C-22 What is optimum keel setting?

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C-22 What is optimum keel setting?

Postby Patrick1 » Mon Mar 28, 2005 12:21 pm

I just bought a 1978 22 swing keel. The previous owner did not like to mess with adjusting the keel very often. He told me he keeps it a foot or so down. I sailed with him in 15 knt wind, and myself in 15 knt wind and it seemed to handle fine. Is the keel on this boat to keep it upright or mainly for boat trim? I am like him, I would rather leave it at one position. I have read the manual, about letting it all the way down and cranking up 5 turns, then fine tuning. Am I safe with leaving it a foot down? I am new to swing keels. My main concern is safety.
Last edited by Patrick1 on Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Rich » Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:06 am

I leave mine down all the way. If you like the way it handles the way you have it, keep it that way. How well does it point at that setting? Nothing wrong with tinkering with it to find where you like it best. On a run, it's definitely faster to have the keel all the way up, if you want to tune it for every situation you can move it up and down as you find it performs best, or you can find a good spot that seems to perform all the way around and leave it as you feel comfortable. That's what I do, I just leave it where it seems to work best.
"Yeah, God's given us this beautiful day. Let His Spirit fill your soul like the wind in the sails!" -Walkin' on the Docks


Postby doodles » Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:21 pm

Well it seems to me that it should be safe at any setting, trick is performance when it comes to the swing keel, not safety. You are more likely to not be able to point well when it's up higher, as you will heel more quickly and thus round up more quickly, so to get better bite it's better to have the keel down. Like Rich said, experiment to find what you like if you want to just set it and forget it.

So far as self righting goes, I would think it would do so at any setting as the key to self righting is the amount of ballast, which is the same no matter where the keel is located. But I really wouldn't worry too much about a broach, as I've had my 22 rail to the wet, slashing through white caps, and when a gust comes along the pushes the boat even further, you lose bite, and immediately round up. (most annoying thing about that is you lose a lot of speed) Of course when you are heeled that far consistently it might be a good idea to reduce sail as at that heel you really aren't getting maximum efficiency. Of course I like to push it to the edge just because I get a kick out of it, and it feels like you are going so fast....of course I know I'm probably not going as fast as I could at a more efficient heel, with less sail, but it's a rush, and I'm not worried about going over too far, as the boat really doesn't want to let you do that. Now out on the sea, in large rollers where heeling due to gusts of wind isn't the only factor in a broach, well then you might have to worry about going over (not matter the position of the keel) but self righting should still work due to the ballast.

Water Ballets boats have NO weight below the boat, only a centerboard to keep the boat from sliding sideways. (which is what the keel does when down, it helps reduce sideways motion on a point, thus allowing you to point higher before you lose forward motion) Boats such as the Mac 26X, Hunter Water Ballast boats, Catalina 250's with water ballast are all self righting as well.

So I guess my point is, don't worry about safety, different positions of the keel are all about performance.



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