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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,210

    Default Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    A mate of mine is considering buying a bilge keeler. He has the possibility of a cheap and convenient mooring which dries.
    He's sailed with me a few times and wants a reasonably responsive boat that goes upwind OK.
    So, the question is, other than Jo Richards' latest, what bilge keelers punch above their weight in club races? How big is the disadvantage compared to a typical fin keel?

    I've only sailed a couple of bilge keelers. Hunter Duette 23 and a horrid Centaur. The Duette was a very, very long time ago and my impression was that it went OK. The Centaur was just a slow boat owned by someone who was never in a hurry and was always happy to fire up the diesel, so possibly not a fair judgement of the type.
    I think he'd be looking at 26 to 33ft? Not sure of budget.
    So who's raced a bilge keeler and how did it go?
    Who will admit to being beaten by one?
    Anyone able to get any sense from the yardstick scheme?

    I think any racing will be incidental, we were just wondering about racing as an indicator of all-round 'perfromance'.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    21,189

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    Seawolf 26 and 30 reputedly sailed well as bilge keelers
    If I'd wanted to live in a Banana Republic I'd have gone to South America.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    Hunter Channel 31 is Very Very quick and a highly impressive performer. Mine (sadly now sold) wouldn't point as high as a fin, BUT made significantly less leeway and would run rings round much bigger fin keel boats. Fulmar 32 also a good performer. Moody S31 probably good too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,649

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    Quote Originally Posted by matt1 View Post
    Hunter Channel 31 is Very Very quick and a highly impressive performer. Mine (sadly now sold) wouldn't point as high as a fin, BUT made significantly less leeway and would run rings round much bigger fin keel boats. Fulmar 32 also a good performer. Moody S31 probably good too.
    Good advice, spot on ......... unless much larger budget to get an RM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,210

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    Thanks for replies.
    Much more research to do I think.
    My club mate needs to reduce his fleet of dinghies, might be looking to buy next year.
    Seawold looks fairly tidy for 10k.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Aberaeron
    Posts
    1,728

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    My Sadler 25 bilge keeler still manages to compete, but to be fair most of the competition in our are is bilge, but she competes well against Fulmars, Sadler 29’s Achilles 24’s and has been known to do well against the Super Seals.
    The Centaur might be a fair cruiser and tough a old boots, but a potential racer it certainly isn’t.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,816

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    As others have said, Sadlers, British Hunters are the main good-performing twin-keelers. Apart from much newer and more expensive RMs and Sadler 290s, both of which show that a twin-keeler can be a pretty fast boat.

    The stodgier the boat the more skill is needed to get it to sail well: for instance Centaurs have a reputation as sluggish but it's quite undeserved: there are just too many owners of them that don't know how to get the best from them. Despite this I wouldn't want to race one against similar sized Hunters or Sadlers 25/26.

    The trouble with low level club racing is that in each club there often are only a few good helms, and that skews the handicap results enormously. A previous poster reports a Sadler 25 doing well against Super Seals: well the Sadler 25 is a very fine twin-keeler, but a Super Seal should be quite a lot faster.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Aberaeron
    Posts
    1,728

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    Ref #7, agreed a S/Seal is faster than a bilge Sadler 25, but speed is not always the only factor in a win, mis-judge the tidal flow a bit, or lose the wind when the boat 2 cables out to sea has plenty, taking the in-shore rather than off-shore course or a simple error in navigation can change the whole outcome of a race and often does.
    I still ‘smart’ over the year when on one of our longer races (22nm) was won by a Seawych beating the rest of the field.
    To throw some more controversy in, I also think that the Sadler 25 is a faster boat than the Sadler 26.
    Last edited by Praxinoscope; 01-09-19 at 11:37.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Me -Storrington / boat Chichester
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    Bilge keeler won the round the island this year :-)


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,210

    Default Re: Bilge Keelers in Club Racing

    Quote Originally Posted by northwind View Post
    Bilge keeler won the round the island this year :-)

    I was aware of that.
    I can't see that as being ideal to leaving on a mooring drying to sand, looks like it would either nosedive or siit on that dainty rudder. I bet the interior is a bit small and basic even for a weekend 'camping afloat'?

    I do love the high gloss bottom and the bowsprit though!

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