Author Topic: Twin Keels Good or Bad?  (Read 12755 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mhrothery1

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • kARRR-ma: +0/-0
Twin Keels Good or Bad?
« on: October 09, 2007, 05:30:14 PM »
Anyone have sailing experience with small (20 - 26 ft) twin keelers? I am aware of some of the theoretical performance considerations, just curious about real world sailing capabilities. Thanks.

Offline Frank

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3145
  • kARRR-ma: +266/-0
  • Little boats...somewhere
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 06:50:29 PM »
I've never sailed one but a regular contributer to 'small craft advisor', Philip Teece built his Caprice class 18fter 40+ yrs ago and has sailed her all over the NW coast below and behind Vancouver Island.Another fellow ,Shane Acton, sailed his Caprice 'shrimpy' around the world.Both have written books.There is a full article in SCA about twin keel designs.Contact Josh by e-mail if you want to purchase that old issue.Great read if you are thinking twin keel.Bottom line..they DO sail very well if done correctly.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2007, 07:57:24 PM by Frank »
God made small boats for younger boys and older men

Offline AdriftAtSea

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3091
  • kARRR-ma: +80/-24
  • I'm glad I have a sailboat—Wind is Free!
    • AdriftAtSea
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 07:06:59 PM »
Might want to ask Cgoinggal about it... she has a Nomad, which I believe is a twin-keeler.
s/v Pretty Gee
Telstar 28 Trimaran
Yet we get to know her, love her and be loved by her.... get to know about My Life With Gee at
http://blog.dankim.com/life-with-gee
The Scoot—click to find out more

Offline Leroy - Gulf 29

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 98
  • kARRR-ma: +13/-0
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2007, 11:34:50 AM »
My little boat is a Crealock designed Clipper Marine 23 twin keel.  Has a capsize ratio just a hair over 2 at 2.02.  Sailing wise, its a great light air boat, and with a competent sailor (not me) I believe it'd be very comparable to a Catalina 22.  Not one I'd want to take off shore, but I've been in some nasty stuff on the lake and its gotten me home.  It has NACA foil design for the keels.  FWIW.

Offline Frank

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3145
  • kARRR-ma: +266/-0
  • Little boats...somewhere
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2007, 02:51:54 PM »
If you want to see a very small twin keel... 'voyager 14ft'... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/voyager14/ ..neat little English cabin boat. Actually looks nice too.  Posted a pic in gallery (left the y out of voyager..can't seem to get in to fix it...I love computers...I love computers..I lo.....)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 03:11:06 PM by Frank »
God made small boats for younger boys and older men

Offline cgoinggal

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 20
  • kARRR-ma: +5/-0
  • Snarfer says...
    • My Blog
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 04:14:41 PM »
Hello,

Two cents about my Westerly Nomad (which is the only bilge keel boat I have ever sailed so my knowlege about bilge keel boats in general is very limited and I would like to have you know up front I would be talking from my bum about other bilge keel vessles):

With modifications she comes in around 24 feet overall but from the factory came in at 22 feet.  She is huge for her size down below making her a comfortable fulltime liveaboard in my opinion.  After our marriage next month, Andunge will be my husband and mine's fulltime residence and neither of us has qualms about this (though we are both staunch minamalists) and she was my fulltime home while crusing her for over a year in Mexico.

