Jan 11, 2006, 4:31 AM
Post #1 of 6
From today's Scuttlebutt Europe Issue 889:
Neville says yes to canting keels
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* 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.
Paul Elvestrom, "If, in the course of victory you have not won the respect of your competitors, you have won nothing at all."