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The Lifting Keel

30 April 2010
Rather than describe again that the winds are still light, I thought I'd mention some details of Issuma's lifting keel. Lifting keels are not common, but are somewhat popular on offshore and expedition-type sailboats. At the price of additional complexity (and cost), they allow the boat to motor into shallow water when the keel is up, and to keep the ballast (weight) low when sailing (when the keel is down) so it can still sail well.

Here is Yann's picture of the keel before being installed in the boat. The keel weighs 4.5 tons and also carries up to 600 litres of fuel.

On the lower left is the pin on which the keel pivots when raising and lowering. The upper left corner is the top of the keel (or the top aft corner of the keel when the keel is lowered all the way). The square shiny things are pieces of zinc, welded onto the steel keel to prevent corrosion.
Vessel Name: Issuma
Vessel Make/Model: Damien II, 15m/50' steel staysail schooner with lifting keel
Extra: Designed for Antarctica. Built in France by META in 1981. Draft 1.3m/4.5' with keel up, 3.2m/10.5' with keel down. More details at
Home Page:
Issuma's Photos - Main
Survey pictures taken of Shekin V
14 Photos
Created 29 April 2008