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Old 21-12-2012, 08:06   #1
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Long keel, full keel

I know the differnce between the full keel and the fin keel but what about the long keel. I know much has been written and said reguarding the differnce but is there a way to get a simple answer of the differnce between the long and full keel as far as performance off shore and in the harbor. Is one better than the other or is it just a case of reinventing the wheel. I am deciding on making the big jump from light fin keeled sailing to the cruising life.
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Old 21-12-2012, 08:39   #2
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Re: Long keel, full keel

I believe the long keel is a subset of fin keels.

A long keel would be a fin keel that is long in the fore & aft direction:

A CAL 28 fin would be long

compared to a J/24 or a MELGES 24 fin

even though all are definitely fin keels.

An ISLANDER 44 would be a very long keel.



Full keels are characterized by rudders attached to the back end of the keel but full keels themselves can also be subdivided:

The WESTSAIL 32 has a true full keel

whereas the VEGA 27 (ALBIN) has a cutaway forefoot

and the ALAJUELA 33 has a 'Brewer Bite' missing between the bulk of the keel and the rudder though the keel does continue back to the rudder and the rudder is attached though not completely. (There are better examples than the A33 but I couldn't think of one on short notice.)
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Old 22-12-2012, 09:05   #3
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Re: Long keel, full keel

I think that the definitive difference between the full and long keel would be that the full keel has a continuous sweeping curve continuing from the stem until flattening at the maximum draft, while the long keel keeps a shallow draft from the bow aft to the first ca. quarter of total length when the line dips down to the full draft and continues aft. The full and long keel, without the cut-away foot, would be contiguous with the rudder.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:17   #4
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Re: Long keel, full keel

A full keel has the rudder attached to the keel. The keel can have the forefoot cutaway to reduce reduce wetted surface and increase turning ability.

A fin keel is any boat that has the rudder separated from the keel, be it brewer notch, spade or skeg hung rudder. Length of keel can vary from next to nothing on current racing boats to nearly all the way back to the rudder. For us cruising types, the keel should be long enough for the boat to sit on the keel in a grounding or when taking the ground intentionally.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:17   #5
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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.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:25   #6
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The boat im looking at is the Fuji 32 long keel ketch.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:25   #7
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Re: Long keel, full keel

I use the terms interchangeably.

I sometimes overhear people say 'long keel and skeg', but not ' full keel and skeg'. So, maybe, a long keel is a kind of very long (not very deep) fin keel?

Say a J-Boat would be a fin, a Valiant a long, and HCh a full keel?

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Old 22-12-2012, 10:27   #8
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Re: Long keel, full keel

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
A full keel has the rudder attached to the keel. The keel can have the forefoot cutaway to reduce reduce wetted surface and increase turning ability. (...)
Agreed.

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Old 22-12-2012, 10:33   #9
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The term long keel came right off the sailboat data site for the Fuji 32
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:41   #10
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
I believe the long keel is a subset of fin keels.

A long keel would be a fin keel that is long in the fore & aft direction:

A CAL 28 fin would be long

compared to a J/24 or a MELGES 24 fin

even though all are definitely fin keels.

An ISLANDER 44 would be a very long keel.



Full keels are characterized by rudders attached to the back end of the keel but full keels themselves can also be subdivided:

The WESTSAIL 32 has a true full keel

whereas the VEGA 27 (ALBIN) has a cutaway forefoot

and the ALAJUELA 33 has a 'Brewer Bite' missing between the bulk of the keel and the rudder though the keel does continue back to the rudder and the rudder is attached though not completely. (There are better examples than the A33 but I couldn't think of one on short notice.)
Yes, I think you're right.

The Alajeula is a weird keel -- I think it's actually a full keel with cutaway forefoot and a weird cut ahead of the rudder -- I guess that's a hybrid between a full keel and a long fin keel.

Here's another long fin keel:

PEARSON 365 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

I think if the rudder's attached to the back of the keel, it's a full keel. If the rudder is on a skeg (or if it's a spade), it's a fin keel, even if it's very long.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:47   #11
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Re: Long keel, full keel

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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.
Even very robust sailboats may have fin, or better, bulb keels. Modern cruising boats generally have somewhat longer fins (lower aspect) than racing boats. Higher aspect ratios give better performance but at the expense of tracking.

The lower the aspect ratio, the less lift you get out of a given area of keel. Longer keels and, especially full keels mean lots of wetted surface, and that hurts performance a lot.

The other tradeoff is comfort and "seakindliness". More keel gives more directional stability (better tracking) and a better motion, but at the expense of speed.

This is really important for small boats. But small boats are slower than bigger ones to start with. So a small boat which has been made acceptably seaworthy and comfortable with a lot of keel will be doubly slow. A better approach is to go bigger, if you can afford it -- you get the comfort and seaworthiness without resorting to having lots of keel. So the practical speed of an acceptably seaworthy boat goes way up with size.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:54   #12
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I understand your advice,its the affordable thing that I have truble with. So the smaller 32 with a full or long keel will be slow but comfortable. The Fugi 35 is out of my price range but a much nicer boat.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:58   #13
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Re: Long keel, full keel

The Fuji 32 is a long full keel with cutaway forefoot. It's not cut away alot like a Cape dory or Alberg is etc. It should track well in a seaway but will be hard to turn tightly in a marina.
The Britol Channel Cutter is a true Long full keel boat. Notice the minor difference: (Fuji on the right)
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Old 22-12-2012, 11:16   #14
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Re: Long keel, full keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyh View Post
I understand your advice,its the affordable thing that I have truble with. So the smaller 32 with a full or long keel will be slow but comfortable. The Fugi 35 is out of my price range but a much nicer boat.
Yes.

And it all depends on how you want to use the boat. If you're coastal sailing and can avoid the worst weather, then if I were you I would go for speed -- something like a Beneteau First in that size range is cheap and a blast to sail, with very good accommodation compared to other boats of that size. Will not be comfortable in bad weather, but will be relatively fast and responsive and fun to sail.

If you're going to cross the Atlantic, on the other hand, then you might sacrifice fun to sail and fast for something with more keel. A traditional full or long keel boat will be heavier, much slower, but more seaworthy and comfortable. Will generally have quite a bit less interior space as well. As Cheechako said, will be very hard to maneuver in marinas, and hard or impossible to back up.

For me, fun to sail would be high on my list of priorities, in a boat that size.
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Old 22-12-2012, 11:46   #15
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I like fun but Fuji is a cool boat and thats fun too
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