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Old 01-08-2020, 10:17   #16
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

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Originally Posted by ctl411 View Post
The two 37c hunters one deep one shoal.
The deep sailed a little better and may have been stiffer.
Interesting. So, in your experience, negligible difference in sailing performance?
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:31   #17
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

I echo much of what has been said about shoal vs fin or deep keels. Another option to consider is a wing keel. The wing, when properly designed, concentrates more weight at the lowest point of the keel which adds to stiffness but also allows for less clear water. I have sailed a C-30 wing keel in NJ both in Barnegat Bay and in open ocean. This keel configuration costs very little sailing up wind, reaches with negligible side-slip and allows me access to most of Barnegat Bay's shallow water and the ICW at low tide. Find the keel configuration that best accommodates the areas you plan to sail and typical range of conditions for those areas. Long open water (Grt Lakes or ocean) passages favor a deep keel, while lots of in-shore or gunkholing is the shoal keel's forte.
Points to remember:
1. Cruising sailboats sail better "on their feet"--no more than 20-25 degrees of heel.
2. Stability at anchor or on a mooring is always desirable; deeper keels mean more stability.
3. If your wife is happy, sailing will be more enjoyable, and you will sail more often.
4. Any body of water can have dirty weather, so configure sails for the weather conditions and your boat's capability.

All sailboats are a compromise. Decide what characteristics you are willing to live/sail with and configure the boat for the weather.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:53   #18
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

On the 37c yes. They added 1000 pounds to the keel of shoal draft and added length for added area.
Not the case in all shoal applications.
And hard to make up for short draft all things being equal, which they almost never are lol.
Most designers will say take the most draft you can.
I think this is good advice but all things are a compromise...
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Old 01-08-2020, 16:14   #19
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

Like the previous posts said: it depends where you sail.
When I lived in So Cal I loved my deep draft boats. Here in SW Florida the water is skiny. My wing keel Catalina 34 went lots of places that I can not to with my wing keel Beneteau 36. Just a foot difference in depth. Huge difference-now I pay attention to tides and decide if I am going to leave or not.
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Old 01-08-2020, 17:19   #20
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

My observation: most skippers know how deep their draft is, yet they run aground. Why? Because they all sometimes push the limits... deep draft or shallow.

The deeper keels simply run aground a little further from the beach.

When we were trying to sell our previous boat in the Moreton Bay (Queensland) area, an area with some shallow waters, a lot of prospects were turned away by our 2.2 m (7'2") draft. They confidently said "it is impossible to sail Moreton Bay with that draft". When I pointed out that we had been doing so for more than a decade, most were not noticeably impressed and looked elsewhere for a boat. It's a mind set without logical support.

We often have folks here on CF stipulating that to sail in the Bahamas one needs a very shoal draft boat... full stop. Yet there are folks with 6' and even greater drafts enjoying those cruising grounds... again, a mind set.

So, IMO draft should not be a huge factor in boat selection, except in very specialized circumstances (private dock with very shallow water, for instance). Sailing performance to me is far more important...

Jim
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Old 01-08-2020, 17:49   #21
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

a mere 6" difference in draft is a big deal in the B'mas and Florida ICW.....a big deal....sure people do it with 7' draft and more...but seems like 5'6" is the sweet spot....not too much....not too little...but even with 5' 6" there is always going to be some place that won't like your draft.....
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Old 01-08-2020, 18:55   #22
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

just sail at high tide to be safe.
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Old 01-08-2020, 19:07   #23
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

In our location an extra foot and a half would have been very limiting. Not for using the ICW but for the rest of the Indian River Lagoon. Lots of shallows we anchor in that would be risky.
As for wading in I hardly believe the shoal to make that more likely. We towed a dinghy with a Catalina 22 (2' draft).

I have heard a wing keel is harder to get ungrounded than a fin as the flattter base prevents heeling while aground and some are deeper draft when heeled

When asked why I chose a shoal draft I say it's so I can get out and push.

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Old 01-08-2020, 19:08   #24
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

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just sail at high tide to be safe.
Umm, Don, running aground at high water is hardly the safe option!

Jim
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Old 01-08-2020, 19:32   #25
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

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In shoal areas...ie, the B'mas, for example....the 4' draft can anchor a 100' from shore....the 6' draft...may have to anchor 150' from shore..not a big whoop de doo...

It’s not that simple at all. There are a great number of places you cannot go, period, especially a lot of harbors and other places to hide from a Norther, many of the neater small towns etc. 6 ft can often squeeze in at high tide, but may well be bumping bottom at low tide. As deeper keels are often fin and bolted on, is that really something you want to be doing?
Of course there are other places in the Bahamas you can go with a deeper draft, but your missing out on a lot. It depends on if gunkholing is your cup of tea or not.
But if you don’t have a use for shoal draft, then you don’t have a use, and anything you don’t have a use for, is well by definition useless isn’t it.
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Old 01-08-2020, 19:43   #26
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

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Umm, Don, running aground at high water is hardly the safe option!

Jim
well, I thought the idea is not to run aground
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Old 01-08-2020, 20:02   #27
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

does anyone know of a sailor that has never run aground ???
seriously....no lies please...
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Old 01-08-2020, 22:05   #28
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

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well, I thought the idea is not to run aground
Having once, many years ago, run aground on a temporarily unmarked coral head in Kaneohe Bay at near high water on the highest tide of the year, I agree about the idea, but apparently failed the practical application.

And BTW, the reason it was "unmarked" was that due to the unusually high tide, the marker, a bit of PVC pipe, was submerged!

A busy afternoon followed...

Jim
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:19   #29
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

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Umm, Don, running aground at high water is hardly the safe option!

Jim
He's in the Great Lakes guys. No tide.

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Old 02-08-2020, 06:29   #30
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Re: Hunter 30 shoal vs regular keel?

Personally I take my current 6'4" draft boat everywhere I was willing to take my last 5'4" one from before. Only the 5'4" ever had to be towed off a grounding and I have been sailing the deeper one 4 times longer and 10+ times as many miles.

It isn't the draft, it's in the decision making.
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