Experienced in Variable Draft Sailboats

S&J Yachts is the variable draft sailboat specialist. We encourage you to explore the many benefits of variable draft sailboats. The opportunities are endless for accessing and exploring remote anchorages, harbors, and inland waterways worldwide without the draft restrictions imposed on other yachts. With their shallow draft, versatility, and improved sailing performance, swing keel sailboats are an excellent choice for sailors who want to expand their cruising grounds.

What is a Variable Draft/Swing Keel?

Swing keels are a robust and useful alternative to centerboards, and they’re common on variable draft sailboats (such the Southerly 480, as seen on “Distant Shores”). Swing keels are retractable keels that are hinged in the front and swing into a slot called a trunk. Sailors lift and lower the keel with a crank, pulley, or hydraulic system. Sailboats with swing keels can reduce their draft for shallow water sailing or to make them fit on a trailer.

Benefits Inlude:

  • Shallow Draft:
    Sailboats with a swing keel can navigate in shallow waters, allowing sailors to explore areas that might be off-limits to boats with fixed keels.
  • Versatility:
    The ability to adjust the draft of the keel makes these sailboats versatile. They can be used in various sailing conditions, from deep offshore waters to shallow coastal areas.
  • Improved Upwind Performance:
    Swing keels can enhance upwind performance by providing additional lift. When the keel is lowered, it increases the boat’s stability and reduces leeway, resulting in better windward performance. With the keel down, the draft of a variable draft swing keel sailboat typically exceeds the draft of a fixed keel sailboat of similar size.
  • Beaching Capability:
    Some variable draft swing keel sailboats can be beached on shorelines and in tidal areas.
  • Safety in Shallow Waters:
    The ability to raise the keel is a safety feature in areas with unexpected shallows, reefs, or obstacles. Sailors can reduce the draft quickly, minimizing the risk of running aground in challenging conditions.
  • Reduced Dockage Costs:
    Some marinas charge fees based on the length or draft of a boat. Sailboats with variable draft keels can be docked in shallow water slips, which may result in reduced dockage costs.
Southerly Swing Keel - S&J Yachts Variable Draft Specialists
Southerly Yachts; Southerly Swing Keel
Southerly Yachts: Without Limits - Southerly 480 exterior on beach - S&J Yachts Variable Draft Specialists
Distance Shores III - Southerly 480 exterior on beach

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Variable Draft Sailboats For Sale

Variable Draft Sailboats - Brokerage Listings

1
Sail Boats for Sale
57' - Southerly - 2010 - 57RS - Soul Kitchen - Charleston, South Carolina, United States57RS
2010 57RS
  • Model 4LV150
  • Engine Qty 1
  • Cabin Count 3
  • Sleep Count 8
  • Head Count 2
  • Cruisers/Deck Saloon
  • 899,000
  • Cabins 3 Sleeps 8 Heads 2
  • 1 Yanmar 4LV150
  • Soul Kitchen
899,000
2
Sail Boats for Sale
50' - Lu Crestitalia - 1980 - Dick Carter - Luna - Charleston, South Carolina, United StatesDick Carter
1980 / 2023 Dick Carter
  • Model 4JH3-HTE
  • Engine Qty 1
  • Cabin Count 4
  • Sleep Count 4
  • Head Count 0
  • Cruisers/Schooner
  • 150,000
  • Cabins 4 Sleeps 4 Heads 0
  • 1 Yanmar 4JH3-HTE
  • Luna
150,000
3
Sail Boats for Sale
36' - Southerly - 2011 - Southerly 110 - Charleston, South Carolina, United StatesSoutherly 110
2011 Southerly 110
  • Model 3YM30AE
  • Engine Qty 1
  • Cabin Count 2
  • Sleep Count 6
  • Head Count 1
  • Cruisers/Sloop
  • 182,000
  • Cabins 2 Sleeps 6 Heads 1
  • 1 Yanmar 3YM30AE
182,000
4
Sail Boats for Sale
62' - Ice Yachts - 2016 - 62 evo - SUENO - Barcelona, Spain62 evo
2016 62 evo
  • Model D3
  • Engine Qty 1
  • Cabin Count 4
  • Sleep Count 6
  • Head Count 0
  • Cruiser-Racer
  • 958,500
  • Cabins 4 Sleeps 6 Heads 0
  • 1 Volvo Penta D3
  • SUENO
958,500
5
Sail Boats for Sale
58' - Catana - 2002 - 581 Owner's Version - Blue Moon - Porto Heli, Greece581 Owner's Version
2002 / 2021 581 Owner's Version
  • Model 4JH110
  • Engine Qty 2
  • Cabin Count 3
  • Sleep Count 8
  • Head Count 2
  • Catamaran
  • 679,000
  • Cabins 3 Sleeps 8 Heads 2
  • 2 Yanmar 4JH110
  • Blue Moon
679,000
6
Sail Boats for Sale
32' - Seaward - 2013 - 32 - Yolki Palki - Warwick, Rhode Island, United States32
2013 32
  • Model 3YM30
  • Engine Qty 1
  • Cabin Count 3
  • Sleep Count 6
  • Head Count 0
  • Cruisers/Cruiser-Racer
  • 148,500
  • Cabins 3 Sleeps 6 Heads 0
  • 1 Yanmar 3YM30
  • Yolki Palki
148,500
7
Sail Boats for Sale
32' - Columbia - 2013 - Carbon 32 Grand Prix - SAM - Marina Del Rey, California, United StatesCarbon 32 Grand Prix
2013 Carbon 32 Grand Prix
  • Model 2YM15
  • Engine Qty 1
  • Cabin Count 0
  • Sleep Count 0
  • Head Count 1
  • Racing Sailboat
  • 185,000
  • Cabins 0 Sleeps 0 Heads 1
  • 1 Yanmar 2YM15
  • SAM
185,000
8
Sail Boats for Sale
30' - L30 - 2020 - L30 - Hull 24 - Venice, Florida, United StatesL30
2020 L30
  • Model 2YM15C
  • Engine Qty 1
  • Cabin Count 1
  • Sleep Count 0
  • Head Count 1
  • Racing Sailboat/Daysailers
  • 145,000
  • Cabins 1 Sleeps 0 Heads 1
  • 1 Yanmar 2YM15C
  • Hull 24
145,000