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  1. #51
    Goldie's Avatar
    Goldie is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybarite View Post
    In a Breton port, I met two skippers of the Royal Navy sailing yachts who had if I remember correctly Victoria 34's (or they may possibly have been 38's).

    Both were scathing of them.
    Interesting but the 34 and the 38 (and those referred to are almost certainly 34s from JSASTC) are fin and skeg. The 30 (erroneously referred to as a fin that goes like a rocket in an earlier post) is a long keel. Make of that what you will!

    FWIW I've had my present long keeler (my third) for 17 years and 30 odd thousand miles and love her to bits. BUT, if and when I decide to change her, there will be a long list of things more important than the keel configuration, it's all pros and cons. I do like having all the tanks in the keel leaving all the under bunk areas for storage though....

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    . . . not based on experience but is merely trotting out what they percieve to be the received wisdom on the subject.
    Rather like a religion.

    Seriously, I like the general steadiness and predictability of my long-keeled Twister, and the comforting feeling that she will look after us in the sort of conditions I do my best to avoid. It is a joy in bad weather to heave-to and go below for a break or to go forward and reef on a stable platform. SWMBO feels safe in our boat as well, and as she's the cook it's important to keep her on-side.

    I have sailed in very few short-keeled boats but I found them to be very exciting to sail, and racing them must be great fun, but you had to watch what you were doing all the time; let go the helm for a moment and they're off on a frolic of their own.

    You mention 'blue water' cruising but I don't see why that should be any more testing than sailing in Northern European waters with its fierce tides, sudden weather changes and navigational hazards. In the days of commercial sailing ships, masters were always under the greatest stress when in soundings and often unable to relax until well out into open water.

    It's true our accomodation may appear cramped when compared with a modern boat of the same length but we are quite happy to live simply on board and not to cart around loads of extra stuff just because there is room for it.

    Finally, we like the look of our Twister and so do other people, to judge by the number of compliments she gets.
    'The lyf so short
    the arte so long to lerne.'

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by parsifal View Post
    Rather like a religion.

    Seriously, I like the general steadiness and predictability of my long-keeled Twister, and the comforting feeling that she will look after us in the sort of conditions I do my best to avoid. It is a joy in bad weather to heave-to and go below for a break or to go forward and reef on a stable platform. SWMBO feels safe in our boat as well, and as she's the cook it's important to keep her on-side.

    I have sailed in very few short-keeled boats but I found them to be very exciting to sail, and racing them must be great fun, but you had to watch what you were doing all the time; let go the helm for a moment and they're off on a frolic of their own.

    You mention 'blue water' cruising but I don't see why that should be any more testing than sailing in Northern European waters with its fierce tides, sudden weather changes and navigational hazards. In the days of commercial sailing ships, masters were always under the greatest stress when in soundings and often unable to relax until well out into open water.

    It's true our accomodation may appear cramped when compared with a modern boat of the same length but we are quite happy to live simply on board and not to cart around loads of extra stuff just because there is room for it.

    Finally, we like the look of our Twister and so do other people, to judge by the number of compliments she gets.

    Very well put John, there are some who will never know the satisfaction.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by parsifal View Post
    Rather like a religion.

    Seriously, I like the general steadiness and predictability of my long-keeled Twister, and the comforting feeling that she will look after us in the sort of conditions I do my best to avoid. It is a joy in bad weather to heave-to and go below for a break or to go forward and reef on a stable platform. SWMBO feels safe in our boat as well, and as she's the cook it's important to keep her on-side.

    I have sailed in very few short-keeled boats but I found them to be very exciting to sail, and racing them must be great fun, but you had to watch what you were doing all the time; let go the helm for a moment and they're off on a frolic of their own.

    You mention 'blue water' cruising but I don't see why that should be any more testing than sailing in Northern European waters with its fierce tides, sudden weather changes and navigational hazards. In the days of commercial sailing ships, masters were always under the greatest stress when in soundings and often unable to relax until well out into open water.

    It's true our accomodation may appear cramped when compared with a modern boat of the same length but we are quite happy to live simply on board and not to cart around loads of extra stuff just because there is room for it.

