Fully Encapsulated Keel

Discuss Jerry Montgomery designed pocket cruiser SAGE 17

Moderator: sal

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:07 pm

Fully Encapsulated Keel

#1 Post by Giovanni » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:21 am

I owned a 1990 Montgomery 17 with a full, encapsulated keel. It felt extremely stiff and sailed upwind just fine, including the fact that it was in San Francisco Bay. Although the sailing performance and beaching capabilities are not as impressive as the Sage 17, I appreciated knowing that there were not any moving parts beneath me. Knowing that I would like to spend nearly all of my time in deep water and off the coast, is it still possible for the Sage 17 to be modified in a way that allows it to have the same sailing characteristics but does not have a drop down centerboard? I just love these little boats and I do not think there is any other logical upgrade than to get the newer model!

Thank you in advance,

User avatar
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:52 pm
Location: Colorado Rockies

Re: Fully Encapsulated Keel

#2 Post by sal » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:35 pm

Hi Giovanni,

I think it cold be done by a custom boat yard. I don't think We would want to do it at Sage.


User avatar
Posts: 210
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:14 pm
Location: California

Re: Fully Encapsulated Keel

#3 Post by Jerry » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:56 pm

Those were great boats, Giovanni, lots of weight down low, and they sailed well upwind and down. In a breeze, probably close to a Sage although a Sage would kill it in light air!

I made a mold for a keel extention for those boats, but probably only sold three that I can remember. Three boats definately didn't pay for the tooling (well, maybe it did because I made it myself on weekends and I work for free). Sal works for free too, but he spends most of his free time grinding on knives instead of frabbergrass.

If I were going to do this on a Sage (I wouldn't, because the Sage has a much-improved keel/cb setup than the M-17 and the benefits would be very marginal. The Sage probably would be similar in stiffness because of the carbon deck; removing weight up high is the same as adding ballast, with the added benefit of reducing overall weight which has several benefits; performance and less trailering weight being the most important. A very noticible quality of the Sage is that when a good puff comes, it quickly accelerates rather than laying over and trying to round up. I'd be tempted to hoist the boat up and make the desired extension out of wood, then pull a quickie mold off the wood extension, and make a glass part. You wouldn't need to put much of a finish on the wooden plug or the mold because it would be better to just fair the extension after it's bonded to the hull. I wouldn't worry about putting in a lot of weight; I'd just look at it as replacing the weight of the CB. There would probably be enough volume in the extension that you could get plenty of weight with wheel weights, which are cheaper and easier to find than lead shot or cast lead. But if I was tempted to do this, I'd try to find someone to slap some sense into me!

Post Reply