Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-05-2011, 11:32   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 5
Shoal Keel or Full Swing Keel ?

Hey everybody, Im new to this forum, been sailing for a while, but have recently decided to get a trailer sailer to use at local lakes and in the gulf. I am looking at getting something around 22 or 23 ft long. My question is this, what are the advantages and disadvantages to getting a boat with a shoal keel that has a swing keel, or a boat with a complete swing keel. I know that a boat with a shoal keel will be a little more difficult to get on and off of the trailer, but does it have some sort of an advantage over a boat where the keel retracts all the way up into the hull so it is flat on the bottom? I ask because I know it obviously easier to beach a full swing keel just because it is flat on bottom, whereas a shoal keel boat has to be anchored, it cannot be beached. What are yalls thoughts on what should work best?? Thanks in advance for the advice, and I look forward to utilizing the knowledge available on here!
__________________

__________________
gordo1287 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 12:17   #2
Registered User
 
capn_billl's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston,Tx
Boat: Maxum 37'
Posts: 1,587
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

When you get one give me a call. I'm looking for the same thing. If you don't mind I'd like to crew on yours to see how well it works.
__________________

__________________
capn_billl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 12:26   #3
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: 12,379
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

There are some general rules of thumb for the two options but specific boats may differ from the generality.

That being said.

1. Shoal keel with additional drop keel or centerboard. For a small boat leaves more room inside since you don't have to retract the keel up into a trunk inside the cabin. Often easier to manage raising/lowering the keel or centerboard.

2. Drop or swing keel. Usually gives shallower draft and easier to beach the boat with a flat bottom. Depending on the weight, shape, size of the keel the boat might sail better, have lower center of gravity.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 12:26   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,005
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

Depending on the depth of the keel, a keel/centerboard boat can be run onto a beach. Just be careful you do it on a rising tide so you can get it off.

I don't like boats with swing keels, think they are dangerous. If you have a serious knockdown, the keel can swing up drastically changing the balance moment arm turning a serious problem into a disaster. In a keel centerboard boat, the centerboards are usually relatively light and not a ballast factor so if their centerboard swings up, it would have little affect stability. Also, every boat I've seen with a swing keel, have been extremely lightly built. Wouldn't trust the hulls to keep the water out if pushed hard.
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 12:34   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 5
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
When you get one give me a call. I'm looking for the same thing. If you don't mind I'd like to crew on yours to see how well it works.
Yea I will let you know when I do, right now im leaning toward a Gulf Coast 23 that this guy I know is selling, its a pretty big boat, but it has a swing keel so it retracts all the way up into the boat, but its not bad because of how the cabin is layed out it really does not get in the way..

I really like the idea of being able beach it easily and I know that it can get shallow in some of the ICW's.

What do yall suggest?
__________________
gordo1287 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 12:39   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 5
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Depending on the depth of the keel, a keel/centerboard boat can be run onto a beach. Just be careful you do it on a rising tide so you can get it off.

I don't like boats with swing keels, think they are dangerous. If you have a serious knockdown, the keel can swing up drastically changing the balance moment arm turning a serious problem into a disaster. In a keel centerboard boat, the centerboards are usually relatively light and not a ballast factor so if their centerboard swings up, it would have little affect stability. Also, every boat I've seen with a swing keel, have been extremely lightly built. Wouldn't trust the hulls to keep the water out if pushed hard.
So youre saying that with a full swing keel if the boat were to fall on its side, the keel could swing back up into the boat and make it nearly impossible to right?

