Neville Crichton on Canting Keels

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

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    #889 - 11 January

    * From Neville Crichton: The past few weeks have seen considerable space given to the belief in some quarters that canting keels are, in some way, inherently unreliable and prone to failure.
    The facts simply do not bare this belief out. *
    Alfa Romeo has now completed more than 6,500 nautical miles in a wide variety of weather and sailing conditions, including three Tasman crossings, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, close quarter racing in Sydney and Hamilton Island and all without a single failure of the canting keel. Most recently this including a crossing with a delivery crew from Hobart to Auckland in five and a half days, with heavy weather and speeds of up to 35 knots.
    Nor is reliability restricted to Alfa Romeo. Both Pyewacket and Morning Glory have been sailing reliably for more than three years and, of course, Wild Oats performed – unfortunately for me – impeccably in the race to Hobart!
    The issue is not whether canting keels have an inherent problem, as some people seem to believe. It is much more basic. It comes back to the quality of the design, the construction and the integration of the canting keel into the design of the yacht as a whole, as well as how the yacht is sailed.
    Just about anything on a yacht will fail if it is poorly designed, poorly constructed and the yacht sailed badly! Equally, every new form of technology that has been developed – not just in yachting – has failures in its development stages.
    What is required is not a witch hunt against canting keels, but a careful analysis of the quality design and construction that has made Alfa Romeo and others both reliable and quick, as well as making our sport even more exciting for sailors and spectators alike.
    DL--In addition, canting keels have been around for well over 20 years with the first US canting keel to the best of my knowledge Steve Clarks fathers boat whose name I can't remember(Red Herring?) from aound 1980 and others world wide from even earlier than that.I think mini 6.5's have used them since ,at least, the early to mid 80's.
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    What Crichton is writing and what you are repeating is something that I have mentioned in my first obeservations - and I agree with most of the remarks Crichton is making. (the general design issue)

    It looks to me that you refuse to understand that our general critisism does not concern the Canting Keel, but the way it functions: in particular in the cases of the maxi's - that is point one.

    Secondly, too many interests are involved in this system and too cool off the general concern of the yachting community when it concerns the reliability of the canting keel, some tries to smother the critical remarks that springs of straight reporting and observation. Now the whole issue is veiled in a fog of truth and lies and half lies.

    The reality can be earthed quickly, there are not to many manufacturars of these systems and basically they are the 1st source of reliable information, the rest is unimportant. (to me in any case)

    Now being a production boat constructed not far away of our premises, knowing the supplier of the CK system and the one of the hydraulics, there is a chance to follow the whole process closely and most possibly we can make out now what the real differences are. Be it small scaled.

    I am absilutely sure that sooner or later a foolproof CK system will arrive; we are here to beserve it as the main supplier is EU based (so I believe) and maybe someone can tell me who is the no3 boat in the IOR fleet.

    More observations later........
  3. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    canting keel production

    Don't forget the Schock 40, Backman21, Bethwaites new 79er a CBTF /ripoff boat being "produced" in Spain, the Cookson 50 and I'm sure there are others.
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    Very well. It will definately hasten the way to general acceptance of the CK - and nothing wrong with that as long as the system can made fool proof and will not rely on auxiliary power.

    As for now, the main supplier of CK systems is Cariboni, Italy with hydraulics from Holmatro, a Dutch based company.

    Cariboni has given me a CD-ROM with all relevant details as for now however, I can't open the disc.
  5. usa2
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    usa2 Senior Member

    Didnt Alfa Romeo's engine fail and the keel get pinned on the wrong side once...? I dont think the keels are the problem either, its the structures built to support and move them.
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    BOATMIK Deeply flawed human being

    Captain - I say What?

    Did hear today from a source in the CYCA that the crews of one or more of the canting keelers choose to wear earmuffs down below because of the engine noise.

    Now that's a great leap forward!

    Lorsail - I don't think your boats will have the same problem being of a size where you don't need to run an engine.

    Best Regards

  7. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    It's Doug, Michael. SDB's get to run engines too.....but you're right -not on my boat.
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