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Old 25-01-2018, 01:00   #46
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

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Originally Posted by Papasail View Post
John,
D. Teir one: Westsail, Tayana, Alajuela, Baba, Hans Christian. Full keel/ protected rudders.
Teir two: Tartan, Pacific Seacraft, Island Packet, Hallberg-Rassey, Moody, Wauquiez, Hanse, ComPac. (Lots) of others. Fin keel/ skeg rudder.
Teir three: (older) Moody's, RM yachts, Saddler, Southerly, Westerly, Legend, Ovni, Hake, Boreal, Allure. Shallow draft & Bilge Keelers.
Teir four: Catamarans... ending in "S" for CA$H! Lagoon/ still affordable. But I've now heard my (fifth) story of catamarans running right over a reef and knocking off both rudders and (ssssssinking) in the process.
What is your basis for the "Tiers". If it is "suitable for blue water cruising" I am a bit puzzled, as several boats you put in Tier three are better world cruisers than any boat you put in Tier one.
That long keeled boats are better for blue water cruising is something even most of the guys who make money designing that kind of boats don't believe...
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Old 25-01-2018, 11:42   #47
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

Yes I was also going to ask that.

Are the bilge / twin keel

(side Q, are these synonymous?)

designs somehow inherently less suitable for passage making?
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Old 25-01-2018, 11:52   #48
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

I was also intrigued by the idea when I first heard about them. From what I had read (pre-internet) a bilge keel actually IS a negative, compared to a proper NACA foil design or a full keel. You've got a lot of wetted area if both fins are in the water. And, useless ballast "at" the waterline for the high side fin when you're heeled--which also depends very much on how far the boat is heeled and exactly where and how the fins were designed to be. As opposed to a fin keel, where all that ballast would be hanging so much lower exerting more leverage on the righting moment.
And then apparently there's a question if whether to give the two keels some slight "toe in" so the boat tracks straighter, or whether a sloppy build with a little accidental offset in them could be a problem.
And of course, you can't kedge the boat off a grounding, the way a traditional boat can be.
I'm not saying any of this is gospel, just that from reading up on it, apparently they are considered to be at best of no advantage unless you want and need the ability to stand dry. Which other boats can gain with grounding "legs".

It would seem that daggerboards or "canards" or other ways to explore the same concept might still have merit, but then again, 25 years ago who would have thought the America's Cup would be on huge hydrofoil cats either?
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Old 25-01-2018, 21:28   #49
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

John/ KVB,

"Tiers" wasn't the best verbage...
"Classes," or "types" might have been a better way expressing it.

5 years ago, I would have held full keel "tier 1" boats as "safest," especially for a novice, but I certainly understand more than I did then. There are useful aspects to all boats, and learning why has been fun. I'm a devout scaredy cat, and take smacking into things very seriously. Having a Southerly draft, just means (for the most part) less stuff to smack into under the waterline, though (I'm sure) someone will certainly bring the converse argument that being that shallow of a draft actually exposes you to more threats.

The (five) recent accounts of catamarans knocking off their unprotected rudders brought me back to a sobering fundamental: not sinking really is a great idea.
Bilge keelers are cool for what they (can/ could) offer in the way of greater-ballast-distibuted to make way for shallower/ shallowest draft.
My understanding is they only get dinged on upwind ability, but generally otherwise work well.
Even sturdier (???) if those keels are cross-braced? Sturdy seems good when you are taking on the ocean alone. Full keel (equally sturdy) with protected rudder seems to answer, as best as possible, the question of saftey, when the pure question is survival at all costs.

It'd be super cool to own a double shoal-drafted boat with two well protected/ built-in-line-with-the-keel rudders: best of both worlds - shallow draft, and full keel type safety.

*I WANT a SOUTHERLY!!
Bill
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Old 25-01-2018, 21:32   #50
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

Thanks.

Yes close to the wind is an easy trade-off for safety.

And man I'd love to be able to just beach!

