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Old 01-08-2003, 21:15   #1
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Daggers v Keels

Well,

I used to be a certified dagger man. No "peformance" multihull could be daggerless. That is until I read Eric LeRouges comments on www.bluewatercats.com

He makes a very pursuasive argument for keels for cruisers. I must say that I once chartered a Catana 411 with daggers in Martinique. Although I could point pretty well, I got clobbered by those light and fast Fountain Pajots with no daggers. So it seems to me that daggers are only a small part of the multihull performance puzzle.

They add complexity and - weight perhaps somewhat out of proportion to their benefit.

Is it true, can you have a performance cat sans daggers????
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Old 01-08-2003, 23:53   #2
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The answer is 'no you can't have a high performance cat sans daggers'.
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Old 04-08-2003, 20:33   #3
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Daggers

Very succinctly put.

I used to be like you and think that daggers were a necessary component of a performance cat. Chris Whites book the cruising multihull got me started thinking this way. But as I learn more about the breed, I have come to realize that daggers are no more than window dressing on many boats.

The real measure of performance is hull design and weight v horsepower. Daggers certainly help in pointing and reducing leeway but there are other factors that are much more important.

Adding daggers to a Lagoon 410 is sort of like adding a fancy tires and wheels to a big fat cadillac. Nice window dressing but really not much help in the performance department.
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Old 08-10-2003, 20:23   #4
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Wink daggers

IMO dagger boards on a cruising boat are a potential problem, take up usable space and are of no benefit (plus they are ugly). Fall off 5 degrees and go faster with a more comfortable ride. When cruising, comfort and safety are more important than going a few degrees closer to wind (and that at a slower VMG). Just my opinion of course. Regards, George
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Old 08-10-2003, 21:38   #5
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Centerboard Cat

I almost bought a 36' cat that was designed by Grainger and home built by a ole timer in his field. It had a dagger board in the center just forward of the cabin and aft of the mast. The design had like a third hull that went down to the water but about 18" above. The dagger went down thru that third hull. The third hull also served as a lead in for the outboard motor as well. I liked the vessel, it was well built with shallow skegs and kevlar in the bow and skegs, but the interior wasn't finished so the admiral wasn't pleased.

The keel was normally raised and it was lowered from the cockpit using lines and blocks, and had a brakeaway pin in case it ran aground it would raise automaticly.
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Old 13-10-2003, 21:32   #6
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I live on a Crowther 33 in Australia. It has daggers that are VERY heavy - they are made from some sort of hardwood and IMO weight about 80 kgs. When the cat is beached they still protrude about 0.5 m and take the weight. Unfortunately both cases leak and despite throwing a lot of money and time I can't get them to stop. So I guess the previous owner must have slkpit the cases hitting something or grounding heavily. So I see them as a problem. I can sail to windward well however.

What do people think about replacing them with something lighter?
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Old 14-10-2003, 00:31   #7
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If you can get a copy of Chris White's book The Cruising Multihull there is a diagram of trunk that Dick Newick designed called a crush box that contains sacrifical parts that are easily replacable. It may not be practical to retrofit your trunks but what about making the daggerboards so that they would break away in case of a hard grounding. Maybe thin ply with a foam core and glassed over. Then cary a spare if you have the space. There should be no reason to have heavy superstrong daggerboards. You want the board to break not the trunk.
I have a centerboard on my Searunner 40 and it has positive buoancy so it has to be held down. Although I use a 1/2" diameter line to pull it down(easy on the hands) once it is down it is held in place by a very light 1/8" line. It breaks easily if I hit something and the forward part of the trunk is lined with a piece of 1 1/2" sanitation hose to take the shock when the board comes up.
Maybe a combination of buoyant board, light hold down line or bungy cord, and shape the bottom of the board so that it angles down from the leading edge. It may not be the most efficent shape but in some grounding situations the board may be forced up in the slot instead of breaking or damaging the trunk.
I am not familar with your design but it seems odd to me that your boards do not fully retract and that they take the weight of the boat when beached.

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Old 15-10-2003, 22:03   #8
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When it is on the dry, the weight is taken by the bottom of the boards and the two spade rudders. The reason they don't fully retract is that the haul up rope attachment on the boards is not low enough. So I figured that was the way Crowther meant it to be to keep the weight off the hulls.

My boards are certainly not bouyancy neutral. I reckon if you let them drop they would fall right through or more likely get jammed 3/4 of the way out. Now that would be a whole lotta fun!!

Thanks for the tip - I just bought that book. I am in PNG for another 2 weeks working while the wife paints the decks and antifouls the boat - she is a treasure. The wife I mean.
Thanks for the advice. I know of at least one other Seafire 33 that does whale watching. I will callhim and see what his centre board set up is.
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Old 17-10-2003, 21:02   #9
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Wow! A nice boat and a wife who likes to work on it.
Check out page 100 in The Cruising Multihull where Chris writes about the problem of short daggerboards that are below the top of the trunk when in the down position.

The board and it's retracting/pull down lines must be under significant load when they take the weight of the boat. It just does not seem right to me. Do you have a set of the building plans? Maybe the orginal builder modified the plans or left something out. My Searunner Tri has a minikeel that is optional. The keel can take the weight of the boat and provides protection to the hull. The tri would be faster and more manueverable without it but it makes the boat easier to haul out and more rugged.

