Originally Posted by alambertfl
One question. The triple keels, obviously designed for significant tide swings, are unfamiliar to me. Your thoughts, both pro and con would be appreciated.
Yer know how Trimarans have 3 hulls / Keels and can reach speeds above 20 knots? Well, Triple keels don't
work like that
As you say, designed for tide swings. In Jersey the tidal range is from around 26 foot (very small) up to a touch over 40 foot (very large) - so effectively most of our harbours were built on dry land, at least for twice a day
Essentially I chose a Triple Keeler because I did not want to have any Marina Bills! (as well as just not liking them)...so needed the boat to be able to dry out......did not want Legs (done that
) or Bilge
Keels and a suitable Lifting Keeler was outside my price
range (OVNI = $$$ YIKES!!).
- These are essentially a boat with a "normal" keel
on which the boat fully rests when dried out......however their is also a smaller Keel
each side of the main keel whose purpose is to stop the boat falling over! They are a couple of inches shorter than the main keel so the vessel uses them as a crutch and not as a main load bearer and leans over slightly when aground (depending on sea bed
this is not really noticeable on a Seadog).
The pros are that you can have a "proper" keel for sailing performance / seakeeping (unlike a bilge
Keeler) which is also stronger than a Bilge Keeler (one big main Keel takes the weight / most of any pounding when drying / floating on any mooring
In practice a Triple Keel is only put on boats up to a modest draft
no 6 foot deep keels!! - in the case of a Seadog this being 3' 6" about the max I have seen / heard of. In any event, over here I would not want to go above that draft
for access to the mooring
time. Makes nudging into a mooring less stressful if yer do not have to worry about having pushed the tide too much and run aground - yer boat is not going to fall over! I can't recall
having seen a triple keel on any boat over 35 foot. Probably to do with draft.
The Cons? Well, it is performance related! This is both because simply adding 2 extra keels is going to affect the performance of any boat (their is a reason why racers do not have them!) - but also triple keels were put on boats that were more family
cruisers with everything else about the designs (hull shape / rig / keel depth) also not out and out performance orientated.
In practice Triple Keels have gone out of fashion both because of the increase in Marinas
reducing the demand from most people and the advance in Lifting Keel technology and boat design (ie OVNI) for those who want (but probably do not need
) to dry out.
You may not know that their are TWO versions of the Seadog, the Triple Keel Version like mine (and the majority) and the Deep Seadog which has a single
keel with a draft increased by an extra foot to 4' 6" and with a taller rig. Everything else is basically the same. Unsurprisingly she sails
better (so I am told).
I did think long and hard about which version to buy - if I had been 100% intending on a long term voyage at the time of purchase
within a reasonable time scale I would have gone for the Deep Seadog simply because I would not need to always dry out. It would be handy now and again, but not essential. And my thinking that a bit more keel and bit more sail wouldn't do any harm.
However, if / when I do sail off into the WBY forever I will NOT sell "Wayluya" Seadog - 3 Keels and all
......simply because she is more than good enuf to do everything that a Deep Seadog can do - indeed if I ever get around to adding a folding prop, some fully battened sails
, maybe a bowsprit
and also learn how to sail a bit better
then I suspect that she will sail as well as her Deep Seadog sister originally
did and just as good a seaboat. I am sure that somewhere in the world that I would be glad that she can take the ground (whether intentionally or not!) - especially for antifouling / repairs
and even ashore she will be less of a worry than a single
keeler on props. Another big pro on the Seadog is that the extra keels are the Watertanks - frees up a lot of room inside, everything helps on a 30 footer!....indeed for this reason alone I may now have chosen her over her deeper keeled sistership.
Of course not to say that all triple keelers are the same as a Seadog - some better / some worse on the sailing front.
Another way long post to say something simple
- if yer do not have to worry about tides I would not bother with a Triple Keel, but depending on the boat I would not rule
them straight out. If my Seadog didn't have the extra keels she would still be the same seaworthy
But the Caveat to the above is that I have a LOT more seamiles to put under her keel before I can claim expert status