As for sailing her:  She is very stiff-which I love being she has minimal freeboard and while I like to be close to the water I don't feel like it needs to join me onboard.  I have had her in conditions ranging from no wind and drifting to being in over 60 knots of wind and large seas (20-25 feet) for days with everything in between.  She has preformed safely, comfortably, and speedily when called upon to do so and the conditions were optimal.  When hove-to she tracked beautifully and the helm was left unattended for over 3 days.  She has never taken water on deck from any angle including during the 60k Northerly even after I was asked to remove myself from the safety of her keep by the Mexican Navy.  I am interested in turning her into a cutter and putting a bowsprit on her to move the forstay forward and then moving the baby stay forward as well.  The standing rigging is being replaced with spectra and the workhorse sails will be replaced with new soft-hank on forsails and a battonless 3 reef loose footed main all in a heavier fabric.  I have had trouble balancing her helm properly but am convinced that this was my poor tuning jobs and worn sails and not the boat that caused this as she was balanced with almost zero weather helm with her last owner (which is what he preferred).  The one real drawback to her has been that I feel like I am almost stopped when beating into a sea.  But, I don't take this to heart as being her problem as a result of her keels but rather she is simply a small boat and to beat into wind and waves is a lot to expect and get performance.  So, I just don't do it unless I have to as it is slow going.  I have read the mathematical statistics that are supposed to support what a good sailing/performance boat is and I think the one number people keep throwing at me is her capsize ratio or some such which is supposidly higher than preferred.  I don't know about that.  I have taken her through two hurricanes and the northerly and though she suffered several knockdowns, one of which was pretty hard, she never, ever felt like she was going to roll.  And, frankly, if she did I am convinced that so long as the hatches were seccured she would just keep rolling all the way around as she is a bit of a hamster wheel.  In the knockdowns I just put my weight to the high side of the cabin if need be and she comes up and rights herself properly (I say this having had to practice this maneuver on several occasions and it is not nearly as dramatic as it sounds).  I suppose it is possible if I stayed on the low side and was in even meaner breaking seas she could go-round but I believe she can take it so long as I can.  In these same conditions I believe all sailboats would be having a hard time so I can't figure out what all the fuss is about except that a larger boat in a roll would be terrifying.  Somehow in Andunge it doesn't seem like it would be that bad.  The main sorce of terror on Andunge in a roll as it is on all boats is her mast if it wanted to punch a hole in the side of the boat but small boats have small masts and I can't imagine it doing anything catistrophic in terms of damage.  If it did come down it would be easier to jury rig something to get back to civilisation and I think that with all of her watertight compartments that she could nearly break into pieces and still parts of her will be afloat.  I have sailed in larger boats, full-keeled, in similar conditions and they were heeled over farther than Andunge, took a lot of water on deck from breaking waves, and the degree motion seemed a lot more uncomfortable.  If they have a faileure from the mast coming down, to a roll, to a hole, it seems a lot more deadly to me as it would be much harder to deal with on that scale.  And big masts are scary if they come down.  I don't know what to tell you except I personally don't care what the numbers say.  Andunge is the safest, most comfortable boat I have ever sailed on.  She is not the fastest but she is the smallest I have distance experience on and as such I expect a realistic hull speed for her size and design and I am not dissapointed.  The freedom of choices in where I can take her is astounding as well and I never want to sail on a deep draft, single keel boat again.  Because of her keels I can locate a trailer for her nearly anywhere in the world if needbe and haul her, and the anchorages she can fit into is the icing on the cake, especially since she can dry out on the bottom.  She is incredible stable and easy to sail.  I can't imagine a better boat for our needs but everyone is different. 
Will sail for cheese.

Offline cgoinggal

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 20
  • kARRR-ma: +5/-0
  • Snarfer says...
    • My Blog
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 04:37:22 PM »
 ;)

Geesh, just hit the publish button and saw what I typed.  Yak-Yak-Yak and on and on.  Sorry-I just like Andunge.
Will sail for cheese.

Offline CharlieJ

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4230
  • kARRR-ma: +216/-0
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 04:52:34 PM »
 :D

Absolutely no need to appologize for loving your boat. I enjoyed the read very much, so I don't think it was at all "yak-yak-yak."

Always happy to learn things about boats I'm not familiar with.
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline Frank

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3145
  • kARRR-ma: +266/-0
  • Little boats...somewhere
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 05:03:18 PM »
I saw a Westerly 22 in Florida 2 yrs ago...that is a HUGE 22.  Post a few pics please..in and out if you can. good post  ;)
God made small boats for younger boys and older men

Offline CapnK

  • Chief Bottle Washer and Ball Thrower
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3410
  • kARRR-ma: +247/-9
  • ARRH!!!
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 09:07:20 AM »
LOL :) I think we are all like that about our boats. :D
http://sailfar.net
Living aboard A-30 #429, currently named "Sundance".

Offline AdriftAtSea

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3091
  • kARRR-ma: +80/-24
  • I'm glad I have a sailboat—Wind is Free!
    • AdriftAtSea
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 10:52:56 AM »
Tell us how you really feel about your boat... ;)  I thought what you wrote was pretty well written, and a lot of it applies to many other small boats...
;)

Geesh, just hit the publish button and saw what I typed.  Yak-Yak-Yak and on and on.  Sorry-I just like Andunge.
s/v Pretty Gee
Telstar 28 Trimaran
Yet we get to know her, love her and be loved by her.... get to know about My Life With Gee at
http://blog.dankim.com/life-with-gee
The Scoot—click to find out more

Offline mhrothery1

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • kARRR-ma: +0/-0
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 06:08:31 PM »
Thank you all for your replies, especially cgoinggal. I am keenly interested in some of the smaller, older British twin keelers and hope to be owned by one at some point in the future. Thanks again everyone.

Offline s/v Faith

  • Chief Bosun / Macolyte
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4877
  • kARRR-ma: +251/-1
    • Pearson Ariel Owners Association
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 09:03:59 PM »
One of our new friends heading south is aboard a westerly (26' i think).  The boat, 'Nazdavi' is one of the saltiest small cruising boats I have seen.  It has a great tabernackle that looks like it would make dropping the mast a piece of cake.  He had also rigged rat lines to the shrouds and had a home made wind generator.

