Keel/centerboard boats are just fine offshore
, inshore and onshore. Some even say they are better In ultimate survival conditions because they don't have as deep a keel that could trip the boat and cause it to do a 360. Otherwise, they have less leeway resistance so would slide rather than role if sideways in a breaking sea. Don't think i'll volunteer to test out that theory, however.
A true centerboarder will have more hull
form stability, flatter bilges, to compensate for the shallower ballast ratio. Often they will have a higher ballast displacement
ratio to increase heeling resistance. Some boats like the Bristol 35 and 39/40 were the same hull
but the keels were just shallower. They still seem to sail well. Most others like my Pearson
35, 39, 40, Morgan's C/B boats, Bristol 35.5 and other '*.5' boats, Hood's boats, Tartan 27, 34, and 38 and the French alloy C/B boats were all designed from the bottom up as center boarders. Many have circumnavigated and sailed to extreme high latitudes without issues.
One thing a center border doesn't have is a deep keel to drag around when it has no advantage. Once you crack off the wind
, a deep keel has little advantage and the disadvantage of dragging around additional wetted surface. Have owned and currently own a keel/C/B boat. Seldom feel the necessity to use the board and couldn't tell you if it really does that much good. Sure it decreases leeway hard on the wind
but, for me, not enough to make a night or day decision. As far as maintenance
, it really isn't much. You do have hang in the slings over night to paint
it the night before launch. If you have a metal cable, it may need to be changed out occasionally. Changed the galvanized cable on my current
boat after six years, it could have easily gone another couple of years. Changing the cable took less than an hour and that mostly because it was the first time I'd done it on this boat. Hopefully will never have to do it again as I changed to a synthetic cable which won't have the corrosion
issues of wire. Maintenance
is a hell of a lot less than dropping a bolt on keel to check the bolts that have lived in yucky bilge
water their whole life.
Just to be sure, I'm tallking keel/centerboard not swing keel, drop keel, etc. These boats go from unsafe in a seaway to way too complicated for the average cruiser. In a keel centerboard the stability is in the keel. The centerboard is there for leeway in very limited situations. Whether the centerboard is there or not, they sail just fine.
As a last comment, Adlard Coles in 'Heavy Weather
Sailing' marks the loss of a C./B boat in a hurricane
as a reason to stay away from them. Somehow, the single
loss of a boat with no record
of the circumstances in a hurricane
seems to carry little weight as to the suitability for offshore work