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Old 09-06-2019, 04:14   #1
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Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

Hi all, I did a search, but did not find any threads that address my question, so decided to start a new one. Was watching Distant Shores talking about their new Southerly 48 and highlighting swing keel and ability to beach the boat as a great feature. Conceptually it makes a ton of sense, you can point as high as you want with the keel fully down, adjust it half way to run down wind, fully retract to get closer to shore or deal with low water situations. That said, there are not many boat builders that make this. Jeanneau now has this as an option, but not many people opting for it. Anyone has any insight as to why this is not more wide spread? Maintenance seems to be minimal and additional price, at least conceptually, is worth gained flexibility.
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:51   #2
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

- The keel is only fully up or fully down. Sailing only with the keel in fully down position.
- Loss of inside space due to keel box.
- Running aground auto-releases the keel.
- Longer keel = more powerful rig, maybe.
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:59   #3
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

I surveyed a Southerly this year and the keel box did not intrude into the space at all.
Medved I ask myself that question all the time “why are swing keel yachts not that popular?” We own a 32 foot swing keel yacht and love the shallow draft.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:23   #4
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

Well, there are a lot of disadvantages. It's much harder to get much ballast in a swing keel, and even harder to get it low down. Then there is a fight between this design goal, and strength of the mechanism and size of the cabin trunk for it.


Then there's cost.


Then there's complexity and maintenance and risk of failure.


Then there's the risk of leaking.


So swing keels are not for everyone, and therefore not very common. Would be very nice of course to be able to dry out easily, and to be able to squeak into catamaran-type anchorages, especially in a larger boat. But few people can justify the cost and all the disadvantages, methinks.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:25   #5
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

Imho a centreboard yacht (unballasted centreboard) is better suited for cruising, due to the fact that you can sail with the centreboard in the raised position if you are going downwind / in heavy weather.

I would only consider a swing keel on a more performance oriented boat, something like a FC 53 FC3 53 feet | finot-conq architectes navals / Pogo 50 http://www.finot-conq.com/en/content/pogo-50.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:28   #6
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

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Originally Posted by Username25 View Post
- The keel is only fully up or fully down. Sailing only with the keel in fully down position.
- Loss of inside space due to keel box.
- Running aground auto-releases the keel.
- Longer keel = more powerful rig, maybe.
Just to clarify, I am specifically talking about swing keel. According to the guy from Distant Shores he can adjusted to any position. He has an indicator that shows degrees of far the keel is extended. He gave an example of running down wind with a keel half out for best performance.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:32   #7
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

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Well, there are a lot of disadvantages. It's much harder to get much ballast in a swing keel, and even harder to get it low down. Then there is a fight between this design goal, and strength of the mechanism and size of the cabin trunk for it.


Then there's cost.


Then there's complexity and maintenance and risk of failure.


Then there's the risk of leaking.


So swing keels are not for everyone, and therefore not very common. Would be very nice of course to be able to dry out easily, and to be able to squeak into catamaran-type anchorages, especially in a larger boat. But few people can justify the cost and all the disadvantages, methinks.
This is precisely the tradeoffs I am trying to understand. I am planning to buy a used sailboat, so if I really wanted this feature it would very much restrict my choices. At the same time, if it is truly so good as the guy from the Distant Shore makes it sound like it I may just take longer time and pay premium within a reason to get one like that.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:48   #8
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

I thought this was an interesting yacht:

https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1...nced%20listing

Have you seen the Onvi range of lift keel yachts.

https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/core/li...man=onvi&No=10
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:03   #9
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

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I thought this was an interesting yacht:

https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/1...nced%20listing

Have you seen the Onvi range of lift keel yachts.

https://www.yachtworld.co.uk/core/li...man=onvi&No=10
Ovnis are centreboard yachts.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:27   #10
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pirate Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

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Originally Posted by real_goat View Post
Ovnis are centreboard yachts.
So are Southerly's, swing/centre.. Different names for basically the same thing.
A lifting keel proper is usually a fixed shallow keel with an internal section that can be raised or lowered vertically as required.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:33   #11
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

There is a big difference between a ballasted swing keel and a centreboard.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:34   #12
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

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Just to clarify, I am specifically talking about swing keel. According to the guy from Distant Shores he can adjusted to any position. He has an indicator that shows degrees of far the keel is extended. He gave an example of running down wind with a keel half out for best performance.
The Keel must be in the full down position while sailing, except when approaching the marina or in shallow water.
The keel can be lifted only while motoring.


Page 8> http://www.fastdownwind.com/wp-conte...Pogo-36-V3.pdf

From my perspective Southerly 480 (Ballast Weight 3,990kg + Keel Weight 2,130kg) is a centreboard boat, thus possible to sail with centreboard in any position. True swing keel boats have 0kg ballast.

P.S. Looks like Ovnis https://distantshores.ca/boatblog_fi...swing-keel.php
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:42   #13
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pirate Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

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There is a big difference between a ballasted swing keel and a centreboard.
In weight as part of the ballast.. but the principle is the same.. both hinge on a pin up forward.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:53   #14
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

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- The keel is only fully up or fully down. Sailing only with the keel in fully down position.
I own a Southerly 110. Utter nonsense. The keel can be any position, any time, sailing or motoring.

It affects leeway but not stability.

Good grief!

Why would you post this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Username25 View Post
- Loss of inside space due to keel box.
There is a significant loss of space. It's a big keel.

The downside is cost and the space. Other variable keels might have an issue but not Southerly's.

Why do people who have no idea post rubbish?
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:55   #15
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Re: Swing keel on a 42-50 footer

Our Meta Dalu 47 is a swing keel. Keel is steel, the hull is 12mm 5083 plate. Our keel can be placed in any position from fully up to fully down. If you happen to hit something in the down position the keel just moves up over it then down again. It will catch you attention but cases no harm. The specs called for either a ballasted keel of about 1/2 ton or not. First owner decide not. Would make the winch work harder. All the ballast for the boat is encapsulated in the fuel tanks.
Going downwind with the keel up really takes the stress out. No danger of tripping on the keel ie broach. Just let the keel drag a bit in the water for longitudinal stability.
Beaching is a breeze and safe with a 15mm bottom plate. Ice not an issue either.
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