RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
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RL24 stability
OK. Maybe stupid questions, but I have to ask them! I'm currently looking to buy an RL24, and would like opinions of benefits of drop vs swing keel, in regards to boat stability. I have heard some horror stories of overturned, and even boats that have sunk! What is effect on boat stability of drop vs swing keel? What are likely causes of overturning? At what angle will the boat tip over? If boat has tipped over, how well does it float? Does water enter the cabin? Whats the best way to re-right?

Thanks for any responses! rgds, ian

Ian Green28-Nov-2001    Edit    Delete 
Sink or swim
We're sailing a swing keel that was converted to a drop keel before I bought it.I'm told reliably that in years past at least 2 RL24's were sunkin Geographe Bay. It seems that they didn't handle a spinnaker gybe too well with the keel up! Wwe've tried a couple of times to test the self righting of our boat with the mast in the water - both times it has come up, and with no water in the cabin - just plenty of stain marks on the crew's underwear. As far as the best way to re-right - hang on tight, hope, and pray!
Ian Meiklejohn29-Nov-2001    Edit    Delete 
RL 24 stability
After owning a mk 1,2 & 3 I have some had some severe knockdowns in all 3 boats with main & jib up I have had water over the combing into the cockpit but never in the cabin. Last year We broke a rudder in my mk 3 under spinaker doing 12 plus knots with centre board fully down (which is my boat policy)you can pin it if you want to, we did about 3 jibes befor I got the spinaker down, the cabin windows were below water line but not a drop in the cabin, after this experience I firmly believe these boats are very forgiving. I hope this is of some benefit to you Regards Rob
Rob Ritchie30-Nov-2001    Edit    Delete 
The main thing is to have your keel locked down "just in case". Should you go in, the keel wont slide back though the case. I have raced and cruised mine for ten years with out wetting the mast. I have seen one go over. It was in 30+ knots with a kite up. They lost it during a gybe.

As far as bouyancy is concerned, make certain the spaces under the anchor well and cockpit floor are filled with closed cell foam. Older boats did not have foam and were prone to water penetration.

One of the benefits of the swing that isnt as well discussed, is the ability to rake the keel aft and move the centre of lateral resistance aft as a result. This can help prevent broaching.

They are a great boat. While your concerns over stability are sound , proper seamanship on your part should prevent a capsize.


dave11-Dec-2001    Edit    Delete 
capsize? I have.
I own what I beleive is a Mk.2 swing keel RL24 Seabird in Perth.Having only sailed for 7 years,and only having Skipered for six Months at the time,I managed to tip mine over at on the start line of a twilight race at Royal Freshwater bay Yacht Club one gusty Wednesday evening.Having previously succesfully sailed to Rottnest Island ( 15 miles off the coast of Fremantle )on many occaisions safely;I was manouvering up & down the start line one gusty evening,I was probably over powered (No 1 headsail instead of No.3)I entrusted the mainsheet (mistake No.2) to a new crew expierienced on fixed keel boats but never on trailer/sailers .So when we made a quick tack and got hit by a gust,he failed to release the main sheet,thinking the amount of heel was normal and the boat would return upright quickly:Well it didn't!!! 3 of us were flicked into the sails/water.Seabird floated beautifully on her starboard belly.My 5 hp Mariner outboard is mounted on a stern bracket on the starboard side.Because of the bouyency of the belly, the bow and the outboard were both out of the water!Even though the mast was in it,much to my astonishment The water entered the cockpit,but did not get near the cabin door. I swam around to the keel (which was still down with no locking bolt installed)climbed on and she popped up no problem!The 3 of us finished the race soaking wet. I have pushed the yacht hard with water coming over the combing into the cockpit with no problem.I think thats close to 45 degrees Heel.(Premior) Richard Court, (Court Marine used to build them in W.A.)did say that you could capsize them if you really tried,but i never have since,it was just an unusual combination of circumstances.You can feel very safe in a RL24. Just don't have up tooooo much sail on gusty days,retain control of the mainsheet at all costs,and keep weight up.(make sure the self draining cockpit scuppers are clear) The previous owner must have been nervous because every nook and cranney was chockers with blocks of expanded polystyrene;But rest asured the built in bouyency is more than adequate(in my humble opinion) to keep 2 thirds of the boat floating high out of the water. Happy Sailing. Neil Ensor.
neil ensor15-Dec-2001    Edit    Delete 
I have noted a number of messages talking about a keel locking pin . My RL24 doesn't have one. Can anyone tell me how they are usually fitted?
Bob Hancock21-Dec-2001    Edit    Delete 
Lock down bolt
I have a hole through the centreboard case and put a bolt through it when I'm getting worried. The centreboard can be pulled up about a fifth but then hits the bolt.
Philip Booker22-Jan-2002    Edit    Delete 
RL 24 swing keel lock down

Is it possible for you to be specific on installation of the 3 inch by 5/8 bolt positioning. Exactly where is the bolt located on the case. What about leaks? Good Sailing from Port St. Lucie, Florida-USA

Bob Neiman25-Jan-2002    Edit    Delete 
RL24 Knockdowns
Over the past few years I have experienced knockdowns with main and jib. Water into cockpit, but self righting. A couple of weeks ago experienced about 40 knots whilst doing 12 plus under spinnaker. we were racing in Port Stephens at the time. Boat flattened, spinnaker full of water and rolled boat to about 250 degrees, cabin flooded, all floatable gear, floated away from boat. Boat couldn't be righted by crew on centreboard or by other yachts applying power. Waterways arrived and dragged boat to shore. Boat was towed with mast level with water. Boat did not sink!!!

My RL is a Mark 3 with a dagger board. Lesson learnt get spinnaker down early. Up to this time I have found boat extremely safe... depending what you want to do with it.

On the whole a great trailer sailer for cruising and for racing. Enjoy!

Jim Quinn

Jim Quinn4-Jan-2002    Edit    Delete 
Did you do any damage Jim?


dave1-Feb-2002    Edit    Delete 
Knock Down
Several years ago I was on an RL24 that did this, the keel was at 15, 20 degrees the boat rolled 180 degrees and could not be stood up, we got towed back about 8nm the hull remained upside down, we cut the forestay so the mast would lay back so as to mininise damage.
Chester15-Jun-2002    Edit    Delete 

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