What do you mean that swing keel boats are built extremely light? are you talking weight wise?
__________________
gordo1287 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 13:06   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: lavallette New Jersey
Boat: Santana 2023 - Impulsive II
Posts: 174
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

my boat is a 23 foot and water ballast with a centerboad. i beach it all the time. as stability is concerned, so far i have never encountered any issues that have made me seriously nervous. it does roll around a little bit more in a chop when at anchor but thats just a trade off. we bought this boat because we had a full swing keel in the past that was a nightmare. 600 lb lead keel that the cable would always foul, override itself on the winch etc. it is easy to launch and retrieve although we leave it in the water all season. 1100 lbs dry 2500 wet or something to that effect. plenty of room in the interior and only needs 2 feet of water to use the outboat.
__________________
E.L.Green is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 13:06   #8
Registered User
 
Tallswede's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Baytown Tx
Boat: Hunter 23.5, AMF Sunbird & 36' Prairie Trawler
Posts: 101
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

I now have a Hunter 23.5 that is a swing keel (center board) water ballasted boat. The center board does not fully retract into the hull. It will float in 18" of water so is beachable especially in the muddy environs of Galveston Bay. My first sailboat was a Gulf Coast 23. It sailed just fine and was a great boat for Galveston Bay and surrounding bayous etc. It had a cast iron swing keel with a cable winch to raise and lower the keel (heavy). As far as the keel swinging up in rough water, you would have to go over past 90 degrees to swing that keel up and even then your ballast is low enough to bring you back up. The more likely scenario is the cable breaking and the keel swinging down suddenly with no way to get it back up. You must keep the cable and it's attachment in very good shape on these cast iron keel boats. Depending on how the boat has been maintained, you may have to drop the keel to replace the keel bolt and fair and seal the keel. I did mine and it's a straight forward procedure but is no light weight task. Water ballasted boats are a bit more tender initially but much lighter on the trailer and centerboards are easier to pull and work on but I really liked the way my GC-23 sailed and would not steer someone away from a nice one.

Kevin
__________________
Tallswede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 13:11   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 5
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallswede View Post
I now have a Hunter 23.5 that is a swing keel (center board) water ballasted boat. The center board does not fully retract into the hull. It will float in 18" of water so is beachable especially in the muddy environs of Galveston Bay. My first sailboat was a Gulf Coast 23. It sailed just fine and was a great boat for Galveston Bay and surrounding bayous etc. It had a cast iron swing keel with a cable winch to raise and lower the keel (heavy). As far as the keel swinging up in rough water, you would have to go over past 90 degrees to swing that keel up and even then your ballast is low enough to bring you back up. The more likely scenario is the cable breaking and the keel swinging down suddenly with no way to get it back up. You must keep the cable and it's attachment in very good shape on these cast iron keel boats. Depending on how the boat has been maintained, you may have to drop the keel to replace the keel bolt and fair and seal the keel. I did mine and it's a straight forward procedure but is no light weight task. Water ballasted boats are a bit more tender initially but much lighter on the trailer and centerboards are easier to pull and work on but I really liked the way my GC-23 sailed and would not steer someone away from a nice one.

Kevin

Thats great to hear about the GC23, did you ever take it out offshore? Alsom how did you like the layout of the cabin? Did you ever sleep in it for an extended period, or did you just use it for day sailing?
__________________
gordo1287 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 13:11   #10
Registered User
 
capn_billl's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston,Tx
Boat: Maxum 37'
Posts: 1,587
Re: Shoal keel or full swing keel?

Wouldn't the swing keel have a retaining bolt to keep it in place once deployed. Or does it rely on weight only?

I personally wouldn't want a water ballast, as stated they are more tender, and watertanks under water don't provide the stability that a hunk of lead or steel does.

The convenience of a centerboard is good, but my experience of a small daggerboard sailboat is they CAN be capsized. A good solid weighted keel would be best if possible in a trailerable boat.
__________________
capn_billl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 14:41   #11
Registered User
 
Tallswede's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Baytown Tx
Boat: Hunter 23.5, AMF Sunbird & 36' Prairie Trawler
Posts: 101
Re: Shoal Keel or Full Swing Keel ?

