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46594Re: Technical question

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  • pvanderwaart
    Oct 16, 2005
      > So this question
      > tickled what passes for my brain: could an airfoil keel be made from
      > carbon fiber, and be strong enough to support heavy lead wings?

      The literal answer is "yes." I believe that carbon fiber struts are
      used in some of the canting keel racers. Possibly also America's Cup
      boats. Being racers, they are looking for the thinnest possible strut.

      Metal ballast dropped into a fiberglass keel was one of the earliest
      ideas when contruction went to fiberglass. I don't know why it's not
      the usual practice now. Most of those boats had longer keels of lower
      aspect ratio than today's boats. Fiberglass is pretty flexible, and
      perhaps high aspect ratio struts bend too much. The calculations are
      pretty easy.

      I wonder if it would be possible to buy the strength member off the
      shelf, and add the fairing to make it hydrodynamic. For example, a
      4x3" steel box beam with wooden nose and tail.

      Peter
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