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Old 09-04-2009, 16:30   #1
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CAL 34 "Hard Bilges"

I have recently purchased a '69 CAL 34 and have been reading as much as I can find out there about the design and systems. I have on a few occasions come across the phrase "Hard Bilges" as in, "With her hard bilges she sails on her bottom even in a blow, and her masthead sailplan efficiently converts wind power into hard driving hull power." I have my suspicions, but can anyone tell me what that means exactly?
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Old 09-04-2009, 16:55   #2
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"hard" vrs "soft" bilges

A hard bilge is sharply rounded where the keel meets the hull, which generally creates more initial stability. A soft bilge, conversely, has a much more gentle curve. Soft-bilged boats are more easily healed at first, so soft bilges are sometimes called "easy" bilges, while hard bilges are sometimes called "firm" bilges.

A hard bilge tends to be a more modern design, thanks to the evolution of fin keels, which invariably involve hard bilges.
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Old 09-04-2009, 16:57   #3
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Bash is right.

Hard vs. soft bilges refer to the cross section of the boat below the waterline. A hard bilge boat has a flatter bottom and sharper angle approaching the keel. These boats heel less in response to initial input. Soft bilge boats have a more rounded angle between the bottom and keel, and they heel more quickly in response to initial input. Full keel boats tend to have softer bilges than fin keel boats.
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Old 09-04-2009, 17:00   #4
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Thanks guys, that helps a lot.
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