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Short keel

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I’m trying to put together a club boat on the cheap. I already have a spare hull and a short keel.

Q1: Does the ballast for the long keel also fit the short keel?

Q2: How would performance of boat with short keel be affected (club sailing with A rig only)?

Q3: Would short keel boat’s performance be less affected in light to medium airs?


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1.  Depends who made the keel and who made the bulb.  It can probably be made to fit without too much difficulty.

2 & 3.  There are lots of factors to consider.  The short keel has one advantage i.e. less wetted area and hence less drag (in the absence of any lateral forces).  The shorter keel is less efficient at producing lift (to counteract the lateral force) and produces less righting moment.  It depends a bit on the hull design, but generally, drag increases with angle of heel and aerodynamic lift (from the sails) definitely reduces with heel. So in very light winds the shorter keel is probably faster but it will be slower in stronger winds.  Exactly when the changeover occurs is hard to say but maybe around 1/2 to 2/3 the wind range of the A rig?

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