When it comes to sailboats, there are various types of keels available, including fixed and swing keels, bulb keels, and retractable keels. However, the question arises:? The answer is yes – sailboats do have retractable keels, and they offer several advantages to sailors.
A retractable keel, also known as a lifting keel, is a type of keel that can be raised or lowered as needed. This is different from a fixed keel, which is permanently attached to the boat’s hull. A retractable keel is usually operated with a winch, which enables sailors to adjust the keel’s depth as required.
One of the primary advantages of a retractable keel is that it allows the boat to sail into shallow waters. As the keel can be raised, the depth of water required to sail the boat is significantly reduced. This is a significant benefit for sailors who want to explore the more shallow parts of the waterways.
Additionally, lift keels also help when docking or launching sailboats. When the keel is raised, the boat’s draft is reduced, making it easy to navigate shallow or restricted waterways. Also, it is easier to launch and retrieve the boat from trailer by using a retractable keel.
Retractable keels also provide flexibility in the boat’s design. As the keel can be lifted, it can be retracted into the hull, providing a flatter bottom to the boat. This lets the boat navigate in shallow waters and making it easy to transport.
Another advantage of retractable keels is that they make the sailboat more stable. They lower the boat’s center of gravity, improving the boat’s performance in rough weather and stronger winds.
Sailboats with retractable keels are a popular choice for sailors who want to experience the joys of boating in both shallow and deep waters. They are versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and provide several advantages that can make sailing more enjoyable. So, if you’re planning to buy a sailboat, you should definitely consider one with a retractable keel.