Cool Keels - Dusseldorf Boatshow | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Cool Keels - Dusseldorf Boatshow


I just got back from the Dusseldorf Boat Show in Germany (Boot 2016) and my head is still spinning with all the "boat overload"!! It is a really big show and I am sorry I didn't have a few more days to talk to more suppliers and see more! There was really a lot more there than I had imagined - more boats, more equipment, more toys, more of everything to do with boating. Check out this video I made at the show…

I went aboard a number of boats looking to see what's new … Beneteau, Jeanneau, Dufour, Hallberg-Rassy 43, Sunbeam, Oyster 575, Garcia 52 Exploration, Faurby, Nordship, Bavaria Nautitech 40, Delphia 46DS, Allures 39, Linnsen and more!

If you are interested in buying a sailboat, this show has got to be a "must-stop" on your tour. In fact, if you get to Annapolis and Dusseldorf you'll probably see most of what's worth seeing.


I did get aboard the interesting Bavaria 40 foot Nautitech and was impressed. It has an interesting layout with a smaller cabin and large after deck, nice quality build from the quick look I had. But I guess my heart just isn't into catamarans… sigh… they sure look perfect if your plans are mainly Caribbean/Bahamas/tropics. For us the difficulty of getting marina space or through small canals with cats is a big factor. Motion on a monohull is usually better, and certainly upwind ability is important for me too. I guess a cat just isn't in the cards for us. But if you are in the market for a 40'ish size cat, the Nautitech is worth looking at…

Cool Keels

I was keeping an eye out for interesting keels - extra good when the boats are out of the water at indoor shows like Boot Dusseldorf.
Here is the Sirius 40 with a twin-keel. Twin keels are not renowned for amazing sailing performance but they are a very good solution for sailing in a tidal area where you will need to beach the boat often. But if you need shallow draft (like Bahamas) they aren't such a good solution since they are about halfway between a regular keel and a flat bottom keel version. More of a "shoal keel". For the Sirius it draws 1.4 meters VS 1.5 or 1.75 regular keel.
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Here is the Delphia 46 shallow winged keel with centreboard. The boat is beachable as Delphia say the keel is plenty strong enough to rest on the wing. She is pretty shallow as well drawing just 1.3 meters (4'4"). The centreboard swings down from the keel to extend the draft to 7'.
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I filmed this review of the Delphia factory and a quick test sail on the 46 a few months ago.

Allures lovely hulls are made in aluminum by Grand Large Yachting, the somewhat redundant name of the company that also owns Garcia (below) and Outremer catamarans. Allures have very fair aluminum hulls, but the decks are made of fibreglass. This allows for the toughness of aluminum in the water but the versatility of fibreglass in the complex shape of a deck. They have a very shallow centreboard so this 39.9 footer draws just 3'6" or 1.1meters.
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Garcia have made a new line of rugged high latitude sailboats called "Exploration". First a 45 footer was built for Jimmy Cornell, now a 52 has been made in that same style. The keel is similar to the Allures above. The Exploration 52 draws just 1.27 meters (4'2") and can be beached sitting on her belly. Note the incredibly strong stemhead plate protruding from the bow. Ready to push through sea ice on your way through the northwest-passage :-)
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Here is something different. It's a swinging keel that stays outside the boat when you swing it up. It doesn't disappear into the hull or centreboard casing as most others do. Presumably this is so the interior can be the same for versions of this models.
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Higher up on the ladder is the lovely Gunfleet 58 with shallow bulb keel and deep centreboard. Gunfleet was founded by Richard Matthews (who also founded Oyster) and are built in England. This keel will put a reasonable amount of weight quite low in the bulb, and also has a VERY deep draft with the centreboard. On this 58 footer the airfoil shaped board reaches down nearly 12 feet, but with the board up she is just 5'8". She's not beachable though. If lying over on the side I imagine the rudders would be vulnerable (and your drinks would spill :-)

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Here is one of our first times beaching the Southerly 42 in the remote Bahamas.

Southerly's keel arrangement. This is the keel from our current Southerly 49. It uses a 2-part system total ballast 5200kg. The swing keel (weighing a hefty 2 tons) is in the raised position in this photo below. The rest of the ballast weight is in the grounding plate, which will bolt into a recess in the bottom of the boat.
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Sitting on her belly at the pub! The grounding plate takes the weight. We would only do this in a very sheltered area where there would not be waves. After a nice pub dinner we climbed back aboard and headed out at high tide when we floated off. (Filmed in Season 7 of Distant Shores)
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In areas with high tides many boats "take the ground". This is a beach in Chichester England where tides reach 5 meters (16 feet).
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A Beneteau with a standard deep keel who shouldn't have anchored so close to us… oops.
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