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Old Dec 07, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Millbrook, Alabama
Joined Jun 2004
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I decided to ask the expert himself, and as per usual received a very professional and timely response:


By reducing the weight (or adding buoyancy, which has a similar effect) of the keel or shortening its depth you will of course reduce the force needed to heel the ship. But what you are doing will not be enough for you to sense any difference whatsoever in heeling in the water (unless you were measuring things very carefully in a test tank!).
Thirty 1/2" holes through an average keel thickness of 0.65" will decrease the keel weight by 1.57 lbs. Not filling them with wood will effectively reduce the volume of the ship by 3.85 cu in. This counteracts the weight reduction by 2.5%, a trifling amount. However filling them with wood restores the laminar flow of water along your keel and rudder which should be quite significant.

I did these calculations quickly and haven't checked them, but they sound about right. Certainly none of this will have an appreciable effect on heeling.

There is no special significance in the fact that the wood plugs you add are buoyant - the forces and densities are averaged out over the entire element - your actions will be like reducing the density of the lead the keel was made from from 11.37 g/cc to 10.7 g/cc, still heavy and effective!


Thanks once again goes out to Philip Roberts for such a wonderful product and caring enough to help us with our endless questions. 3 cheers!


"Weevils...the breakfast of iron men sailing wooden ships!"
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