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Old 23-09-2008, 05:41   #1
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shoal draft usage

Greetings....yes I'm a newbie....have a 30' O'Day to tool around Charleston Harbor here in SC. It is a shoal drafted boat. She is 3.5 ' with raised keel, and 7' with lowered keel. The harbor is shallow in a lot of spots, so my question is how safe would it be to sail here with the main only with the keel raised?

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Old 23-09-2008, 06:48   #2
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sail it until she reaches a 20 degree heel. Then reduce sail.

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Old 23-09-2008, 07:12   #3
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Thanks for the reply....I appreciate it. If at full keel, we'd be bumping into sandbars all day. We'll bounce around the harbor until comfortable with the boat, then head eastward beyond the jetties when we've got it all figured out!
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:06   #4
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Captain Curt,
I also have a swing keel and am new to sailing and have my boat in Charleston! I have a Beneteau 31 foot and it seems to sail great with the keel up. In fact I have only been offshore once and that was the only time I left the keel down all day. With the keel up and one reef in the sail, it seems very safe in strong winds of 19 knots (strong to me). The heel was not excessive. I think the narrow iron swing keel on mine does not significantly affect the stability since with it up, it is still 2 feet below the waterline and the fixed part of the keel is much more massive.
We should get together and sail in some skinny water!

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Old 02-10-2008, 11:10   #5
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Ahoy Charleston....yea we should get together sometime. My boat is a
30" O'day, and she is moored off of Crab Bank. You can e-mail me at and maybe we can dodge some sandbars.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:59   #6
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You don't say whether your centre board is weighted. I have a c/boarder that has alluminium boards (light) all the ballast is in the keel, I only use the main board when sailing to windward otherwise when the sheets are eased up it comes. I use the aft board when sailing down wind as it helps the boat track better. The only other time I use the main board is when manoeuvering under power in a confined area, it allows the boat to turn sharper.

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