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What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

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  • What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

    I have a feeling bullets are going to start flying or I will be totally ignored but, here goes....I bought a 1972 Gulf Coast 18 and I want to make a fishing boat out of it.....I like the cabin and john boats just do not have this option.....well I actually thought I might sail it but,,,,I just do not have the motivation to learn.....and I would probably hurt myself

    What will happen if I remove the keel? I do not plan on running sales at most I would have a 10hp motor but that is probably a stretch for what it would need to move around.....then again what size motor would be good to move around.

    Are there any safety issues to what I am doing? I always wear a life jacket in small craft and it will be used in lake small enough I could swim to shore in twenty/thirty minutes but,,,,,,I would rather not sink and swim if that can be avoided....looking for advice and thoughts....I have searched and have not found anyone else to do this on these boards
    Current 1995 Carver 250 Express Volvo Penta 5.7GIPMDA DP-C1 drive with a 1.95:1 gear ratio Oftr 18-7876 and 18' Gulfcoast Sailboat (project)
    Past 28' party hut with Johnson 115 and 110 RIP
    Various small boats and outboards generally below 10hp

    Lake Ray Roberts


  • #2
    Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

    what kind of a keel does it have............ ok just saw your picks.. Thats a low shoal keel. just leave it and pull thre sail rigging 9.9 is about all the transom is designed for

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    • #3
      Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

      so here my opinion. the keel keeps the boat tracking straight when under sail. you shouldn't need it if you put a motor on it. And that keel might have all the weight in it so be careful if it does because than you messing with the wait balance of the boat.

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      • #4
        Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

        from what i understand the keel is there to counter the weight of the mast, sail, and rigging. if you remove all that, you dont need the keel.
        2005 Chaparral 220 SSI
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        1999 Sea Ray 180 (SOLD!)
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        1991 Sea Ray 170LT (SOLD!)
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        • #5
          Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

          right it is retractable and I could keep part of it if needed for weight
          Current 1995 Carver 250 Express Volvo Penta 5.7GIPMDA DP-C1 drive with a 1.95:1 gear ratio Oftr 18-7876 and 18' Gulfcoast Sailboat (project)
          Past 28' party hut with Johnson 115 and 110 RIP
          Various small boats and outboards generally below 10hp

          Lake Ray Roberts

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

            the keel is whwt enables a sailboat to point(sail into the wind)as well as counter the rigging weight. Even with an outboard, it will travel much better if you leave the keel and strip everything else

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            • #7
              Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

              That keel contributes over 33% of the total displacement of the boat. Without it, the boat's motion may be too quick (as in bobbing around like a cork), and you will not be able to steer with the rudder at all. The boat will be almost as happy to go sideways as forward. The mast would have to be removed.
              See how it works with the keel mostly retracted. That will substanitially reduce the drag through the water.

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

                The keel is retractable so inside the hull of the boat it sticks up about two feet and this is the part I would like to get out of the way.....maybe I can cut it in half and still get some performance. I have been doing a lot of reading and it seems keeping at least some portion of the keel is important......I am thinking it should act like a canoe almost same hull shape?
                Current 1995 Carver 250 Express Volvo Penta 5.7GIPMDA DP-C1 drive with a 1.95:1 gear ratio Oftr 18-7876 and 18' Gulfcoast Sailboat (project)
                Past 28' party hut with Johnson 115 and 110 RIP
                Various small boats and outboards generally below 10hp

                Lake Ray Roberts

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

                  Soling Sailor explained it the best probally, and of course it depends on the size, weight, draft, etc., i would leave the keel intact, and lower it according to water depth, etc., if that don't work, try a 16' jon boat with a 1/4 inch plywood cabin, but they use 24'ers here in se texas for camping w/ no mast, or enough mast for lighting, radio, etc., and in s. fla. for dive boats, they do have planeing problems, under say 25'er a 5-8 hp would push well, but no skiers. good luck.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

                    Thank You for all your thoughts.....I think what I am going to do is cut it in half and lower the bottom half when under way.....that is if the water does not come back up through the keel? I am assuming the keel as it is above the water line has water in it?
                    Attached Files
                    Current 1995 Carver 250 Express Volvo Penta 5.7GIPMDA DP-C1 drive with a 1.95:1 gear ratio Oftr 18-7876 and 18' Gulfcoast Sailboat (project)
                    Past 28' party hut with Johnson 115 and 110 RIP
                    Various small boats and outboards generally below 10hp

                    Lake Ray Roberts

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

                      I found this in another forum.....think I will send my teenage son out first

                      I am a c22 owner, my pin failed, keel went to bottom of lake, boat immediately rolled over with mast pointing straight down. Not something you want take a chance with.
                      Current 1995 Carver 250 Express Volvo Penta 5.7GIPMDA DP-C1 drive with a 1.95:1 gear ratio Oftr 18-7876 and 18' Gulfcoast Sailboat (project)
                      Past 28' party hut with Johnson 115 and 110 RIP
                      Various small boats and outboards generally below 10hp

                      Lake Ray Roberts

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: What happens if you remove the keel from a sailboat

                        I have a 17' siren sailboat. I sail it and motor it, When motoring I lower the keel about one foot. This helps the boat track. If I don't have it down, it is very hard to control.
                        Many sailboats are displacement hulls, and will not get on plane without lots of power.

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