Not to mention easier/safer trailering, launching and recovery.
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Old 26-01-2018, 02:35   #51
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

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Originally Posted by Papasail View Post
The (five) recent accounts of catamarans knocking off their unprotected rudders brought me back to a sobering fundamental: not sinking really is a great idea.
The problem was not that the rudders were unprotected. The problem was that they were not strong enough.
If you want to protect the rudders by putting eg. a skeg in front of it you will need to make the skeg strong enough. Why not just make the rudder strong enough?
(Perry once remarked that on many production boats with skeg hung rudders it was the rudder that supported the skeg...)

Steve Dashew has pictures on his site of one of his boats that ended up on a reef. The rudders apparently survived that just fine...
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Old 26-01-2018, 03:30   #52
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
You've got a lot of wetted area if both fins are in the water. And, useless ballast "at" the waterline for the high side fin when you're heeled--which also depends very much on how far the boat is heeled and exactly where and how the fins were designed to be. As opposed to a fin keel, where all that ballast would be hanging so much lower exerting more leverage on the righting moment.
My Moody 31 Bilge keeler has I think 400 kgs of extra ballast over the fin variety. Offset by not having a great big stub keel moulding for the fin in heavy GRP. This information wasn't easy to find but the Association now has the Moody build records which give a huge amount of additional information not normally found in glossy brochures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
And then apparently there's a question if whether to give the two keels some slight "toe in" so the boat tracks straighter, or whether a sloppy build with a little accidental offset in them could be a problem
When new Moodys were very expensive and the quality shows. I as the second owner of a 30 year old boat am now benefiting from the high class build spec and finish.


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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
And of course, you can't kedge the boat off a grounding, the way a traditional boat can be.
You can kedge the boat off, what you can't do is lean it over by putting the crew out on the boom or spinnaker pole. However, if its aground and upright well you will just have to put the kettle on and wait for the tide.

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I'm not saying any of this is gospel, just that from reading up on it, apparently they are considered to be at best of no advantage unless you want and need the ability to stand dry. Which other boats can gain with grounding "legs".
Not sure I wold want to leave a fin keeled yacht on legs for any length of time, particularly in say an estuary and subject to tides and wind so she settles in a different position each time. However, with two big cast iron keels this shouldn't be a problem.

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It would seem that daggerboards or "canards" or other ways to explore the same concept might still have merit, but then again, 25 years ago who would have thought the America's Cup would be on huge hydrofoil cats either?
Bit like the dutch barges that sail across their shallow meres. For a yacht, I think a lifting keel may be the preferred way forward.

Mine:
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Old 26-01-2018, 03:49   #53
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Thanks.

Yes close to the wind is an easy trade-off for safety.

And man I'd love to be able to just beach!

Not to mention easier/safer trailering, launching and recovery.
Quite, nothing is going to go to windward like a yacht with 6ft of lead fin hanging down underneath it. However, you will pay for it in marina fees and places you can visit. If constantly sailing long blue water passages are your thing, then great buy a fin. If gunkholing around the coast visiting the places most folk need a dinghy to access then there are alternatives. Need to change an anode or clear a prop, what does a marina charge for a lift? Me I just drop her on one of the many slipways and let the tide go out. Maximum depth at HW in this photo is about 3'10". I draw 3' 8" :-)

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Old 26-01-2018, 06:20   #54
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

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If constantly sailing long blue water passages are your thing, then great by a fin. If gunkholing around the coast visiting the places most folk need a dinghy to access then there are alternatives.
Well, I will mostly be doing the latter, but want to feel pretty confident about making the occasional long blue passage too, once I've gotten the safety upfitting done.

And sorry if I missed it, what model is your there? Inspiring pics!
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Old 26-01-2018, 06:32   #55
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papasail View Post
John/ KVB,

"Tiers" wasn't the best verbage...
"Classes," or "types" might have been a better way expressing it.

5 years ago, I would have held full keel "tier 1" boats as "safest," especially for a novice, but I certainly understand more than I did then. There are useful aspects to all boats, and learning why has been fun. I'm a devout scaredy cat, and take smacking into things very seriously. Having a Southerly draft, just means (for the most part) less stuff to smack into under the waterline, though (I'm sure) someone will certainly bring the converse argument that being that shallow of a draft actually exposes you to more threats.

