Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Thursday, 31 January 2013

What's My Type of Boat?

I've been thinking for a while now on the type of boat I want and the reasons behind the decision.

First off, it must be able to stand on the ground as I'll be keeping it on a cheap drying mooring: no tippy single keelers for me, my boat will be a bilge keeler with twin keels. Triple keels will take the ground fine, but there's a penalty in the extra drag of a third keel, plus that middle leg tends to upset how the boat takes to the ground.

No, twin keels will be fine.

The next decision is the type of keel. I'm still mulling this one over. The problem is that each type of keel has its own pros and cons and as far as I can see the arguments between each are fairly evenly balanced.

Plate keels tend to have less drag, but there are the nasty keel bolts to deal with. Having to go through the expense of changing keel bolts isn't something I'd like to do. I like my boats low-maintenance and keels made out of steel plates tend to need a fair bit of maintenance. It can be mitigated somewhat by adding sacrificial anodes to the keel, but still there are plenty of boats I've seen on ebay with keels shot full of holes and rusty or sheared keel bolts.

Of course I could go for encapsulated keels with the keels as part of the hull moulding and the balast tucked inside all nice and dry (if only). The problems here is that some keel designs not only have the balast in the keel, but also do encapsulate it in resin inside the keel. The problem here is rust, obviously with steel balast, salty sea water can get to the steel via micro fractures in the hull from groundings and the like. That water then starts to rust the balast, the rust swells inside the keel and the keel splits .Its not an easy job to hack the rusty balast out of the dodgy keel and then get everything back to original standard. Of course a secondary issue is the fact that moulded keels aren't the slimmest of things and tend to add drag. Not as much as a triple keel, but its there: moudled keels tend to be slower.

I'll leave it there for people to ponder and any real-life information about actually living with each type of keel would be gratefully received.

Monday, 7 January 2013

New Years Resolutions

Well, actually it was a resolution I made a bit before New Year in that I've waited long enough and 2013 will be the year I buy a boat.

I have the engine and that will hopefully get sorted next month.

I'm already selling stuff to amass the cash needed to buy the boat.

So the plan has started rolling.

Now its a case of firming up the details about the type of boat I want and why, as well as the ones I'll avoid and why, which I'll start to flesh out in the next post.