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6: Keelboats and Sportsboats

Falling between dinghies and yachts, keelboats offer the opportunity to race generally without risk of capsize, although if sailing at sea in strong winds it can still be a very wet experience! Keelboats are generally sailed by a crew of two or three, although there are a couple of classes for singlehanders such as the Illusions and 2.4mRs. Class racing forms the backbone of most keelboat racing and they can be found all round the coasts, as well as on larger lakes and reservoirs throughout the UK.

Sportsboats are a more recent development. As with keelboats, they have a weighted keel to provide stability, but the boats are lighter, more powerful and faster, with full-on planing performance downwind and can achieve speeds of over 20 knots.

Previous page:5 Multihulls / Catamarans

Exciting adrenaline-fuelled sailing

Next page:7 Big boat racing

Yachts are a further step up from keelboats, with a larger crew

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