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Old 01-03-2017, 18:16   #1
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Shoal keel on Beneteau 55; Sailing Zatara?

Has anyone watch the various YouTube videos from Sailing Zatara, the family of 6 sailing a newish Beneteau Oceanis 55? On many of their underwater scuba/snorkeling videos they show the hull with what looks like an ultra shallow draft wing keel. The size and shape of the hull is interestingly fat/round which would appear to pound like crazy, but depth of the wing keel strikes me as oddly short and stubby for a 55' boat. It just doesn't seem like it would adequately support the physics of a large sailboat like the B55, as well be woefully inefficient while sailing.
Has anyone else seen this feel like the keel depth and shape seems odd?
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Old 02-03-2017, 15:14   #2
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Re: Shoal keel on Beneteau 55; Sailing Zatara?

I had to look it up. But I figured I'll add pictures so other people can see too.

I don't know what she draws, but it does look like a stubby keel.

Edit - Just looked it up. That must be the "very shallow draft" keel, 4'9".

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Old 02-03-2017, 15:37   #3
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pirate Re: Shoal keel on Beneteau 55; Sailing Zatara?

I think they rely on the 16ft+ beam for stability.. and the shallow draft seems to be 6ft with 600lbs extra in the keel according to the bumph I turned up.
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Old 06-03-2017, 00:21   #4
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Re: Shoal keel on Beneteau 55; Sailing Zatara?

It's very beamy at the aft and hard chined, pizza boat as they say. I guess the extra weight and wings help massively with the stability.
Zatara seem to be doing OK with it, when they sail in to the Pacific that will be their first true test of the boat and themselves.
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Old 06-03-2017, 00:48   #5
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Re: Shoal keel on Beneteau 55; Sailing Zatara?

Yeah, given the pics above, the draft does look insanely shallow. Or rather one wonders how they go upwind with so little in terms of foils. Even if the rudders do generate a good amount of lift.

I imagine that some of her (relative & initial) stability comes from that chine. As they can be designed so that a boat's stiffness goes up dramatically once it's heeled over until they're well immersed/dug in. Though once you go past that certain angle where the chine adds a lot of stability, the amount of force needed to heel such a boat would likely change disproportionately as compared to a boat with a more typical fin keel, & righting moment curve.
Think of the hull chine like the hull flare in a dory.

Still, all of that said, she'll go upwind like crap when compared to any boat remotely similar with even 1/2 a keel. Bulb & wings not withstanding. Since unlike in The Matrix, some rules (of Physics) can't be neither bent, nor broken. And they don't like being tricked neither.


Hell, some speedo paddle wheels stick down further than that "keel" does
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Old 05-08-2018, 19:02   #6
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Re: Shoal keel on Beneteau 55; Sailing Zatara?

In one of their videos they show the keel and say it's 5 feet. They're checking their depth in shallow waters, surrounded by reef (? Tahiti).

Zatara did the Pacific crossing, then put the Beneteau up for sale and are in process of buying a catamaran in Greece.
They said they weren't fans of the heeling and wanted more space. Given there's 4 kids over 10 who are home schooled, probably a fair call.

I did wonder if their crossing would have been more comfortable with a different keel setup? Seems a very shallow draft for a 55' yacht to this not-yet sailor.

Please comment!
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