The (five) recent accounts of catamarans knocking off their unprotected rudders brought me back to a sobering fundamental: not sinking really is a great idea.
Bilge keelers are cool for what they (can/ could) offer in the way of greater-ballast-distibuted to make way for shallower/ shallowest draft.
My understanding is they only get dinged on upwind ability, but generally otherwise work well.
Even sturdier (???) if those keels are cross-braced? Sturdy seems good when you are taking on the ocean alone. Full keel (equally sturdy) with protected rudder seems to answer, as best as possible, the question of saftey, when the pure question is survival at all costs.

It'd be super cool to own a double shoal-drafted boat with two well protected/ built-in-line-with-the-keel rudders: best of both worlds - shallow draft, and full keel type safety.

*I WANT a SOUTHERLY!!
Bill
Don't overthink it. If you exclude just the 10% of the least strong boats, then your chance of every having a structural problem approaches zero, whatever type of boat you choose.

If you like catamarans, then without any question, buy one of those. Just stay off the reefs. Running any kind of a boat onto a reef is going to ruin your whole day; cats aren't any worse in that situation than any other type. Maybe a full keel boat would not be torn apart as fast, but so what? Would you insist on driving around in city traffic only in an armored Humvee? No doubt you will do better surviving an IED or a crash, but they are clumsy to drive, hard to park, and worse in every other way than normal cars, and normal cars are strong enough for city traffic. It's the same with boats.
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Old 26-01-2018, 06:51   #56
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

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Well, I will mostly be doing the latter, but want to feel pretty confident about making the occasional long blue passage too, once I've gotten the safety upfitting done.

And sorry if I missed it, what model is your there? Inspiring pics!
John, it's a Moody 31. I also pondered on her ability for blue water until I read the account of a 26ft Centaur doing the Azores and Back rally (AZAB) when they were hit with a F8 in the Western Approaches (not a good place). His answer was reduce sail and slow the boat down. He subsequently made the Azores. CF member Maxingout did a great write up about dealing with energy in the waves and wind. Quite an eye opener and worth a search.

A Moody 31 did UK to NY and back a few years ago and there is a French couple on one doing circuits of the Caribbean, nice life style if you can do it.

I would love to do the Bahamas Banks in our Moody. Sail into an anchorage, past all the yachts right up the beach and toss the hook onto the dry sand, Capt Ron style.

What depth is the Chesepeake or that great canal loop you guys have?
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Old 26-01-2018, 06:56   #57
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pirate Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

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Well, I will mostly be doing the latter, but want to feel pretty confident about making the occasional long blue passage too, once I've gotten the safety upfitting done.

And sorry if I missed it, what model is your there? Inspiring pics!
I have friends who sailed their Centaur down to the Med from the UK.. then happily cruised around for a few years before taking the canals back North..
A CF member took his Centaur across to the Caribe a few years back.. and I believe went on to cruise a bit of the E coast US.
Bilge keel, Full keel, Fin keel.. its pretty much the Mono vs Cat debate with a mix of diehards shouting their own corner.. these boats were built to cope with coastal waters and weather North of 50 degrees.. like all other types there's some lemons but.. on the whole they are as tough and capable for general cruising as anything else out there.
Below is a Laurent Giles 62ft bilge keeler.. draft 6ft.. delivered her across from the Caribe to Med.. lovely sailing boat that gave me 5kts in 10kts of breeze..
The one under sail is a Westerly 22 from the 60's, a type thats competed in the Jesters Challenge to the Azores a few times.. a roughly 3000nm round trip from the UK.
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Old 26-01-2018, 06:56   #58
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

ITs a funny thing. I grew up thinking twin keels were the norm. I dismissed the others as not suitable for sailing because of the depth, the single keel and not being able to put it anywhere unless lean against a pier or jetty or something..
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Old 26-01-2018, 07:01   #59
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

This is whole series of videos showing a trip in a Westerly pageant from the UK to Greece and back.

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Old 26-01-2018, 20:07   #60
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Re: Bilge Keelers, a thing of the past?

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This is whole series of videos showing a trip in a Westerly pageant from the UK to Greece and back.

Ok, so 30+ year-old Westerly Pageants are cruising the Med....

I very much enjoyed these videos, but I can't find an example of why the bilge keel configuration is advantageous. I'd like to believe it is on some remote Greek island. Am I missing something?
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