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  1. #11
    Chris_Robb's Avatar
    Chris_Robb is offline Registered User
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    Having owned one long keeler - a Victory 40, and now a not so extreme fin and spade rudder Westerly Oceanlord, I would have these observations.

    1. The Victory would stay straight as a die on reaches broad reaches and running, so if you were doing 8 knots, you covered 8 knots. The Oceanlord whilst being easy to helm down wind, has a tendency to sail a track that looks like a snake has been there. So 8 knots is not what you get. The Victory was the only boat I managed 200 miles in 24 hours. (she's a motor sailer)

    2. Off wind sailing is harder for the helmsman with the Oceanlord, though not as impossible as a Bav38 holiday I sailed once. The Victory had no tendency to broach - at least I never had one even under spinnaker.

    3. The Oceanlord is much nicer for living on, though holds less fuel 45Gals (200 gals) water 100 gal (200 gals)

    What would I ideally like? A boat designed by Vandestatt with the cut away forefoot long keel and balanced rudder of the Victory and the accommodation of the oceanlord.

  2. #12
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotrax View Post
    The earlier posts sum it up nicely. For peace of mind a long keel boat has inbuilt features that make it less likely for certain potentialy serious problems to happen. Our long keel heavy cutter is slow and not close winded. But when lightweight fin keelers are reefing she picks up and goes and has a very nice motion without any slamming. We are happy with our chosen compromise.
    I don't recall arguing in favour of a lightweight fin keeled boat!

    Try some of the medium displacement fin keeled boats and you might be pleasantly surprised. You get more accomodation, a boat that doesn't slam, but it goes faster and is more rewarding to sail.
    [B][I]Wishing things away is not effective.[/I][/B]

  3. #13
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twister_Ken View Post
    I'll add one thing (well maybe two or three). Long keel designs generally mean deep bilges - a little bit of bilge water doesn't wash around, upsetting the inhabitants. It also provides a useful cellar for storage.

    With a long keeler, as general rule, your feet are further below the surface of the water. On my Twister, I reckoned when I was downstairs I was effectively about waist deep. On the Arcona, I doubt that I'm knee deep. Strangely, deeper feels more comfortable - maybe something to do with a smaller arc that one's head moves through when the boat moves.

    And then, it's very difficult to knock the keel off of a longie. And they're quite good at shrugging off potlines that are threatening the prop or rudder. And you've got full depth support for the rudder too, so that's less likely to come a cropper.
    The bilge is another question - and some fin keeled boats have bilges that will soak the contents of the adjacent lockers with only half a litre of water sloshing about! A little water goes a long way in such a boat, and I agree that proper bilges are good thing. However proper bilges aren't the sole preserve of long keelers...

    Regarding the comfort factor and height of saloon florr compared to the sea level outside - I think you are overstating the case. Firstly, the motion is a function of lots of things - including displacement and there are uncomfortable boats of all keel configurations. Perhaps, because long keeled boats tend to be heavier displacement, they have a reputation for comfort?

    As far as knocking the keel off and spade rudders are concerned, I suggest that there are lots of encapsulated fin keeled boats which don't have fins that could be knocked off easily - and if our fin drops off the substantial and over engineered webs and studs that hold it on I will eat my hat.
    [B][I]Wishing things away is not effective.[/I][/B]

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    I have this suspicion that some of the people who advocate long keels are more armchair sailors than actual sailors.
    Pity you had to spoil your opening post with that snide, and unnecesary, remark. Do you have any grounds to justify your suspicion?
    'The lyf so short
    the arte so long to lerne.'

  5. #15
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conachair View Post
    Well I've only been offshore on my own long keel boat so can't really compare what offshore is like in a fin. But it certainly is easy to balance the sails, tracks great and heaves to nicely. You counter your own argument about maybe being a little slower by saying that overall hardly any time is spent on passage anyway.

    But on top of that is strength. Though mine is steel so solid as a rock anyway. Then in addition is having the rubustness of a transom hung rudder with the prop in an aperture a little safer from stray ropes and nets.

    Don't think I'd sleep well at all offshore on a boat with an exposed spade rudder.

    And again on top of all a factor might be that the older designs which are built much heavier than they are these days were just made that way.
    I think the point I was making about passage timing was that most people quite like to make shorter passages. The spade rudder is another question, and I will admit I would rather have a skeg hung (or at least partially skeg hung rudder on our own boat, but I also try not to let my imagination run away with me, and I know that when we go offshore, there are plans for an alternative steering sytem already taking place. Its an attitude of mind thing though - as spade rudders are fitted to lots of boats that sail round the world. Just make sure its properly engineered - and I guess that if anything hits a semi-submerged container, you are in the poo unless you are in a steel boat perhaps.

    The trouble with steel boats is the maintenance and the fact that you can't have a very small one - because of the weight issues.
    [B][I]Wishing things away is not effective.[/I][/B]

  6. #16
    Seajet's Avatar
    Seajet is offline Registered User
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    John,

    I'm with you all the way on this one !

    I've sailed a few long keel boats, and the term 'wetted area drag' springs to mind.

