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Old 24-06-2013, 06:14   #31
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Re: Wing Keel?

[QUOTE=jeremiason;1268053]
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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
For me, losing 5 degrees of pointing ability would be a complete non-starter. That can add days to a long passage and even hours to a shorter one if you're beating to windward.QUOTE]

You are a better man than I to sail closed hauled for days on end... Maybe you don't sail with your wife much?

Sailing of days, especially off shore, to weather would be about as attractive as getting fillings without Novocain. I would also be keel hauled, if the Admiral even thought I was planning something like that.

I would rather fail off 30 degrees, throw in a couple of tacks along the way and arrive a little later or as mentioned motor into the wind if the distance was shorter.
You may have answered a question for me. I'm recently divorced, lol.
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Old 24-06-2013, 06:28   #32
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Re: Wing Keel?

This thread has been very instructive to me. Thank you for the information, one and all. The boat I own now is the first sailboat I ever purchased, and at my age, it's likely to be the last. I thought the wing keel was likely to keep me from running aground too often, and that's probably been true.

I have been told my boat points quite high by more experienced sailors than I, and I have no complaints about speed. I admit, though, that if a longer fin keel would help the boat stand up better to gusts, that would probably make my dog happy. He hates sliding to leeward.
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Old 25-06-2013, 12:03   #33
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Re: Wing Keel?

I have owned a winged keel for 18 years and have found it superior to my last boat with a fin keel. The Pearson 34-2 has the same basic design as the Aussie boat with its wings canting aft and downward. It has been an outstanding island boat and its offshore characteristics are very impressive as it digs in on a reach, tracks very well and is very stable downwind. As others have mentioned, there are many ways to skin a cat, but if I bought another boat I would definitely buy a wing keel since it accomplishes many things and does them all well. Besides, it has a very good turn of speed which I consider very important for all types of sailing. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 25-06-2013, 18:05   #34
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Re: Wing Keel?

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
I am confused.... I assume you mean Encapsulated Keels?

Sorry for the confusion
Ha! It gets confusing I guess. I figure if it's not "encapsulated" It cant be internal... unless you consider bottom paint encapsulation or .....you're talking about square riggers with stones in the bilge!
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Old 26-06-2013, 01:56   #35
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Re: Wing Keel?

Mebbe off of Maine & NH 1.5ft makes no difference, but on the East coast anywhere from the Cape south in the USA 1.5ft difference in draft can make a huge difference.

Entire stretches of the ICW become off limits, as do inlets, anchorages, marinas, haul-outs etc.

Its even worse in the Bahamas where you learn to navigate with mere inches below your keel.. entire Islands, bays, cuts and routes are the difference when 1.5ft is being discussed.


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You all now ther are deep draft boats that have wing keels don't you?

My last boat had a MASSIVE wing and a shoal draft. It pointed higher than my current deep draft boat. But that wing did make a great anchor!

Having had both I would take a deep draft boat over a wing shoal draft. It just gives a better ride and stands up to gusts better and if the 1.5' ever makes a difference I was in the wrong place either way.
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Old 26-06-2013, 02:53   #36
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Re: Wing Keel?

I second the "look at the underwater profile" ive seen quite a few boats where the wing was a shoal draft option and the idiots used the same rudder as the deep draft. These are the people you see in the boatyard with keels bent back or missing. Losing a rudder is really a bummer. I chose my current boat mostly because of the protected rudder with a bottom bearing. My first boat was a swing keel. When you ran aground you would feel a small bump as the keel hit followed by losing steering as the rudder snapped off. Happened twice before I moved rudder to transom and made one that would kick up without damage.
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Old 26-06-2013, 04:43   #37
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pirate Re: Wing Keel?

[QUOTE=forsailbyowner;1270384]... I chose my current boat mostly because of the protected rudder with a bottom bearing. My first boat was a swing keel. When you ran aground you would feel a small bump as the keel hit followed by losing steering as the rudder snapped off. ...QUOTE]

I know that wasn't supposed to be funny... but it is.
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Old 26-06-2013, 04:48   #38
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Re: Wing Keel?

One of my favorite anchorages is in Mattituck, LI. It's a beautiful little mile-long inlet with osprey nests, and the anchorage is within walking distance to town. If I had a fin keel instead of my 4' 10" wing, I would not be able to get in or out except at high tide. I have watched my depth gauge read less than a foot under the keel in the middle of the channel more than once.
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Old 26-06-2013, 05:09   #39
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pirate Re: Wing Keel?