    Finally, we like the look of our Twister and so do other people, to judge by the number of compliments she gets.
    +1

    Also perfect for ageing single handers. Slower movements R Us !


    Would still like a Fulmar though.
    It is never too late to have a happy childhood. Buy a boat.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranona View Post
    Think perhaps there is more imagination at work here rather than real evidence. There are now thousands of boats sailing offshore with spade rudders - almost certainly now more than long keel - but no real evidence that rudder problems or fouling have dramatically increased.
    Got a wee touch obsessed with this and google..

    First off, my opinion was based on very little evidence, couple of boats I knew and bar stories. And as I said in a previous post it's very difficult to draw any definite conclusions from such a small amount of data with so many variables.

    But..

    Of all the arc rudder failures (I found anyway), none were long keeled boats. Which may well be explained by a tendancy for people favouring older heavier built boats to be naturally more self reliant and not go in for something like the arc. Or just skint Or something.

    A few links came up, couple of interesting ones..

    http://books-for-sail.com/boat-desig...t-happens.html

    http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/emergencyrudder.pdf

    Spade rudders for bluewater sailing still scare me.
    Last edited by Conachair; 20-02-12 at 22:45.

  6. #56
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisedwards View Post
    I'm surprised that no-one has yet submitted the argument that longkeelers are easier to manoeuvre in close quarters under sail. We all sail for different reasons but If you do not like using the engine then keel stall and lateral resistance at low speed become key considerations.
    I am not sure if your are joking when you write this... I have done rather more close quarter sailing in a long keeled boat than I care to repeat. (I once spent the whole of Cowes week sailing onto a pontoon berth in our SCOD. Not only did most of the fin keeled boats have NO IDEA how slowly we tacked, but they also had to be shouted at VERY LOUDLY sometimes to not stop suddenly in front of us as we made our way up the Medina as four and half tonnes on 26 foot with no engine doesn't have any brakes.) Give me a fin keeled boat that tacks and gybes on a sixpence any day in a situation like that...

    I agree that some people seem to be justifying their own boat, rather than trying to be objective in the discussion. I also suspect that Snowleopard is correct when he says that its not necessarily the long keel, but the displacement that gives some long keeled boats their pleasant motion. I have sailed heavy displacement long keeled and fin keeled boats and don't notice any particular difference in the motion. I have also sailed some lightweight fin keeled craft that flew in the right conditions, but left you mentally exhausted from the constant effort to keep them on their feet and physically exhausted from the erratic motion and unkind seakeeping. Just don't use this latter sort of boat to justify having a long keel. Its not representative of the sort of fin keeled cruising boat I am extolling the virtues of.
    Wishing things away is not effective.

  7. #57
    Oatcake is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    I am trying to work out why so many people put 'long keel' as a really desirable aspect of a blue water boat? I am going to suggest that it doesn't make much sense any more when you compare it with lots of more modern fin keeled designs - and it might be argued that fin keels actually make a lot more sense.

    I am not claiming some great insight, but I have owned long keeled boats, and I have sailed across oceans in fin and long keeled boats so I suppose I have some experience and first hand knowledge. The key aspect as far as I can see is the overall shape of the hull - NOT whether the thing has a long keel or not.

    Long keeled boats are often slower and I suggest in the whole sailing experience their ability to track and sail themselves is as much a hindrance as a help. I have this deep feeling that in the days before reliable autopilots and self steering, a long keel and the ability to stay on course was what sold the thing to the long distance sailor, but self steering (mechanical or electric) is very much more reliable nowadays and perhaps the the small occasional gain in directional stability is completely outweighed by the disadvantages of less then sparkling performance and the difficulties of maeuvering under power. Some people will say that the auto-pilot will be working harder, but I am not advocating a radical fin keeled racing machine - rather a more staid fin keeled boat that behaves itself in a seaway, in the same way that a long keeled boat sometimes can.

