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Old 09-12-2019, 14:38   #1
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Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

Hi fellow sailors,
I am going to view this 38 foot 9 tonne 1960 wooden Bermudan ketch mahogany planking on oak frame. I have requested more pictures from the seller before i travel to view, so for now this is the best I have of the keel, could someone with experience tell me if this yacht has a deep enough keel for a blue-water cruiser/liveaboard ? for comfortable sailing? is a deep keel even necessary? have I been properly informed? it also has a centreboard/daggerboard dimensions are roughly (3 foot 3 inches x10 inches) i have been told that a deeper keel makes for a steadier sail if not slower, (im in no hurry to get anywhere)
Im not looking to be talked out of buying an old wooden boat my question is about the keel. Thank's everyone.
PS: I am new to forums and have tried to attach a picture, hope it works.
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Old 09-12-2019, 15:48   #2
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

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Originally Posted by Darcosailing View Post
is a deep keel even necessary?
Simple answer - NO.

There have been plenty of shallow keel, and centerboard boats which have been successful Bluewater boats, including even in high latitudes.

Deep keels have trade-offs, which are complicated when you get right into the details, and there seems to be exceptions to most generalizations one can make. But typically they sail rather better up wind.
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Old 09-12-2019, 16:42   #3
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

Nice looking Pilothouse! Cozy in high lats.
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Old 09-12-2019, 17:50   #4
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Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

Well, if water depth is not an issue, itís pretty well established that a deep keel sails better.
But then itís pretty well established that newer designs also sail better.
To be frank, most people donít buy an older boat, especially a pilot house boat for its sailing ability, they are buying for other reasons.
This boat will not perform well as a performance boat most likely.
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Old 09-12-2019, 17:58   #5
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

Article by Pete Goss extolling the virtues of centreboarders just this month in Yachting Monthly. He knows a lot more than most. But then his boat is just a little different from that one.

Short answer, no, properly looked after that boat would be fine.
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Old 09-12-2019, 18:09   #6
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

Lots of so-called "blue water" boats with shallow drafts. So the answer to your question is "no."

The more important question is, how does this boat perform given its hull design?

I think she looks like a real beauty. From your image she looks like a well maintained craft. But I too would question the relatively shallow draft, and how she will perform under full sail.
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Old 09-12-2019, 18:34   #7
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

The first yacht to sail around the world Spray had a 4 foot draft, which by today’s standards would be considered fairly shallow. I prefer shallow draft for the area we cruise.
Nice looking rig, are they the original spars? A lot of older UK yachts I have surveyed have had that gold coating on the aluminium.
To save yourself a lot of maintenance, canvas covers over the whole yacht will repay you there cost many times over.
Is that stem head fitting good enough for anchoring?
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Old 09-12-2019, 19:09   #8
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

I concur the answer is No!

Nice looking boat! The main mast step looks like it has a pivot pin fitted!
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Old 09-12-2019, 19:14   #9
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

A centre board/dagger board will help the vessel go to weather better but it doesnít necessarily do anything for stability. Other opinions focus on windward ability which is important only to those who sail to weather. Many cruisers (including me) try to keep windward sailing to an absolute minimum. Thus importance diminishes.

More important to me is sea-kindliness. Unless the centre/dagger board is significantly heavy and provides righting effort when deployed, boats like this have a tendency to be quite tender (heel/roll easier).

On the positive side, dagger board up means access to anchorages where longer keels donít get to go. Places like the Caribbean and Florida Keys (heresay for me, never been to either) apparently shallow water can be restrictive.

If cruising to you is what is commonly referred to as ďgunkholingĒ, it looks like nice choice. Personally I wouldnít consider this boat for a passage-maker. YMMV. Nice looking boat though.
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Old 09-12-2019, 20:12   #10
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

Pete Goss' point was that centreboards are positively an advantage downwind as you can get rid of most of the keel, for safety and speed. So it's not just about upwind ability. And sure, they roll a lot but you can anchor in much more protected shallower water most of the time.

I'd definitely be up for a shoal-draft centreboard (or lift-keel) boat next time I'm looking...
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Old 09-12-2019, 22:22   #11
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

Them's fighting words! My older design, medium dispacement pilothouse's speed is just fine. Bob Perry did a great job on the Tayana 37 hull. Not saying there aren't dogs out there but let's not disparage the best sailboat layout to stay warm when it is raining and cold, or to cool off in the air conditioning in the heat :-D
Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Well, if water depth is not an issue, itís pretty well established that a deep keel sails better.
But then itís pretty well established that newer designs also sail better.
To be frank, most people donít buy an older boat, especially a pilot house boat for its sailing ability, they are buying for other reasons.
This boat will not perform well as a performance boat most likely.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:28   #12
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

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Originally Posted by Breaking Waves View Post
Simple answer - NO.

There have been plenty of shallow keel, and centerboard boats which have been successful Bluewater boats, including even in high latitudes.

Deep keels have trade-offs, which are complicated when you get right into the details, and there seems to be exceptions to most generalizations one can make. But typically they sail rather better up wind.
Thank you.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:29   #13
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

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Nice looking Pilothouse! Cozy in high lats.
Cheers.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:31   #14
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Well, if water depth is not an issue, itís pretty well established that a deep keel sails better.
But then itís pretty well established that newer designs also sail better.
To be frank, most people donít buy an older boat, especially a pilot house boat for its sailing ability, they are buying for other reasons.
This boat will not perform well as a performance boat most likely.
Yes Im considering it for the comfort and space.
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:32   #15
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Re: Do blue water cruising sailboats require a deep keel?

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Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Article by Pete Goss extolling the virtues of centreboarders just this month in Yachting Monthly. He knows a lot more than most. But then his boat is just a little different from that one.

Short answer, no, properly looked after that boat would be fine.
Thank you, i'll have a read of that.
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