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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,807

    Default Re: Bilge vs Fin Keel

    When I sailed in the Bristol Channel (fairly extensively and widely) a Danforth with just a small amount of chain and LOTS of warp was the best thing for almost everywhere (mainly except the shingly patches off Porlock where a Fisherman worked better than either the Danforth or a CQR). I did sometimes lower a weight down the warp as well. Chain's OK too but not so much that you weigh the bow down when sailing.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Antigua/Southampton
    Posts
    1,234

    Default Re: Bilge vs Fin Keel

    I used a 22lb cqr when I sailed out of Cardiff. With 36m of chain and 50m of rope if needed. It worked fine. My favourite daysail was around the Holmes, you can anchor behind steepholm. The islands have some interesting military features.

    I also anchored at Minehead a lot, there is a white paint mark on the cliffs just west of Minehead to mark the spot.
    sabre 27 - Sarabande - Southampton
    HR62 - Antigua

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    3,717

    Default Re: Bilge vs Fin Keel

    Legs. If you go for them, make sure they are fit for the job. We once dried out in Ilfracombe close to a classic open stern boat. As the tide dropped, he rigged legs which, to me, looked brand new but softwood. Ilfracombe (then) had a thin layer of mud over the sand. As the tide receded, the legs sank in a bit, then a bit more and it was obvious the angle was wrong with the leg bottom ends too near the keel. Sure enough, she slowly capsized rolling onto the downside leg.

    Writing this now, many, many years later, the hairs on the back of my neck are rising. The noises as the boat rolled over, the shaking of the mast, the cracking and the reverberations which seemed to go on and on are something I will never forget.

    Amazingly, a surveyor arrived very promptly and, after a thorough inspection, declared the hull was sound. However, with an open cockpit and very low freeboard, refloating was uncertain. A quick round-up in the harbour produced an impressive collection of fenders and inflatables and, to large cheers, she lifted with the returning tide.

    Legs (and bottom) need to be chosen with care!
    I'd rather be naked
    www.mastaclimba.com

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Bilge vs Fin Keel

    I have bought a 28 foot Dehler with a 1.5m draft shallow fin keel. I am planning to fit legs from the Yacht Legs company who have a good reputation. I think that the combination will work well. Decent sailing performance, better internal fit out than many of the British design bilge keelers, good price and the ability to dry out.

    Time will tell if those choices are wise.
    Last edited by Dutch01527; 28-04-17 at 21:38.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    swansea
    Posts
    8,414

    Default Re: Bilge vs Fin Keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch01527 View Post
    I had been getting conflicting advice about whether a bilge keel yacht is the best option to base out of Cardiff. I had assumed a bilge keel boat would be most suitable given the drying harbours in the area. We will primarily weekend cruising i.e: sail in day from Cardiff and pub/dinner/sleep in destination. Return the following day. Boat length c. 30 to 35 feet when we upgrade.

    A number of yacht club members have said that they prefer a faster fin keel and anchoring off harbours like Porlock Weir or Clovelly and going ashore with a good tender / outboard. That seems to make sense now that I am starting to understand the tidal challenges a bit better

    Would a fin keel and choosing destinations dependant on wind direction ( Warchet / Portishead marinas if weather is a little heavy / anchor off smaller drying harbours if conditions are light) be a valid strategy?
    Over 30 years of sailing in the Bristol channel I have had both types and including a cat.

    If you arent venturing outside the channel then a bilge makes most sense. Few people bash to windward for hours on end when cruising and its only to windward that the fin wins out. Even then its mostly pointing angle rather than speed through the water unless, that is, you are comparing a Benny First with say a Sadler 29.

    The two port examples you quote arent good ones. You will struggle to get a 30-35ft boat into Porlock at all and the quay wall at Clovelly isnt a good one and to be avoided whatever keel. Nothing there anyway. Much more important is Ilfracombe. Trying to get a fin down channel and unable to go into Combe is a real PITA. Any sort of decent draught means drying against a wall in Combe and that is feasible but not much fun. Anchoring in the range leaves me effectively outside the harbour in the channel. And since you need an easterly for a comfortable passage down channel then Lundy is out. Sure none of my comments are unarguable except to say that a fin out of Cardiff is very limiting.

    You can always turn left out of Cardiff. With a bilge, Chepstow, Newport, Thornbury etc are accessible. You can dry out in Newport. There's Minehead and Combe. None of that list are easy with a fin

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