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Old 07-11-2013, 10:52   #1
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Keel Designs

If you're like me, you enjoy learning about the many trade-offs associated with different sailboat designs. I own a relatively modern wing-keel boat, but aesthetically (and maybe blindly) I sometimes feel drawn to full keel, canoe stern designs and their salty "good looks". I guess this means my taste in sailboats is quite broad, or maybe it just means I like sailboats, period!

In any case, I recently asked Bob Perry to share his thoughts on keel types from a purely design perspective in hopes of educating myself a bit more on the matter. Here's what he had to say: Keel Design According to Perry.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:29   #2
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Re: Keel Designs

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHannabel View Post
If you're like me, you enjoy learning about the many trade-offs associated with different sailboat designs. I own a relatively modern wing-keel boat, but aesthetically (and maybe blindly) I sometimes feel drawn to full keel, canoe stern designs and their salty "good looks". I guess this means my taste in sailboats is quite broad, or maybe it just means I like sailboats, period!

In any case, I recently asked Bob Perry to share his thoughts on keel types from a purely design perspective in hopes of educating myself a bit more on the matter. Here's what he had to say: Keel Design According to Perry.
What goes on above the waterline doesn't have all that much impact on what goes on below it, as far as the keel is concerned. You can have your canoe stern and salty good looks and a high-aspect ratio T bulb keel if you want, or rather, if you can find it or have the money to have it built.

The Valiant is a case in point. Canoe stern and oodles of tumblehome, but below the boot stripe she's relatively sleek with a fin keel and skeg hung rudder. She could just as easily have a spade and bulb keel and no one would ever know except when she was hauled. You can have your cake and eat it too.

The singular advantage of a full keel is rudder protection and overall structural robustness. Bob, having been a racer, is a bit of a performance nut, so I think in his opinion the drawbacks of a full keel are not made up for by this one area of advantage.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:37   #3
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Re: Keel Designs

Suijin - Well said, and I agree, salty looks and a modern keel are certainly not mutually exclusive, though they are far from the norm in most current production boats.
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