Dufour 32 classic shallow fin sailing performance

hurley

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Hi Im interested in a dufour 32 classic and the option of the shallow keel for sailing on the East Coast. However at 1.25m it seems very shallow and I'm wondering how much of a hit one takes for this option. I understand it probably won't sail as well as the deep fin but how much worse. Is the keel wider to compensate and reduce leeway. I notice it has a bulb to help but 1.25 just seems so shallow. Bw Nick
 

johnalison

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I don’t know the boat other than having seen it around but I agree the 1.25 sounds shallow. I have an HR 34 with a draft of 1.5 compared to the deeper 1.8 standard and I know that in most respects it is very similar to the deep version, having sailed with and raced against them. I have seen shallower versions of other boats such as the Sadler 32 and as far as I can tell their performance is only a bit better than bilge keel versions when these are available. This also applies to some well-known popular designs from twenty years ago. It depends how important this is to you but although only a test sail would tell properly, I think you would have to make some sacrifice.
 

Tranona

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Loss of performance (if any) will be in pointing ability and leeway compared with the standard keel - but rubbish sails will have a similar effect on a deep keel version. Stability will be the same because the shallow keel is heavier. Unless you plan round the can races or enjoy long beats to windward doubt you will really notice the difference. I have had 2 shallow draft versions of modern fin keel boats, both Bavarias and overall performance of both was satisfactory - and the second very good once I bought decent sails.

Not sure it would be a deal breaker for me as there are more important things about a boat, particularly second hand than ultimate sailing performance.
 

johnalison

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Loss of performance (if any) will be in pointing ability and leeway compared with the standard keel - but rubbish sails will have a similar effect on a deep keel version. Stability will be the same because the shallow keel is heavier. Unless you plan round the can races or enjoy long beats to windward doubt you will really notice the difference. I have had 2 shallow draft versions of modern fin keel boats, both Bavarias and overall performance of both was satisfactory - and the second very good once I bought decent sails.

Not sure it would be a deal breaker for me as there are more important things about a boat, particularly second hand than ultimate sailing performance.
My friend had a shallow fin option on a Bavaria 34 and it was similar to my HR, at about 1.5m. 1.25m would be significantly shallower I believe and not strictly comparable. Good sails on a deep fin will still beat good sails on a shallow one.

Not only that, but it has occurred to me that my hull itself has a depth of maybe 0.75m, making my fin 0.75, compared to the Dufour’s 0.5, ie 50% deeper rather than the 1/6 suggested by the boats’ drafts.
 
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Tranona

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My friend had a shallow fin option on a Bavaria 34 and it was similar to my HR, at about 1.5m. 1.25m would be significantly shallower I believe and not strictly comparable. Good sails on a deep fin will still beat good sails on a shallow one.
The Dufour has a "deep" keel of 1.74m and shallow of 1.28m so the reduction in draft (46cm) comparable with that of the larger Bavaria which will have had a deep keel of 1.95 and shallow of 1.5. The Dufour is also a smaller and lighter boat. The shallow keel is 70kgs (6%) heavier and has a large bulb. The Bavaria 32 which was a direct competitor to the Dufour has a deep keel of 1.8m and shallow of 1.4m - not hugely different.

Of course a deep keel will out point and have less leeway than a shallow, but in everyday cruising usage doubt many would be able to tell the difference. If shallow draft is a desirable feature then the trade off might be worth it.

The point about sails is that most 30 year old boats come on the market with poor sails and modern sails can reduce the difference between shallow and deep keels versions of the same boat.
 

johnalison

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The point about sails is that most 30 year old boats come on the market with poor sails and modern sails can reduce the difference between shallow and deep keels versions of the same boat.
Yes, but only if the sailor with a deep fin is happy to sail with manky old sails. My boat is a mere 23 yrs old but the sails are certainly not tired! Having a shallow fin myself, I am certainly not against them in principle, but it is largely a matter of degree.
 

Daydream believer

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You do not need shallow keel on the east coast. You might go up a couple of muddy creeks when you first get the boat but once you have been up one you have been up them all. There is plenty of water all over the east coast if you work the tides. People buy bilge keel boats & still sail with 2 metres under the keel😟
 

ashtead

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Original sails on your Dufour 32 will hopefully have been replaced by now with something better than originals. I don’t know what it started life with but I know Bavaria’s had poor quality elvstrom with short shelf life. I wonder if a shallow keel Dufour slams more than the standard keel? I would also be asking about the engine size and if it was upgraded as you might be motor or sailing a lot more than with a deeper keel but I don’t think a shallow keel in itself would put me off if other features were there such as decent engine size,renewed sails,heating,hot water,autopilot, updated plotter and ais renewed mattresses/cushions ,absence of teak decks, folding prop ,rigging replaced?
 

Groucho

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They did make a lift keel version of the Dufour 32 but not many were made. Have sent you a DM
 
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