    Futhermore, people setting off on blue water sailing seem to forget that the vast majority of their time will be at anchor and they will only spend a relatively short period of time in the overall scheme of things actually sailing across the oceans. Of course being safe and sensible when sailing the ocean is a good thing, but if the design of the boat takes much of the pleasure out of sailing around the area when you get somewhere, then what's the point? I have known people who through planning and care have sailed round the world and have never been in much above a force 6. The long keeled boat might heave to very comfortably, but I will suggest that a decent fin keeled boat can be just as comfortable if its well sorted and balanced. It also shortens passage time, and as the tedious part of the long distance passage is the days and days at sea, so anything that reduces that by a day or two gets my vote.

    I have this suspicion that some of the people who advocate long keels are more armchair sailors than actual sailors. The wisdom is regurgitated because its what Slocum said when he sailed Spray etc etc. But times have moved on and so long as your fin keeled boat is not too radical and flighty downwind, then why not enjoy the extra volume inside, the predictable handling under power and sail, and the increased performance that come from a modern fin keeled boat?

    Sadly some people's opinion of fin keeled boats is based on the fat bottomed horrors that are produced for occasional light wind sailing, and whose performnce under sail is an (predictably) unpredictable nightmare of broaches and rounding up in the smallest of gusts.

    So there's my two pennyworth - and you can shoot me down at will. I'll take comments more seriously from those who have owned/sailed boats with both sorts of keel though!
    Stay upper-right.

  8. #58
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oatcake View Post
    Stay upper-right.
    ?? Can you translate please?
    Wishing things away is not effective.

  9. #59
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    Babylon is online now Registered User
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    I don't have enough experience offshore (and none in any ocean) to offer an opinion objective enough to meet John's criteria - I'm also lying on my back on a sofa! - but here are my observations.

    If ocean sailing is mainly off the wind, then surely pointing ability isn't a key factor, whereas ease of tracking is. Modern electronic autohelms might be pretty reliable, but they consume power (which windvane self-steering doesn't) and if they fail, or your supply does, then you've got a lot of human steering to do before you reach land, even more so if you're short-handed. In which case, I'd prefer a boat which tracks reliably, whether fin or long.

    Long keelers tend to be narrower in the beam, so one's got less distance in which to fly through the cabin if things suddenly get hysterical.

    As has been pointed out, ease of heaving-to and comfortable motion have to rank quite high, whether fin or long.

    I can't see how any limitations of handling in astern would seriously effect an ocean-crossing yacht. Its not like you're stopping every night in a tidal sardine-packing factory.

    I've got a small long-keeler - its what I've got, it handles okay in astern, is comfortable in a seaway, tracks easily, gives me more than enough space to be on my own or two up. It also fulfills my idea of the sort of boats I like, which is as much about personal romance as objective argument. If I ever change boats and moved away from long keels, then it'll probably be for a heavy long-fin.
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  10. #60
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    Twister_Ken is online now Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    I am not sure if your are joking when you write this... I have done rather more close quarter sailing in a long keeled boat than I care to repeat. (I once spent the whole of Cowes week sailing onto a pontoon berth in our SCOD. Not only did most of the fin keeled boats have NO IDEA how slowly we tacked, but they also had to be shouted at VERY LOUDLY sometimes to not stop suddenly in front of us as we made our way up the Medina as four and half tonnes on 26 foot with no engine doesn't have any brakes.) Give me a fin keeled boat that tacks and gybes on a sixpence any day in a situation like that...
    Having gone from one extreme to another (Twister to Arcona) I'm sure Chris Edwards wasn't joking. Going forwards in the Twister, I knew exactly where the boat was going to end up when parking, no matter where the wind was coming from. In the Arcona if the wind is forward of the beam the bow blows off very quickly (or won't come through the wind without a real bootful of throttle if it's coming from the direction I want to turn), so I'm having to re-learn close quarters handling, on some occasions almost sailing past a berth then letting the wind spin me into it. It's more nerve-wracking than it ever was in the Twister. And I can't do a dead slow x-wind approach, because the keel stalls and then I just go sideways, so I have to keep more way on and use reverse to brake at the last moment, rather than trickling in, which was the Twister way.
    Last edited by Twister_Ken; 20-02-12 at 22:40.
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