The interior of my GC-23 was okay for daysailing and overnighting but I'm a tall guy and the only comfortable berth for me was on the Starboard side with my feet under the bridge deck. I was planning on making some interior improvements but decided to sell the boat and buy a 27' ChrisCraft Constellation to fix up instead. (Dumb move but learned a lot about working on boats). No, there was no pin or bolt to keep the swing keel from moving. The 600-800 lbs of cast iron did not move around especially while sailing as it was pressed against the sides of the centerboard trunk, wedging it sorta. I never did take it "off-shore" and probably would have only done so if I was very sure of good weather. These boats are not heavy duty enough in the rigging department to make them "blue-water" though with good weather you can do some good little cruises on them. As far as water ballast goes, there are lots of pros and cons for each and there are other threads that go into them very deeply. I wouldn't hesitate to sail my little Hunter to the Bahamas or off shore in the Gulf of Mexico for short passages in good weather only. That is what these little boats are all about, trailering to a spot near where you want to be and poking around exploring places you can't get to in bigger deeper draft boats.

Kevin
__________________
Tallswede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2011, 10:14   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: lavallette New Jersey
Boat: Santana 2023 - Impulsive II
Posts: 174
Re: Shoal Keel or Full Swing Keel ?

capsizing on my santana isnt an issue. when it is over powered it broaches and weather vanes itself into the wind. in such conditions the rudder does not have enough authority to bury the rails or go over. its a pretty forgiving boat.
__________________
E.L.Green is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-05-2011, 09:35   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Re: Shoal Keel or Full Swing Keel ?

I've owned 3 swing keel boats and 3 fixed keel boats.

Generally, I prefer the KISS principle. Since swing keels are more complex, more prone to damage, more prone to failure and more prone to serious leaking, I feel I need a strong incentive to purchase one over a simpler fixed keel. The ease of trailering and launching from a trailer would certainly be one of those incentives. Cost might be another.

Recent post which indicates the potential problems:
Hunter 26 Swing Centerboard
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2016, 21:47   #14
Registered User

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5
Re: Shoal Keel or Full Swing Keel ?

Possibly a bunny trail... but I've often wondered why more boats weren't done with a large centerboard like the Hobie 33. With a ballast weight at the bottom that retracts up into the hull for trailering. You get some of the weight leverage of a keel, and some of the keels shape, but more trailerable. Any other 20+ ft boats use weighted centerboards?
__________________
boydk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2016, 23:37   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 256
Re: Shoal Keel or Full Swing Keel ?

Do you plan to launch your boat off a ramp or launch her off a crane, perhaps at a local yacht club? I have been thinking out getting a trailerable boat. I have two sisters, one once owned a San Juan 21, the other, a Catalina 22. The Catalina 22 owner rued the lack of performance under sail and quickly sold the boat. The other sister seemed happy with the boat, but we never discussed performance.

Speaking for myself, I am distrustful of substantially ballasted swinging appendages. Most (not all) boats that have them seem lightly built. Of course, most of the boats I've owned have had centerboards, but on a Lightning I was able to remove and replace the centerboard myself. That's probably not the case with a ballasted swing keel. And if they cannot be absolutely secured in place they are a loose cannon if hove down on beam ends (and that can happen).

Again, speaking for myself, I am inclined toward a fixed keel trailerable boat...a Cal 20, J 24, even a J 22 and look for a yacht club where I can launch with a crane. Simpler gear, better boat, better performance.

Paul
__________________

__________________
Paul J. Nolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
keel, shoal keel

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
Swing Keel Jennybug Monohull Sailboats 11 15-10-2012 21:01
Fin Keel vs. Full Keel Rayallyn Monohull Sailboats 201 04-09-2011 05:14
Oyster 46 Shoal Keel vs Long Keel utahmonty Monohull Sailboats 7 15-11-2009 16:37
Replacing deep keel with shoal keel? shimari Construction, Maintenance & Refit 5 01-03-2009 20:06
Full Keel or Fin Keel? RedDragonSails Monohull Sailboats 23 06-10-2008 13:09



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:57.


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.