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Old 24-11-2014, 07:25   #16
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

I use spring lines for backing into and out of slips singlehanded.
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Old 24-11-2014, 07:30   #17
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

Backing ability is the last thing you need to worry about when buying a boat. If it has issues, like most full-keeled boats do, you'll easily learn how to cope with them.
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Old 24-11-2014, 07:33   #18
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

Spring lines seem to be very common and they best way to go. I am familiar with the term in reference to angled lines run to the dock to limit movement fore and aft. Is that what you all are referring to or something different?


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Old 24-11-2014, 09:11   #19
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

Well worth getting a lesson from someone who knows how to do it! It's not that they don't maneuver it's more that there are particular techniques and it is much easier to show than describe. Should be able to turn 360 within a boat length but backing up can be tricky in ANY boat. My problem is a high bow which blows off down wind. It is as much about how the boat square drift as keel config and prop wash
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Old 24-11-2014, 09:35   #20
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

in John Vigor's book "Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere" he goes into the characteristics and performance of many boats, including the ones that don't back out of slips very well. He also has a blog -http://johnvigor.blogspot.com, which is very enjoyable. I trust this man's knowledge.
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Old 24-11-2014, 09:55   #21
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

Hi Dave:

I am writing this from San Carlos Sonora Mexico. My wife and I sailed down from San Francisco in our sailboat. She was not a full keel boat but had about a 3/4 keel. Our boat refused to back to the port, even our old 30 Catalina had a mind of her own when there was too much wind. Using spring lines can be a great help. I had a poly floating line aboard about twice + the length of the boat. One end went thru a ring or piling on the dock and back to the boat line handler. Most time neither end was attached to the boat. (depending on the weather) As I reversed the boat the line kept the stern from swinging to the starboard. One end was dropped floating in the water and hauled aboard. You can use regular line but you have to very careful not to foul the prop. Just make sure if the line fouls you have a way to releasing/cutting it.

As you are backing out of the slip and almost clear of the slip if you wish to push the stern to the port put the rudder to the starboard at the same time give the throttle a forward shot. That will push the stern to the port. Then reverse the rudder and engine as the stern is moving continuing backing up. Backing to the starboard is just reversed. Get out in the middle somewhere and practice and in a very short time you will be able to turn in circles. The United States Power Squadron has almost free boating classes. Spring line are very handy and any boater needs to understand their uses.
Good sailing. Paul
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Old 24-11-2014, 10:04   #22
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

A fin keel spade rudder is by far easier than a full keel or a skeg rudder. However that doesn't sound like the long term boat for you. You will learn to maneuver the boat you get.
I haven't found a skeg hung rudder much more maneuverable than a fullish keel type really.
Buy the type you want and learn to use it how you need to.
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Old 24-11-2014, 10:37   #23
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

A most interesting -- and surprising -- conversation. This past summer I sailed on my daughter's Catalina 27 and was utterly disgusted by the vicious prop walk on that boat. I had heard about boats doing that but never experienced it myself. I have only owned two boats with an inboard, an Aloha 34 (I think with a Westerbeke) and -- in Europe -- a Westerly Centaur with a wonderful Beta Marine (Kubota) engine. Neither of them did any propwalking. So I have always assumed that that flaw is the result of poor engineering. Well, I've learnt something.
Thanks!
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Old 24-11-2014, 10:42   #24
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

Are you going to do anything other than back in and out of your slip ?


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Old 24-11-2014, 11:07   #25
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

You can either fight the prop walk, or let it help you. I can turn a much tighter circle and turn harder when docking alongside if I use the prop walk. Now admittedly I am pretty much relegated to turns to Starboard, but I can turn in just a little more than he hull length, without the prop walk, I couldn't do that.
There are disadvantages to everything, you have found one to a full keel, there are others, and even some advantages too
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:22   #26
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

I have a full keel and an added transom hung rudder just to complicate things even more, I first used to call backing up "controlledmayhem". Not an issue now, like everthing else about sailing I find, practice, practice, practice. Don't allow one chalenge to sway your decission!!
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:35   #27
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
My first and only sailboat I've ever owned is a heavy displacement full keel, so you can learn but,
I'd say go find the best boat you can afford and whatever keel it has is just fine, type of keel isn't as important as other things
I'd say that last is really the best advice: the boat that you like that is in the best possible condition, given your price range is the one C'estlaDave should buy. It will give him the most sailing pleasure for his dollars.

Ann
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Old 24-11-2014, 11:48   #28
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

I agree with most of these comments and advice.Long keel is the only way to go in the ocean and I have done many blue water crossings in both fin and long keel vessels.
With marinas take your time and do get staff help if needed. Use nature to help. I always back out into the windstream if I can. If not I let nature move me with short bursts of the prop.
Prop walk needs to be understood and with my boat this kicks me to port.
Once I get the boat moving I let the rudder do the work.Rudder and Motor just do not work unless going forward.

Practice practice practice.
Chris Shirley
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Julie and I sail a beautiful kauri Buchanan 35 post classic yacht made in NZ in the 60s.She is called Red Viking and was built in Whangarei by the late Alan Smith.
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Old 24-11-2014, 13:14   #29
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

Forget about senseless considerations about keel shape. It is the hull shape and proportions that decide how a boat goes through the water.
What really matters is sailing ability. As far as offshore sailing goes, the reality is that the average wind speed over the oceans is less than 15 knots. If your boat can't sail well in light winds, you will either be stuck rolling around in the swell or motoring - now doesn't this sound familiar?

One characteristics of long-keelers is very high wetted surface and it makes them stick to the water much more. On the other hand you can only carry so much sail area over so much deck length before starting to grow bowsprits and other cumbersome arrangements.
The ratio between sail area and wetted surface is very important for ocean cruising. A boat sailing gently is much more comfortable than one rolling around or motoring.
I owned a 30' Dufour Arpege for many years and crossed every ocean with it. It was outstanding in light winds and regularly beat much larger yachts on ocean passages, because it hardly ever stopped. It is not how fast you can go that matters, it is how slow you don't go.
My Arpege was comfortable most of the time, and when it wasn't other boats the same size wouldn't have been either if they had been sailing the same. If you don't like it, you can slow down or let fall off a little; slow heavy boats can't speed up or point higher when conditions are good.
Comfort goes up with size and motion is not everything. Small boats that are too heavy are awfully wet and the sea likes climbing aboard in bad weather.

The Arpege was an old racing boat with an early fin and bulb keel and fairly rounded sections. You can pick them up very cheap today. They sail great and can sail into unbelievable weather.

Today I sail a high-performance 43' alloy sloop and it is more comfortable again. It sails flatter, hardly pitches in the sea and I get much more mileage for the same effort or less. If I match the performance of a long-keeler or any other heavy cruiser, it is more comfortable because I am hardly straining anything while they are heeling hard and hanging on.
If I drive it upwind full speed in a rough sea, it can get a bit noisy occasionally, but it is dry. Sometimes I slow down just by pointing a bit higher again. I can do things they can't even dream of, as well as turning on a dime whenever needed.

The boat is one part of the story, how you sail it is the other - provided you can get it to go. Too many so-called cruising boats of all types today are shocking sailers regardless of keel configuration. Too heavy, too much drag, too much windage. If you really want to sail the distance, then get a boat that can sail for a start and don't mess it up.
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:20   #30
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Re: Maneuverability of a Full Keel Sailboat when backing

I am perfectly happy practicing with my future boat to learn her tendencies and quirks, in fact I can't wait to get started!!! Hopefully I will be making my purchase in mid-December and do a little more than backing in the marina... Can't wait!

Thanks for the input


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