Adam

Keel Modification

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Irma was kind enough to destroy my boat last month, thus I am in the market for a new one.  I have read a ton of info on the trials and tribulations of Saga yachts.  Despite some of the disaster stories, I am still interested, except...

The few available on YW and in my price range have drafts exceeding 6.5 feet.  For my area and intended cruising grounds, I need something less than 6, preferably closer to 5.5.  As these boats have cast lead keels, it seems it would be possible to cut the keel and design some type of "bulb" to account for reduction.  How about surface area and lift?  Is this a dumb idea, or is it possible?

If not,  any suggestions on another boat in this size range with similar performance to consider?

 

thanks!

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MarsKeel.com

send an email to them, very quick reply.

 

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Yes, it's been done. You lose pointing ability though. There's a bit more wetted surface as well. You chainsaw off the bottom bit of the keel, bolt on two bulb halves to the remaining stub, fill and fair joints with putty, repaint. Cutting lead with a chainsaw isn't too hard, but wears out chains fast. Have somebody nearby with an oil can squirting on the chain. Watch your toes :).  You can resell the cut off portion to a scrap dealer.

If you like Saga maybe look into Southerly yachts. Not quite the same, but well build and a centerboard for shallow water.

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There was a magazine article on that very thing recently - latest issue of GOB.

 

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Don't fuck with lead poisoning, pay someone else to cut the keel off.

But if you're if you want shoal draft and are considering reducing the performance of a Saga, why not just admit defeat and buy a power boat?

 

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And yet again Moon adds negative value.

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Lead is dangerous, but very manageable. Good work practices are, proper respirator and other ppe, hepa vacuum, don't wear work clothes outside of containment area ext.  All easy to do.  

 

We shaped a keel with a power planer. Not hard at all. Went few a few blades though.  

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On 22/10/2017 at 4:15 AM, Zonker said:

Yes, it's been done. You lose pointing ability though. There's a bit more wetted surface as well. You chainsaw off the bottom bit of the keel, bolt on two bulb halves to the remaining stub, fill and fair joints with putty, repaint. Cutting lead with a chainsaw isn't too hard, but wears out chains fast. Have somebody nearby with an oil can squirting on the chain. Watch your toes :).  You can resell the cut off portion to a scrap dealer.

If you like Saga maybe look into Southerly yachts. Not quite the same, but well build and a centerboard for shallow water.

Milk works well when cutting lead with a chainsaw. 

Use somebody else's chainsaw as well. 

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as Bob Perry says, there's no substitution for draft............BTW Bob designed a few Saga's.........

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