  He said that the twin keels opened up lots of anchorages to him, and his draft was something like 28".  Lots to be said for 'thinking differently.  ;D
Satisfaction is wanting what you already have.

Offline maxiSwede

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 551
  • kARRR-ma: +44/-0
  • Do it today - Tomorrow it could be too late!
    • The Voyage of Nanna
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2007, 06:14:29 AM »
cgoinggal-

Did you say you are to replace all standing rigging with Spectra?  Why? Lines are far more prone to chafe than ss wire.

I would be interested to know what thoughts made you take this decision. I would not do that myself, that's why it's interesting to hear your reasoning...

fair winds

M
s/v  Nanna
Southern Cross 35' Cutter in French Polynesia
and
H-boat 26' - Sweden

svnanna.wordpress.com

Offline AdriftAtSea

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3091
  • kARRR-ma: +80/-24
  • I'm glad I have a sailboat—Wind is Free!
    • AdriftAtSea
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2007, 08:05:47 AM »
I'd have to agree with MaxiSwede.  Going with all spectra rigging sounds like a bad move. Spectra lines are far less chafe resistant and most spectra-based lines suffer from creep—which means you would have to re-tension the rig occasionally.  Also, Spectra is affected by UV, while Stainless Steel is not.

Also, I would like to point out that a small bit of weather helm is generally a good thing.  That generally means that the boat will round up, head-to-wind, in the case that the tiller is let go.  This can be important if you've fall overboard when singlehanding... especially if you're tethered to the boat.  If you leave a trip line for the self-steering, you can trigger it and then easily climb back aboard.   If the boat has no weather helm, or worse yet lee helm, then the boat may either not change course or run off.  In either case it would be far more difficult to climb back aboard. 
s/v Pretty Gee
Telstar 28 Trimaran
Yet we get to know her, love her and be loved by her.... get to know about My Life With Gee at
http://blog.dankim.com/life-with-gee
The Scoot—click to find out more

Offline cgoinggal

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 20
  • kARRR-ma: +5/-0
  • Snarfer says...
    • My Blog
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2007, 01:36:46 PM »
Funny thing about the spectra coming into play on Andunge...

Ever since I started sailing on my own boats I have really hated wire rope.  I hate the toggles, turn buckles, pins, rings, tape, tensioning, the look, the snags, and all the failure points.  I hate the prospect of the rig coming down and having to deal with all that stuff.  I hate having to hire a pro-rigger to use his superdooper spinny thing to make the swages properly stong.   I hate the fact that if you kink it it is worthless.  I hate having to stow an entire extra rig to use in the event I need it.  Even on a boat with a small rig that is a lot of extra poop (wire rope, turnbuckles etc.).  I hate having to carry a swage kit, tools, and wire cutter to handle an emergency.  I would like to be able to bring Andunge's mast down and raise it with minimal fuss, not so with all the wire rope. 

Enter spectra...

I got to know a guy while cruising in Mexico who captains a 120 foot fishing boat up in the Bearing Sea for a few months a year (which he has been doing for over 25 years) and the rest of the time he sails with his family on a variety of boats he has stashed throughout the world; one of which is in the Sea of Cortez.  I got to know he and his family a bit and he started talking about doing rig's in Spectra.  It seems that on his fishing boat all of the cable has been replaced with spectra (for the nets, etc.) and that it has worked out beautifully.  As a result, this gent and one other guy decided to put together a rigging business using the newest (as far as the general public knows) generation of spectra which was designed for military applications and is just now becoming available to joe public.  The guy I am working with deals with a company that only sells to Him and to the Military as far as he knows.  (I don't know all the details, only that this guy is standup and God fearing and he has a wonderful family and tons of experience so I take him at his word).  His partener and he have come up with a line of custom cast deadeyes, thimbals, etc. to work with this line of spectra to do custom rigs.  I have seen the documentation from the spectra company about this spectra's capabilities and it is not the spectra of days gone by.  It is almost as abrasion resistant as the wire rope, and it's also much more UV resistant than prior generations and it has next to zero streatch.  Basically, all the problems of old generation spectra have been addressed and the tinsel strength is almost 4 times greater than the same size wire rope.  They guarentee it under load, in a marine environment for 10 years.  I would not even use my wire rope that long.

So, I said, great.  Lets do it.  I want a whole new set of cruising sails for Andunge and am considering changing her to a cutter.  Reguardless, the rig will go something like this.  Top of mast: spectra line spliced around thimball at pricise angles that do not deminish the lines strength.  Bottom of rig: spectra line spliced at the tip to seal it going to a specifically angled dead eye designed to go on Andunge's existing deck hardware and then lashed.  That is it.  The head sails will have specially designed soft hanks.  That is it.  Simple.  I will have a little bag down below of replacement stays that have a thimball spliced on one end of them and that can be cut to any length to replace any stay that may need it and some extra deadeyes.  That's it and it will maybe weigh a few pounds at most thereby elliminating a lot of poop to be stored. 

