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Sailing with no keel!

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Keelboat classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for keelboat questions and answers
Printed Date: 22 Oct 19 at 3:09pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Sailing with no keel!
Posted By: NickA
Subject: Sailing with no keel!
Date Posted: 30 Jan 13 at 8:07pm
So, M. JP Dick is completing the Vendee Globe in a keel boat that has no keel on it.  HOW on earth would you manage that.  

It sounds like sailing a high powered dinghy (an RS800 say) with the crew and helm sitting on the centre line.  Running deep down wind with no gusts, I can see it might be possible, but what happens up wind?

I know he has water ballast - but how much righting motion does that provide.

As a dinghy sailor who occasionally charters the odd (non planing) lead mine for a holiday ... it sounds quite mad to me. Confused ..... but he's still upright!

3604 ...lapse of reason
Javelin 558

Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 30 Jan 13 at 9:08pm
At least he has daggerboards to stop the leeway.  I'm sure I'd not want to be trying, but he did comment that upwind was easier than off wind. Not sure why, though.

Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446

Posted By: Mister Nick
Date Posted: 30 Jan 13 at 9:59pm
Well he's got the daggerboards to stop him falling sideways too fast. I'm guessing that the boats were designed to deal with keel failure to some extent and therefore are able to sail on without it, albeit fairly slowly and conservatively. I guess it's because you've got so many sail options on a boat like this aswell. You can reef the main right down to practically nothing, you've got access to some really tiny headsails for when it gets nasty etc. So I'm guessing that's how he's managing it.

Posted By: Mark Jardine
Date Posted: 31 Jan 13 at 6:46am
The latest from JP here - -
He's taking a stopover to shelter from the Biscay gale, but now only has 350 miles to the finish! This will be a remarkable achievement if he makes it.
All the best JP!

Posted By: olly_love
Date Posted: 31 Jan 13 at 8:33am
water balast counts for alot of the RM,
he has about 5 tonnes of it so almost doubling his displacement,
its also positioned well outboard and aft/fwd(depending on what he needs)
so it makes a massive difference,

TWO FRANK-Hunter Impala

Posted By: Rockhopper
Date Posted: 31 Jan 13 at 7:50pm
Well said i do hope he makes i too best of luck to him

Retired now after 35 seasons in a row and time for a rest

Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 07 Feb 13 at 7:43pm
Amazing, he's home.  There was a comment on the vendee globe site that if he let it heel more than 30 degrees then it would fall over.  I guess 30 degrees is quite a lot in a keel boat, but not when it has no keel.

Yes the water ballast has to help, especially as the hull is somewhat scow shaped, ie the windward side lifts rather than the whole hull rotating about some point below decks.

Anyway ... what an achievement!

3604 ...lapse of reason
Javelin 558

Posted By: ifoxwell
Date Posted: 08 Feb 13 at 11:23am
Originally posted by NickA

Anyway ... what an achievement!

I agree. Lets also not forget its easy to make judgments sitting comfortably on land... quite another when your alone, miles from any where when arguably the most important part of your boat falls off.

N12 3441

Posted By: ASok
Date Posted: 08 Feb 13 at 1:12pm
It is an amazing achievement and really shows what these sailors are capable of.
The whole race has been amazing to follow. I hope they reconsider the rules for the next cycle and start building keels to last. I'm definitely in the camp that a keel should be a permanent fixture for the entire life of the boat, not just certain mileage.


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