Well I've sailed a couple off Bendi Oceanis with what I call 'Wing Keel'... not the flat topside tho'... its flat bottomed with a semi bulb top and a drop keel which takes you from 4'3" to 6'... fly downwind and points just fine... what I did not like were the twin rudders which made control under motor in strong winds a real PITB... only boats I considered a bowthruster an essential tool.. and one of em was a 331...
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:38   #40
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Re: Wing Keel?

Back in the dim distant past I raced in a 34 Fastnet against Sigma 36 with fi keels - thank goodness for handicapping!

We upgraded to a Sigma 362 with a winged keel. When saiing close hauled astern of the Sigma 36 it was noticeable that we were making less leeway, and could only attribute this to the winged keel. It felt like the wings were lifting us to windward.
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:39   #41
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Re: Wing Keel?

My Cardinal 46 has a wing keel. I like the fact that it is has about a foot less draft than the regular keel and that a lot of its weight is down low where it helps most with stability. I have no idea whether its faster than the regular keel but it works fine and the boat is easy to sail fast and great in heavy weather. Scarlet has done three TransAts and is now in the Med. If it ever gets home to Maine I do worry that the keel may become an efficient lobster trap-catcher though!
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Old 26-06-2013, 06:53   #42
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Re: Wing Keel?

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My Cardinal 46 has a wing keel. I like the fact that it is has about a foot less draft than the regular keel and that a lot of its weight is down low where it helps most with stability. I have no idea whether its faster than the regular keel but it works fine and the boat is easy to sail fast and great in heavy weather. Scarlet has done three TransAts and is now in the Med. If it ever gets home to Maine I do worry that the keel may become an efficient lobster trap-catcher though!
I'm headed to Maine next month. I'll let you know.
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Old 26-06-2013, 08:01   #43
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Re: Wing Keel?

This shoal keel thing I never understood it's reasoning.
Give me some depth where it really counts out on the ocean.
Worrying about gettting closer to shore because of 1' less draft never made sense to me.
My previous 26 footer was 4'6" and my westsail is 5'.
Having a 3'6" instead of a 4'6" keel to get closer to land when you are already depolying a dink to get to land. Sure as stated in this thread there are entire inland piloting routes not accessible especially in he Bahamas to drafts above 3"6", well all I can say is you can have them inland routes and I'll happily miss out on them in exchange for a deeper keel while out on the ocean where it really matters.
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Old 26-06-2013, 08:21   #44
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Re: Wing Keel?

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
For me, losing 5 degrees of pointing ability would be a complete non-starter. That can add days to a long passage and even hours to a shorter one if you're beating to windward.

But as you say, it's a function of where you sail, how you sail, and the other tradeoffs you have to make. Every boat is a compromise in some way or another, there is no getting around it. I draw 6' which can be a real drawback in certain situations. We all learn to live with what our boat can and cannot do based on its design.
Where I sail, we have a lot of shoal water, and running aground makes you lose even more than five degrees of pointing ability.

My current boat, a Catalina 42, has one, and it does have to be heeled over farther to get it off the sand, but it still gets off the same way as every other fin keel boat I have had. It's a compromise. If I was still sailing on the Chesapeake, with deep water and soft mud bottoms, I would rather have the deep draft and a fin keel. Where I am sailing now, the northern Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the Bahamas, I really appreciate a little less draft that the wing keel gives me.
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Old 26-06-2013, 11:17   #45
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Re: Wing Keel?

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Owning a wing keel I disagree with some of the comments, especially for a cruising boat.

The wing keel on my boat lowers the draught almost two feet to 5'10" and increases the keel weight by almost three thousand pounds.

In head to head sailing against sister ships on the San Francisco Bay I noticed no loss of speed, but did loose about 5 degrees of pointing ability. As a side note 75% of my sister ships were made with Wing Keels.

Over the last 7 years I have run aground several times in the Sacramento Delta, the Caribbean and of course here in Florida. Never did the keel become stuck, where I couldn't back off the bar. That is a myth.

So in my opinion, a wing keel is more positive than negative for a cruising boat.

The choice of a wing keel for a cruising boat should be made based on where you are going to travel. If you are going to the Caribbean or the South Pacific... Where a shallow draught is a good idea. If you were like me and had no idea where you would end up, I would choose the wing keel.
2011 PHRF ratings indicate a 3-9sec/nm cost in speed for the wing keel vs standard fins for Catalina 470's. The exact difference depends on where you are racing the country.

A casual perusal of PHRF ratings show a 3 sec benefit to 15s disadvantage for having a wing keel, average is about a 6s penalty. Beneteau seems to be the best at getting the both versions to be pretty even.
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