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Old 28-09-2010, 20:35   #1
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Weight on Keel ?

What percentage of a sailboat's weight should be resting on the keel while she is on the trailer?

It's a 20' boat with about 3' keel. Total weight about 1200 lbs.

Thanks.
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Old 28-09-2010, 21:00   #2
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The manufacturer should have that information in the handbook/manual for the boat. But it might be more of a case of how the trailer is constructed. If the center beam for the keel is not really strong you might want to increase the amount supported by the jackstands/side supports. In any case putting too much weight on the keel deforms the hull by forcing the keel upwards as the weight of the rest of the boat sags down. So I would suggest equal distribution.
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Old 29-09-2010, 08:01   #3
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Originally Posted by GorillaToast View Post
What percentage of a sailboat's weight should be resting on the keel while she is on the trailer?
Virtually all of the boat's weight should rest on it's keel.
The jack stands should just provide balance.
As osirissail notes, the trailer must be structurally capable of supporting the boat on it's centre beam.
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Old 29-09-2010, 08:17   #4
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Thinking about it, getting the CG down as low as possible and centered on the trailer is a good idea, especially when attempting to do a high-speed two-wheelie tight turn over some railroad tracks.
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Old 29-09-2010, 09:02   #5
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All of it.

The supports are only to keep her vertical, and should be placed at strong points (e.g. where there is a full bulkhead).

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Old 29-09-2010, 09:56   #6
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Yep, all the weight of the boat should be resting on the keel. The bilge supports just keep the boat from flopping over.
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Old 29-09-2010, 15:39   #7
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Originally Posted by GorillaToast View Post
What percentage of a sailboat's weight should be resting on the keel while she is on the trailer?
It's a 20' boat with about 3' keel. Total weight about 1200 lbs.
Thanks.
I think we are getting into thinking about much larger boats on trailers - the OP's is only 20 feet. These small boats usually come with swing keels but some have stub keels and one I found had a rather large winged keel.
- - The swing or stub keel boats come on trailers just like the same size speedboats come on - they are supported by rug covered wooden "slides" under each side of the hull and the keels never touch the trailer. See the photos below.
- - The one winged keel model has rather spindly looking upright supports and obviously the max weight was on the keel but with enough on the supports so that the boat cannot shift when cornering or braking/accelerating while towing. That picture would scare me from standing or driving anywhere near the thing.
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Old 29-09-2010, 19:09   #8
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Ask the manufacturer - it really does depend on the boat.

I once owned a fixed keel Elliott 770 (28ft) and it was critical never to rest the boat on the keel.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:05   #9
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My boat was built by Halman Mfg. in Ontario, and they are no longer in business.

Here's a picture of the boat and trailer

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I agree with osirissail, I wouldn't want to get near this trailer if I didn't have to.

Next year it goes in the water once in May and out again in November; if I win a slip in the lottery! While it's floating, I'll get the trailer beefed up with some welding and some braces for the bunk tubes.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GorillaToast View Post
What percentage of a sailboat's weight should be resting on the keel while she is on the trailer?

It's a 20' boat with about 3' keel. Total weight about 1200 lbs.

Thanks.
Every boat is different but smaller boats have thin hulls which can oil-can so it's a touchy situation. Personally I'd let ride on the bunk boards with an adjustable plate to come up under the keel to support the weight. After all the keel hangs while it's in the water.

The other option is to log onto this forum The Trailer Sailor - Home and ask the guys that already have the same boat as you. Click on the forums tab and go from there. Or do a search, (keyword = trailer) the answer may already be there.

............................_/)
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:59   #11
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Ask the manufacturer - it really does depend on the boat.
I once owned a fixed keel Elliott 770 (28ft) and it was critical never to rest the boat on the keel.
I thought that the Elliott 770 had a retractable lead bulb keel.
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Old 03-10-2010, 18:55   #12
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I thought that the Elliott 770 had a retractable lead bulb keel.
Most did, mine didn't for some reason. It also had a retractable bowsprit, which again isn't standard 770.

it was a fun boat
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