attest to my 'slow' full keel Cape Dory's ability to get to windward...Add wave action and it gets even more in favor of the full keel...

I love myths...
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Old 24-12-2012, 09:30   #30
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Wave action in Action!! Yehaaaaa
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