The Variable Draft Keel was a unique sailing concept when Northshore launched the first Southerly 33 in 1978, and has remained so ever since. The continuous development of the Variable Draft Keel by both in-house engineers and outside Design Houses, has established Northshore as the world leaders in the practicalities of lifting keels and made the Southerly range an international benchmark by which shoal draft yachts are judged.
Tried & tested for over 30 years
Today, there are over 900 Southerly Owners worldwide who can testify to the remarkable versatility of the Variable Draft Keel system which fulfils most people's idea of the perfect yacht: one that has a deep draft for powerful sailing performance, yet a shallow draft for exploring shallow creeks and inland waterways. Southerlys have covered many thousands of miles, including transatlantic and round-the-world voyages, in the course of which they have proved themselves adept at meeting navigational challenges.
Deep draft performance
The Variable Draft Keel provides a deep draft which gives a greater stability due to the increased righting moment. In practice the boat is stiffer, carries her sail better and carves her way efficiently to windward in any seaway. The Variable Draft Keel's aerofoil shape is highly efficient - and allows you to point high (30°) with minimal leeway.
Shallow draft freedom
At the touch of a button, the keel can be raised, to sail in shallow waters. This means you can extend your cruising grounds considerably. The Southerly will dry out completely upright, in safety - sitting on its large cast iron grounding plate. Raising the Variable Draft Keel, gives you access to many tidal locations and allows you to berth your Southerly, literally on the beach.