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Old 26-03-2008, 05:24   #1
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which way to go??

Which is better for a cruising catamaran, fixed keels or dagger boards? The only information I have been able to find on this subject is posted by Tony Grainger at "" (our designs-considerations)and he seems pretty non committal either way. Any thoughts.

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Old 26-03-2008, 06:56   #2
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This is a personal choice. There are pros and cons to both. I wanted a boat with boards because I enjoy sailing to weather and I spent many, many years racing small cats - I have a bias to performance. Weatherly performance of boards is important to me vs their disadvantages and differing advantages of keels. This doean't mean it should be as important to anyone else. Aside from this the safety benefits of boards are also important - leeway when you need it.

Big advantages of keels > simplicity, lower cost, ability to beach, don't take up room in the living spaces.

Your mileage may differ.


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Old 29-03-2008, 12:56   #3
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Not if you go with a Ian Farrier design the dagger board is the wall of the bathroom. So it depends on what design of boat to determine if it takes up your living space!
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Old 30-03-2008, 11:25   #4
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If I were going to dry out on beaches to paint, scrub or repair, I'd want keels. You can also put tanks in keels, keeping weight low, where it is best kept. It is probably easier to make keels bullet-proof, and they will help protect the rudder (and props if you have inboard engines,) against debris and grounding.

Kelsall doesn't believe the idea that cat's will be pushed away from breaking waves if lying ahull better if they don't have keels, on the theory that there is no way a cat can accelerate fast enough sideways for that to work. Shuttleworth is an advocate of the "knocked sideways" theory of lying ahull if the cat doesn't have keels.

Dagger boards are sometimes canted against the hull to get the housings out of the way of the interior. Also, they don't have to be on the centerline, though it must surely be best to keep the exit underwater. I'd keep them off of the centerline, actually, to keep the slot from getting loaded with debris when drying out.
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