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Old 22-06-2013, 18:07   #1
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pirate Wing Keel?

Seen a few boats with 'em but wonder why they haven't become more popular.

????
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Old 22-06-2013, 18:47   #2
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Re: Wing Keel?

Wing Keels were a Fad left over from the 80's.
They don't work, all they do is induce drag, with no lift or performance advantages.
For cruising boats the idea was to add ballast in a shoal draft keel configuration, but torpedo type appendages have far less drag.
The other problem with wings is if/when You go aground it is harder to get off. When You heel the boat over the draft actually increases the exact opposite of what You want.
I would not recommend a wing keel at all. If You want "shoal' draft look at a Torpedo shape or the old "Skeel Keel" or maybe a Keel Centerboard (but that leads to other issues)

Well ....that's my 2 cents

Cheers....
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Old 22-06-2013, 21:13   #3
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Re: Wing Keel?

That's pretty much right except they were pretty efficient on certain race boats but that didn't translate well to production boats because most of those used the same old hulls and then added a shorter wing keel. Keel and boat then were a bit mismatched.
kind regards,
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Old 22-06-2013, 22:28   #4
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Re: Wing Keel?

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Originally Posted by riggear View Post
The other problem with wings is if/when You go aground it is harder to get off.
They are also sediment catchers. Especially if the wing ever submerges in mud at a low tide. There have been instances where I have shoveled literally hundreds of pounds of mud off of winged keels underwater.
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Old 23-06-2013, 07:37   #5
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Re: Wing Keel?

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.
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Old 23-06-2013, 07:42   #6
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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.
What has been your experience with kelp?
My current boat has a bulb and I find that it is more prone to catching kelp than other boats that I have owned.
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Old 23-06-2013, 07:53   #7
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Re: Wing Keel?

I haven't had any problems with kelp or for that matter anything snagging the keel, at least that I know of.

I dive my own bottom and have never found anything hanging off the keel.
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:08   #8
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Re: Wing Keel?

If the vessel is well designed for the wing it can be an advantage as noted above. The point was also made that usually there is no engineering involved ane the thing is simply stuck on in place of what should be there. I have seen them on boats in the yard where the wing has a positive or negative angle of attack relative to the waterline. This is surely a drag increaser. Consider also then that improper fore-aft weighting of the vessel will effect the inclination angle of the wing. Now also consider that in certain sea conditions that the boat may both hobby-horse and be lifted and dropped by the waves. This changes the vertical attack angle of the wing and also forces the wing to pump up and down. This makes for a lot of turbulance. The inventors found it very difficult to make the wing work well in choppy conditions and this was on a long heavy boat & generaly peaceful sea states. The issues will be worse on a short boat. You can probably make a better go of it in generally flat conditions.

My opinion is that if you want shoal draft you should look at a full or partially full keel design. We are 58 feet with only 6'-8" of draft. The trapazoidal keel version of our boat has 11 feet of draft. We also have a swing CB that drops our draft to 13 feet but I do not recommend it and we seldom use it.
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:22   #9
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Re: Wing Keel?

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
I haven't had any problems with kelp or for that matter anything snagging the keel, at least that I know of.

I dive my own bottom and have never found anything hanging off the keel.
Tom...

Just wanted to let you know that your posts seem to have the most informative "real world" experience.... THANKS!
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:25   #10
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Re: Wing Keel?

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
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.
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.
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:27   #11
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pirate Re: Wing Keel?

Thanks. I really do like shoal draft but the wing seems like it would have been copied more if really successful.

I can count on running aground as I'm the guy way off in the skinny corner of the bay. I don't even mind being aground awhile if it means I can get off and walk to the beach. I really miss my cat--amaran.
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:54   #12
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Re: Wing Keel?

G'Day all,

I won't get into the argument about the sailing or grounding characteristics of wing keels, having never owned one.

But all this talk of needing shallow draft for cruising in the South Pacific is simply wrong. We have been doing just that since 1990 with two boats drawing 2.2 metres (7'2") and have rarely found the draft to be a problem. The undeniable superiority of a normal keel going to windward is useful in the real world. All the talk of "gentlemen don't go to windward" is fable in our experience. What these folks really mean is that "gentlemen" turn on their motors when needing to get to windward... and that does happen, even when cruising! I guess if that scheme is satisfactory to you, then the keel design matters little.

Final comment on boats that offer either design as options: I've seen several that have spade rudders that are DEEPER than the wing keel. This is a really bad idea for obvious reasons. I suspect that the deep rudder is necessary for steering control when the hull shape is really designed for a fin keel, but has the wing bunged on instead, but I'm not a naval architect...

Cheers,

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Old 23-06-2013, 09:08   #13
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Re: Wing Keel?

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Wing Keels were a Fad left over from the 80's.
They don't work, all they do is induce drag, with no lift or performance advantages.
They don't work?

Then it must at least have given a phycological advantage to Australia II when Ben Lexcen's revolutionary designed yacht managed to snatch the cup away from the Americans after a winning streak spanning nearly 130 years
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Old 23-06-2013, 10:22   #14
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Re: Wing Keel?

I have a wing keel. It holds better than a CQR. Don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 23-06-2013, 10:31   #15
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Re: Wing Keel?

[QUOTE=Suijin;1267970]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.
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