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Old 15-01-2011, 10:57   #1
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Wing Keel vs Fin Keel . . . Confused . . .

Still shopping for the perfect sailboat, the sagga continues....

Question:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the wing keel vs. fin keel?

I've searched other threads nothing comes up clear, help please?

Thank you,
Velma
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Old 15-01-2011, 11:35   #2
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fin/wing

One goes to weather better,(wing) the other is great for slim water crusing.
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Old 15-01-2011, 11:44   #3
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ADVANTAGE Wing keel wull draw more water as boat heels oner and the wing is an airfoil design to keep the boat more upright to windward..

DISADVANTAGE Stay out of shallow water, not to sure how the wings would hold up to touching as they appendages sticking out to the sides of the keel and if a wave causes the boat to heel over at that time major damage.

This is just a personal opinion....
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Old 15-01-2011, 11:54   #4
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Unicorn is right about the advantage going to windward. However I used to own a wing keel boat and when she was aground getting her off was very difficult...

When aground you can get keel boats off by heeling them by pulling laterally/diagonally on the main halyard from another boat, a dinghy can do this because of the large lever arm, and reducing the effective draft and then motoring off or having another boat pull you.

Just putting all the sails up and getting the boat to heel will often make the difference.

When you try and heel a wing keel the draft increases so the only way off is a lot of power going forwards or backwards.

I am told they get deep draft boats over the Rio Dulce river bar by heeling and towing.

Wing keels are a poor choice for a cruising boat in the Bahamas.
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Old 15-01-2011, 12:11   #5
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the best keel anchor ever made was a wing keel. my experience is that when you go aground in mud, you can forget about kedging a wing keel off.

other disadvantage was getting the yard to paint the bottom of the keel, since the boat would be sitting on it in the stands. it was NEVER properly prepped or painted. Barnacle city.

I wouldn't own another one, given the choice. I like my fins skinny on the bottom.
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Old 15-01-2011, 12:16   #6
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I have also had the anchor rode wrap a wing keel in the middle of a dark and stormy night. Took hours to sort it out. A wrapped rode will not hang up and a fin keel.
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Old 15-01-2011, 12:40   #7
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I don't know where you are getting that wing keels go to weather better. Most wing keels are in place to reduce the draft of a deep fin keel. The boat is often offered with both options. Deep fin keel or shallow(er) draft wing keel. If you look at the PHRF rating for the two, the deep fin will be rated significantly faster. You can't beat a deep draft with shallow appendages when going hard on the wind. In my mind the advantage of a wing keel is the shallow draft. Since most cruising sailing is done off the wind, the wing will be as fast as the deeper keel version on the same boat. The disadvantage is they are often shaped like a bruce anchor and will be harder to get off in a soft grounding. Like anything else on a boat, it is just one of the trade-offs you have to accept.

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Old 15-01-2011, 12:58   #8
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I have to agree with Paul L: in otherwise similar boats offered with either keel t ype, the deeper fin is faster to windward. Been proven repeatedly.

I suspect that the outbreak of wing keel designs in production boats stemmed from all the publicity given to Ben Lexen's successful America's Cup boat which had the first widely seen wing keel. Its success stemmed not so much from its inherent superiority but from the intricacies of the International Rule that rated the 12 Metre class which gave it an advantage over all.

To gather another perspective, if wing keels were faster, all new race boats would tend to have them. What we see is deep "strut and bulb" type fins, either fixed or canting. Obviously, such designs have disadvantages for cruising boats.

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Old 15-01-2011, 14:30   #9
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Thank you for all of the responses. We will avoid wing keels.

I appreciate all of the great advice and experience here!
Velma
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Old 15-01-2011, 14:39   #10
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The whole argument about wing keels on the AC race, before the race was, that the yacht's were only allowed X number of feet of draft, and that a wing keel at rest was legal and when the boat was heeled the draft increased. NYYC ruled that the keel was legal because ar rest in fell under the rule guidelines.
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Old 15-01-2011, 15:48   #11
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wing keels are far better than fin keels -- at least when it comes to snagging crab pots.
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Old 15-01-2011, 15:52   #12
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Wings are bandages on the bottom of sick keels.
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Old 15-01-2011, 17:10   #13
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Bob,

Will a wing keel perform better or worse than a fin keel of the same draft? Everything else being equal.
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Old 15-01-2011, 17:23   #14
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I don't think when people say "wing" that it always means the same thing. On my old Cal-39 with a wing (and yes that thing will really stick into the mud) the wind is massive compared to alot of others. In this I mean the wings are thick and meatly with alot of lead for weight down low. On the other hand when I used to look at other wings like the Catalina's I was amased at how much less weight was down in the wing.


In my orginal manual there was statement from the designer Raymond Hunt where he said he thouigh the wing keel would perform better once the wing picked up than the deep draft model.While I don't know it this is true, the boat could carry full sail and 130% genny in 20 knot wing and be be at 15 degrees at close reach.


So I don't think you can really make blanket statements about the wing etc unless you know how the keel weight is distributed. But this is just my opinion even though my new boat is deep draft verison (6'4" verse 4'10")
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Old 15-01-2011, 17:36   #15
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Velma,

Depends on where you live. In shallow water areas, sailors love Wing Keels.
If you have deep water around your area go for the Fin Keel.

Mark
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