    The much vaunted longitudinal steering stability is pretty much an urban myth too; my Anderson with a rather narrow chord keel sails herself, it's all a matter of set-up and balance.

    Short fins aren't always brilliant, such as when drying out; attention is required - my Carter 30 tried to sit on her back end, requiring ropes under the stern holding her level - and some examples like Listangs can't take the point loading on the hull but I think they're rare nowadays, tending to be 1960's-70's types.

    Fin keels are a result of Darwinian evolution; Designer Chuck Paine's quite brilliant Victoria 30 looks very traditional, but handles sublimely and goes like a relative rocket, thanks to her modern fin keel...

  7. #17
    Vara's Avatar
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    If long keels are so good, why doesn't anybody make them any more.

    I loved sailing the Nic 32, stable, good in very strong weather, lovely motion but a nightmare in marinas, cramped and not particularly fast.

    But things move on and now with a conservative fin and skeg I'm a happy bunny and wouldn't go back for all the tea....
    Formerly known as colmce.
    http://www.seafieldfarmcottages.co.uk

  8. #18
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by parsifal View Post
    Pity you had to spoil your opening post with that snide, and unnecesary, remark. Do you have any grounds to justify your suspicion?
    I didn't mean it to be snide in any way. There does seem to be a sub group of sailors who are very quick to say that they would never go offshore unless it was in a long keeled boat - or the people will say that the only thing wrong with such and such a boat is that it hasn't got a long keel and I do wonder where they get their opinions from. The whole point of my post was to suggest that peoples adulation of long keels, almost for their own sake, is not based on experience. but is merely trotting out what they percieve to be the received wisdom on the subject.

    My apologies if I made the point in a rude way.

    I quite enjoy sailing long keeled boats - there's often something quite nice about the way that they sail through the waves and don't slam, but I have also sailed long keeled boats that slam their bow on waves approaching from weather, that have lee helm and sail like dogs if you don't attend very closely to sail trim.

    However as a rule I have had more fun sailing a long fin boat... especially if we need to beat to windward for any length of time.
    [B][I]Wishing things away is not effective.[/I][/B]

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    I think the point I was making about passage timing was that most people quite like to make shorter passages. The spade rudder is another question, and I will admit I would rather have a skeg hung (or at least partially skeg hung rudder on our own boat, but I also try not to let my imagination run away with me, and I know that when we go offshore, there are plans for an alternative steering sytem already taking place. Its an attitude of mind thing though - as spade rudders are fitted to lots of boats that sail round the world. Just make sure its properly engineered - and I guess that if anything hits a semi-submerged container, you are in the poo unless you are in a steel boat perhaps.

    The trouble with steel boats is the maintenance and the fact that you can't have a very small one - because of the weight issues.
    Well this does touch on an aspect of bluewater that hardly ever gets mentioned. Possibly never by non bluewater sailors.

    My take on it sort of goes like this....

    It's very difficult to get any kind of accurate statistical view on what aspects of boats are unsafe for bluewater, far too few of everything, to few boats, to few accidents, the circumstances of any accidents are too varied to get a handle on boat design as a root cause.

    What is valid though, is your perception of safety. Now I would never, ever consider a boat with an unsupported spade rudder as a bluewater boat. Perception is reason enough. If you take, say five or six years of a tiny little nagging fear that I'm going to catch a net or some 3" thick rope around it
    So add up six years of tiny nagging doubt which doesn't need to be there and you have a substantial reason to go on a different boat.

    Spade rudder maybe isn't the best example as I do think you'd be crazy to consider something like that as bluewater, not if you get caught in a net but when. Probably a few handred miles off a continent very far away.

    As for the speed thing, thinking back to the cruisers I hung around with, speed wasn't that big a deal. The boat has to be so many things at the same time that it's difficult to be able to look at any one aspect in isolation. And quite often the boat is the one you've got, not the one you'd like to have. Everyone likes to get their boats sailing well but a good passage is one where nothing broke! Cruisers tend to be cautious sailors. Catching a fish or 3 would gain points towards a good passage as well. But taking a day or 2 longer across an ocean really isn't that big a deal, it's cheaper out there for one thing.

    So ignore it all and get a boat you feel safe in

  10. #20
    Chris_Robb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    The bilge is another question - and some fin keeled boats have bilges that will soak the contents of the adjacent lockers with only half a litre of water sloshing about! A little water goes a long way in such a boat, and I agree that proper bilges are good thing. However proper bilges aren't the sole preserve of long keelers...

    Regarding the comfort factor and height of saloon florr compared to the sea level outside - I think you are overstating the case. Firstly, the motion is a function of lots of things - including displacement and there are uncomfortable boats of all keel configurations. Perhaps, because long keeled boats tend to be heavier displacement, they have a reputation for comfort?

    As far as knocking the keel off and spade rudders are concerned, I suggest that there are lots of encapsulated fin keeled boats which don't have fins that could be knocked off easily - and if our fin drops off the substantial and over engineered webs and studs that hold it on I will eat my hat.
    John, doesn't the Sealord have a spade rudder like the Oceanlord? Oceanlords is built like a brick ****house with a massive stainless steel solid stock, bearinged at deck level and the hull, unlike later ones that terminated under the double central bunk level.

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