boat building


This photo shows Ms Zeidler’s on-site activity aligning the final touches to the ribs for the duyong restaurant.

In sailboats, keels use the forward motion of the boat to generate lift to counter the lateral force from the sails. Sailboats have much larger keels than non sailing hulls. Keels are different from centerboards and other types of foils in that keels are made of heavy materials to provide ballast to stabilize the boat. Keels may be fixed, or non-moveable, or they may retract to allow sailing in shallower waters. Retracting keels may pivot (a swing keel) or slide upwards to retract, and are usually retracted with a winch due to the ballast. Since the keel provides far more stability when lowered than when retracted (due to the greater moment arm involved) the amount of sail carried is generally reduced when sailing with the keel is retracted.

There are several types of fixed keels including: full keels, fin keels, winged keels, bulb keels, and twin keels or bilge keels among other designs.

Non-fixed keels are known as canting keels or Swing keels. These are found on racing yachts such as those competing in the Volvo Ocean Race. They provide much more righting moment for a lot less weight, as the keel moves out to the windward-side of the boat. The perpendicular distance from weight to pivot is increased, therefore a larger righting moment is produced.

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