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Old 15-07-2004, 07:42   #10
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pirate

I have (I think) the oldest FG Cat ever built, i.e. 1965 It was built with boards but after being run for several years was redone with 14" keels. Performance, I feel is good. Truthfully confort, safety and relaxing is more inportant to me than beating everyone out there. There is always someone faster---------

Being as old as this boat is I've redone many things. Reengined the boat, done several major fiberglass projects, upgraded & rewired, replumbed etc. Also Have built a hinge in the mast above the boom, which works great.

We have lived aboard for about 3 years but now back on land and RVing a lot, enjoy both life styles. Capt_Bud aboard Nutmeg2
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Old 15-07-2004, 08:51   #11
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I raced Hobie 16 and Hobie 18, two different boats, one with broad, shallow lateral resistance, and one with daggers. The daggers, albeit combined with other fresh go-fast stuff on the 18s, certainly allowed improved upwind performance. They also could cause lots of trouble. I remember my brother hitting a sand bar at full speed, and when finally stopped, only the daggers were in the water. A little damage, but mostly just to the daggers.

I now have a FP Tobago 35.

The Fountaine Pajots have keels which are made independently of the hulls. They are very long, made out of foam, totally encased in RP - actally regular glass with isophthalic polyester resin. They are epoxied into trunks in the bottom of the hull, the trunks built such that the boat could float just fine without the keel. Even if the keels were totally busted off, they shouldn't compromise the hulls. They are tapered so that there is a reasonable opportunity for objects to be bounced off or ridden over, and such that the same objects have a tough time to attack or hit the saildrives and rudders.

My opinion is that the long keels (~15' in length) allow for reasonable balance in lateral forces over a greater variation of sail configurations when compared to the more vertical distribution of surface area provided by daggers. I think this can also be important to a cruiser.

Life is a compromise, and I think I am doing ok with mine. I am sure that I don't point as well. However, yesterday, with my new sails and my new flex-o-fold props, I was pinching into the wind, and according to my equipment, I was going 8.5 knots in a true wind of 13 knots. I could still set my beer, uh, I mean root beer, anywhere I wanted.
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Old 25-07-2013, 10:11   #12
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Re: Daggers v keels

Quote:
Originally Posted by catmandoo View Post
Well,

I used to be a certified dagger man. No "peformance" multihull could be daggerless. That is until I read Eric LeRouges comments on www.bluewatercats.com

He makes a very pursuasive argument for keels for cruisers. I must say that I once chartered a Catana 411 with daggers in Martinique. Although I could point pretty well, I got clobbered by those light and fast Fountain Pajots with no daggers. So it seems to me that daggers are only a small part of the multihull performance puzzle.

They add complexity and - weight perhaps somewhat out of proportion to their benefit.

Is it true, can you have a performance cat sans daggers????

Here are pics of the new foam daggers for my Woods 36 Scylla--they weigh 33 lbs- lower 4ft id Divinycell H80 @5.5 lbs @cf---top 6'-8" are foam insulation only 2lbs @cf. All covered in epoxy/#1280 Biax--old boards of 3 layers 3/4 ply weighed 110 lbs ea.. I also used carbon fiber "tow".
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Old 25-07-2013, 11:20   #13
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Re: Daggers v keels

We have break away mini keels.

They work great to put the boat up on the hard.

Never ever even think about them when the boat is in the water. They just work plain and simple.

We are cruisers not racers, so simple works 99.9999% of the time
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Old 28-07-2013, 16:56   #14
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Re: Daggers v Keels

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Originally Posted by catmandoo View Post
Well,

I used to be a certified dagger man. No "peformance" multihull could be daggerless. That is until I read Eric LeRouges comments on www.bluewatercats.com

He makes a very pursuasive argument for keels for cruisers. I must say that I once chartered a Catana 411 with daggers in Martinique. Although I could point pretty well, I got clobbered by those light and fast Fountain Pajots with no daggers. So it seems to me that daggers are only a small part of the multihull performance puzzle.

They add complexity and - weight perhaps somewhat out of proportion to their benefit.

Is it true, can you have a performance cat sans daggers????
It's going to depend on your definition of "performance cat". You can certainly have a boat with daggers that doesn't sail, and you can have a boat that sails quite well with minikeels. But ultimately, a fast minikeel boat would be faster with daggerboards. Faster to windward due to less leeway, and faster off the wind due to less drag.

They do take up space, but for those who say they add too much complexity - how do you cope with all the sail raising and trimming? By comparison, daggerboard operation is minimal.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:57   #15
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Re: Daggers v Keels

Our Maine Cat has both, min-keels for general off the wind sailing, beaching, etc. Then a single retractable dagger (port hull), (weights about 75lbs) which drops from 2ft draft to 5ft draft. I thought about removing it to save weight, but after sailing 2000 miles, I can say it helps quite a bit. The boat points probably about 7 deg higher with the board. I agree that its easier to drop down off the wind and go a bit quicker, but for us, when the wind is up, we don't lose that much speed... It also helps alleviate weather helm.
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