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Shoal vs Wing Keel

Sep 7, 2021
Catalina 30 Georgian Bay
Hey all!
We are looking at a new boat and C30's are at the top of our list. We were moving in the right direction with one we really liked, until we realized the standard 5'3" draft could be a problem for us.

So basically wondering what differences there might be between the shoal draft (4'4") and wing keel (3'10") versions as far as sailing characteristics go?
Is one better than the other at getting upwind? Would they both still be better upwind than most older full keel designs?
Also not sure if std/shoal/wing keels have much difference as far as comfort level in steep wind swell?
I can't seem to find a picture online showing the shape of the shoal keel, but can see lots of wing keels online.
I know the shoal draft boats will be older vs wing keel, but more concerned about condition/upkeep than age alone.

Jul 19, 2013
Pearson 31-2 Boston
A deep keel model will well out sail either a wing keel or shoal draft, buy a short keel only if its not a choice for you. If you go for a short keel, be sure to measure the depth of the rudder. If the rudder is as deep, or deeper, than the keel, don't buy that model, you would be asking for expensive trouble. Some builders including Catalina responded to the popularity of wing keels in the '80s by just adding a short wing keel option to an existing deep keel design, without modifying the depth of the rudder, resulting in boats which can give an otherwise routine grounding a whole new level of pain.

The more responsible builders who sell design with both deep and shallow keel options, have an alternate, shorter rudder design for the shorter keel models.
Sep 7, 2021
Catalina 30 Georgian Bay
Yes looking at pics/drawings of the boat, the wing keel is about in line with the rudder. Would not want rudder to be lower for sure. For the C30 most owner accounts online seem to be along the lines of "yes doesn't point as high as fin but I don't notice it much cruising".
I do need less draft due to our marina (and possible anchorages), mostly curious if there is much difference between the two "shoal draft" versions of the C30...
Sep 7, 2021
Catalina 30 Georgian Bay
I emailed Catalina with this question and they replied in about an hour!
Basically said they have about the same C/E, shoal version has a bit more vertical area but is thicker/longer so its surface area is less efficient. The wing makes up for it a bit as it heels and wings come a bit into the vertical plane.
So basically all equal is sounds, with wing a few inches less draft.