I am also replacing my lifelines with spectra so Andunge will have zero wire rope aboard.  Good riddance I say.  I really like the idea that the boat will look old school going back to the early 'technology' of sailing.  Early like pre-1940 back until the dawn of sailing sort of early.  Whoever came up with wire rope being used as rigging should be taken out and hung by the stuff as far as I am concerned (thought that would be very hard to do being that if you bend it back on itself too hard it comes apart or kinks thereby creating a nearly impossible way of hanging someone) ::).  I realize that at the time better technology didn't really exist or support better ideas but that time is over now.  I think the name of the guy's company that I am dealing with is called "Back to the Future" or something like that.   :D
Will sail for cheese.

Offline maxiSwede

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 551
  • kARRR-ma: +44/-0
  • Do it today - Tomorrow it could be too late!
    • The Voyage of Nanna
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2007, 03:07:08 PM »
ok, that was quite an answer...  thanks for that!  :D

I can see your point, and to some degree, share it.

It definetely reduces weight up in the air, and the sheer strength wouldn't  be a problem.

The ease of DIY jury rigging repair/replacement at sea just might be an advantage. Personally I consíder rigging work with /Norseman/StaLock type fittings quite straight forward and easy. I have done some rigging work on other people's yachts too. Obvíously I could ditch the giant cable cutter i carry onboard and hardly ever use...

But when you talk about chafe... I just can't believe that. I wouldn't even change running rigging from rope/wire configuration to rope only due to the chafe factor. Albeit I know people who choose the other road, so it could be a matter of personal choice.

The cost for all spectra rigging would be a fair bit higher too, right?
s/v  Nanna
Southern Cross 35' Cutter in French Polynesia
and
H-boat 26' - Sweden

svnanna.wordpress.com

Offline AdriftAtSea

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3091
  • kARRR-ma: +80/-24
  • I'm glad I have a sailboat—Wind is Free!
    • AdriftAtSea
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2007, 07:13:16 PM »
I am curious as to what the Spectra is going to cost you.  I would be a bit leery of using essentially experimental rigging on a boat going for a long-term cruise. Also, what kind of guarantee does he give the rigging and what kind of support will he give you if you have a problem.
s/v Pretty Gee
Telstar 28 Trimaran
Yet we get to know her, love her and be loved by her.... get to know about My Life With Gee at
http://blog.dankim.com/life-with-gee
The Scoot—click to find out more

Offline cgoinggal

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 20
  • kARRR-ma: +5/-0
  • Snarfer says...
    • My Blog
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2007, 07:23:41 PM »
The new generation is somehow made to combat the chafe issue better than older gererations.  I don't know how it does it but I have seen the data.  

If you pay attention to some of the big dollar racing vessels, they are making the change to spectra riggings.  There is something to it and you will see it becoming more common over the coming years.

As for the cost.  Yeah, it should be very expensive.  Especially considering that the deadeyes are are specially cast for my application but the guy running the company made me a deal as I am his first customer.  He is doing my rig, splicing, casting of hardware and the entire spare rig and lifelines and is only charging me for the hardware and the time for his splicing.  He got the roll of the line that he is using for my rig as a sample from the company :-) and did not know what to do with it as it is so small so he has been using on his catamaran (Piver) as lifelines and using it for other small applications.  He is a standup guy and he said I did not have to pay for it so why should you.  That and it's his first paying job.  My quote came to less than $500.00.

He guarentees the spectra for 10 years.  Sounds too good to be true...but it is-thank god.

Will sail for cheese.

Offline cgoinggal

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 20
  • kARRR-ma: +5/-0
  • Snarfer says...
    • My Blog
Re: Small twin keelers
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2007, 07:57:31 PM »
maxiSwede-

I forgot to mention that I am one of those people that runs with all line for my running rigging; 3 strand New England ;D

and I LOVE it!!!  And the stretch does not cause me a problem.  I am not sure that would be the case on a larger rig though.

and have never had a failure of any kind.

and I will not change to anything else as it is soooooo easy.  I don't even have snap shackles on the ends going to the sails-only bowlines tied and my lines aren't even spliced on the ends-only heated up with a lighter.   :o

One more thing I will point out about my rig for anyone freeking out about my decision to go to spectra for standing rigging:  my mast is less than 25 feet high and I have 8 stays going to hurricane straps.  I can fit some of my sails by pairs in a single standard size pillow case.  The odds of failure is pretty slim and even if the rig comes down I have lots of options so long as it does not kill me in the process.

Andunge is a small, simple, sailing machine.
Period.
Will sail for cheese.