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Old 06-09-2021, 05:07   #16
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

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If we're talking a Bavaria C57 as the new boat, then no sweat! You'll rule the sea!
The boat is indeed a Bavaria C57. Good guess! From the comments I should not concern myself and, as mentioned and why I like a shoal keel, it gives you more options where you can anchor. We had some big seas taking her across Biscay and wondered if she would have been more stable with a deeper keel.

https://youtu.be/3J3aQqA9hfQ
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:16   #17
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

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We had some big seas taking her across Biscay and wondered if she would have been more stable with a deeper keel.
You had a following sea in the video, thus I assume you were going downwind. On those coursed, the depth of the keel isn't very important. You'll see the differenced mostly close hauled.
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Old 10-09-2021, 06:49   #18
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

I have a 1979 islander 32, shoal draft, tall rig. It is very solid going to windward. Stable. Its a dream going downwind. In light air it will leave many other boats behind. Ive never had it out in big stormy seas but my shoal keel serves me well. I think you’ll be happy.
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Old 10-09-2021, 07:03   #19
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

I've delivered a lot of boats. Since I own an HR I pay particular attention to those. I've delivered HR 40s, 43s, and 54s with both shoal and full draft versions. No discernible difference. M. Frers draws good boats so that may not always be the case. Oh - Scheel keels rock.
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Old 10-09-2021, 07:43   #20
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

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The answer is: IT DEPENDS.

Shoal keels take a small performance hit when going to windward. but for everything else, it has more to do with the design of the boat than the exact depth of the keel.

I sailed a Reinke twin keel for 5 years. Among the known ups and downs of the design I always had to monitor the boat at anchor in a field of other boats, because it swings differently to long keelers and deep keelers. At first it led almost to a collision at anchor.
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Old 10-09-2021, 09:41   #21
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

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Hi All,

I have just bought a new boat with a shoal keel and wanted to know your views in regards to performance, seakeeping and specifically are they suited to off shore/ocean sailing. Thanks Mike
My response has more to do with the universal question of purchasing the correct boat for your planned use...the question is one you should have asked before you bought the boat.

The overriding advantage of a shoal keel is the ability to get into shallow anchorages and low depth waters than that of a deep keel; was that your goal? It won't perform as well as a deep keel in windward sailing but could have more COMFORT due to the displacement.

A comparison of same make boat model with optional keels shows they do weigh a more. For example, looking at published specifications for the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40DS the shoal keel version displacement is 16931 lbs. versus the fin keel at 13680. The ballast differences are 5842 for the 4.9' shoal and 5291 for the 6.4' fin. These numbers will give an SA/D 16.6 shoal versus 19.1 fin and change most other ratios as well. Unfortunately, manufacturers usually reflect the same SA/D numbers for both versions and don't provide the differences for any of the other RATIOS either...it does make a difference.

However, I think it would be difficult to actually notice much of a difference in sailing offshore if comparing the same make/model with and without a shoal keel; how could you measure that on the ocean scientifically?

Go to saildata.com and and compute the various RATIOS for the fin and shoal keel versions of your boat. That will give you some idea of the ability of your new boat offshore.

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Old 10-09-2021, 09:48   #22
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

I built a twin keel, shoal draft 31 foot boat and to my dismay, her performance was very bad, she was too tender and would not point into the wind.

I had the option of rebuilding her underwater keel profile, or scrap the idea of using her at sea on my dream cruise. I opted to rebuild her, and speak from bitter experience...You are welcome to contact me privately and I will fill in the details...
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Old 10-09-2021, 12:50   #23
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

The major consideration has surely to do with the ability to go to windward. A deep keel reduces leeway. A deep keel also has more leverage to keep the boat upright. This usually equates to a lighter ballast keel for the same righting moment.
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Old 10-09-2021, 13:38   #24
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Sensible folk don't do ocean passages upwind.. so unless your trying to break some stupid record.. No problem..
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Old 10-09-2021, 14:15   #25
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

I designed a steel 100ft with 4 ft draft with the board up 14 ft down. It won an Atlantic Tall Ships race . Easy to sail with small crew. Oh and the schooner was narrow and displaced 75 ton.
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Old 10-09-2021, 14:18   #26
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

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Sensible folk don't do ocean passages upwind.. so unless your trying to break some stupid record.. No problem..
Don't agree. On modern hulls, a close reach is really comfortable and gentle on the boat.
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Old 10-09-2021, 15:25   #27
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Re: Shoal Keel For Ocean Passages

Learn to Reef Early ? Like as soon as you start to think I wonder if I should reef . .
And maybe consider how you stow gear and water, if it is possible to change stuff around. On my early shoal draft yacht everything was designed to stow low and centre. On the next one, stuff was higher (I imagine, for convenient access). After a while I hauled out and modified stuff. I moved my water, batteries, anchors and chains to the bottom centreline (where possible) on the second shoal draft boat. It made a lot of difference to the 'feel'. No improvement in speed, just felt secure and comfortable.

Of course, my boats were usually only around 26 foot and I was only sailing 80 - 100NM offshore coastal passages in tropical storms and among shallow reefs mostly, at each end of the trips, but swapping from fin keel, to shoal keel and fin keel, the only change in habits was how much sail was up in strong conditions, and how much weight I could keep as low as possible.

I imagine for long ocean passages the considerations would be similar.
With the fin keels, where I carried stuff didn't seem to matter much. And I often left sail up when i definitely shouldn't have.
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