The swing keel

Yachting World - - Front Page -

Finot-conq started de­sign­ing swing keels dur­ing the early 1990s for 8m/26ft day­sail­ers and is now us­ing them on boats up to 31m/100ft long. When down, the keel on Nica is 3.75m, giv­ing op­ti­mum right­ing mo­ment and per­for­mance. The lifted keel has a 1.65m draught, which should al­low ac­cess to most har­bours.

The keel piv­ots around an axis on the back of the keel head, with a ram that pushes the top of the keel head for­ward to swing the keel down, and pulls it back to lift. There is a fail-safe sys­tem when the keel is down, which means if the ram is put un­der a sud­den sig­nif­i­cant load, it will im­me­di­ately let go and the keel will swing up. This should elim­i­nate the risk of dam­age to the keel box and sur­round­ing struc­ture from ground­ing.

The fit of the keel head into the keel box is ex­tremely pre­cise to avoid vi­bra­tion while sail­ing. The space is so tight the head of the keel can­not be an­tifouled, as the ex­tra mil­lime­tres of paint mean it would no longer fit back in its slot.

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