Keel of a ship: the key that maintains it

In the world of navigation, there are numerous pieces that make navigation possible, but without a doubt, the keel of a boat is the one that manages to help do it satisfactorily and safely.

What is the keel of a ship and what is it for?

It is a structure that runs longitudinally along the bottom of the ship, from the bow to the stern, on which the ship is built.

Lateral resistance (to ensure that the boat is not carried by the tide to the sides) and ballast (to ensure that the wind does not move it undesirably) are the most important functions of the keel on a boat. Ballast is especially important on sailing boats.

What is the keel made of?

The materials from which they are built must be of high density, so they will mostly be made of metals. Only those boats that are older will maintain a wooden structure, since it was the material in its beginnings.

Difference between keel and daggerboard

The main difference is that the keel of a boat is the structure that runs through the entire boat, and the daggerboard is the piece that is attached to the keel and retracts when the boat is taking an unwanted course due to different currents.

What it achieves is to take the bow of the boat towards the different direction of the current to gradually recover the surface and maintain the route.

Tipos de quillas en veleros

Types of keels on sailboats

As we have mentioned, the keels of a boat are really important in sailboats, so each one of them will have a keel made to measure and adapted to its functionalities.

In professional sailing competitions it is such a key piece that its keel is not revealed until years later, as it is considered an important innovation.

  • Running keel: it is the complete piece that runs from the bow to the stern of the boat structure.
  • Fin keel: instead of being a horizontal level structure, it is vertical level. It is screwed to the bottom of the boat to get the ballast that, being smaller, gives the piece more depth.
  • Bulbous keel: they help to increase the ballast of the keel but without making it extremely deep since the bulbous counteracts that but.
  • Wing keel: it is a keel more designed for hydrodynamics, that is, it makes the boat more stable while sailing.
  • Double keels: they are installed on the sides for boats that are going to navigate shallow waters or are large (cruise ships).

Parts of the keel of a ship

The keel of a boat is made up of different pieces that manage to form a suitable and adapted structure.

  • Ridges: they are the skeleton of the boat, uniting the lower keel with the case.
  • Roda: its function is that no water enters when the boat advances, being an extension of the keel in the bow or stern.
  • Keel: is what makes up and settles the keel of a boat to its structure.
  • Cudaste: it is the piece where the rudder is placed and supports its turn.

Masts of a sailing ship

In a sailboat the keel of a ship is important, but it could not sail without the sails supported by their sticks, so each one of them receives a different name.

  • Bowsprit: the only mast on the ship that rises not vertically but horizontally at the front.
  • Ratchet: it is the vertical stick that has the sail closest to the bow.
  • Major: this is the tallest suit of all.
  • Mizzen: stick that supports the sail closest to the stern.

Now that you know one of the secrets of sailing boats, enjoy an unforgettable experience sailing on an incredible catamaran along the coast of Marbella.

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