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Old 01-06-2014, 11:08   #1
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Will Bilge Keel Sailboat Heave-to?

I am thinking of purchasing a Westerly Centaur 26. These boats have a canoe body with twin bilge keels port and starboard. Because of the twin keels, the draft is only three feet and if caught on a falling tide, the boat stays upright. These boats are not going to sail as fast as a fin keel; however, the design is for the North Sea, built to Lloyd's standards and are reported to be very stable, to sail very stiff and flat. I am limited to a sailboat with trailer and stores to 10,000 pounds as this is the tow capacity of my pickup, and these sailboats fall within my budget.

My question, is under survival conditions should the Westerly be sailed like a fin keel sailboat: (the Beth and Evans Articles all seem to have a problem opening, hope it works soon) or like a full keeler as Lin and Larry Pardey describe: How to hove-to with a para-anchor by Lin & Larry Pardey ? Or, some other way of handling? At least I would like to know if the bilge keel sailboat can heave-to under storm conditions.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:18   #2
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pirate Re: Will Bilge Keel Sailboat Heave-to?

Yes they do heave to.. tho' if your trailer sailing just log in and check the 7 day forecast.. no need to get caught in a storm..
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:32   #3
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Re: Will Bilge Keel Sailboat Heave-to?

Can't comment on the Centaur, but my bilge keeled Moody 31 will hove to and does if I am not quick enough when tacking single handed.

Who says a fin keeled yacht is quicker? racing around the bouys on Sunday morning perhaps. Back in the real world with baggy sails, less than optimal sail trim and a bit of growth on the hull would make far bigger differences. Keep a Centaur light, clean and fit good sails then she will go well.

Can't advise on survival conditions, have no intention of being caught out in these situations and if I do then I will be carrying a Jordan Series Drogue with reinforced cleats to mount it.

However, have a think about what Rodger Taylor has been doing recently in a 21ft yacht with bilge keels:

Heavy weather photos taken from junk-rigged Corribee Mingming

His new yacht is 24ft and also bilge keels

Moody 31 - April Lass
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