i am going to get my boat on this weekend. i am exited!!. i was wondering if the shape of the keel, (since it is relatively long on the longitudinal axis of the boat) enables a lot of water to come into the keel box and how does this effect the boat as far as humidity in general inside the cabin, on its sailing ability, and when heeling, does water spill into the cabin?
i saw a manual bilge pump inside the cabin and i was wondering if it is "normal" (my last boat was dry with no need for bilge pump at all and in other boats i saw manual bilge pump in the cockpit) or because of the special keel in this boat, there is much more work on the bilge pump.
I have never had water enter the cabin via the keel box when sailing, but I have never experienced waves greater than 30cm, as my sailing was done on the Norfolk Broads. I don't know how big the waves get on the Limfjord where there is much more open water.
If your boat is a late Reedcraft boat, like mine, with the keel handle shown here:
https://www.seahawk17.org.uk/boat-description-keel.php#handle2 you'll see the keel handle should sit within a moulded seat with a rubber gasket. In all normal circumstances, the weight of the keel pulling the handle down provides an effective seal.
However, I seem to recall reports of those who sail in waves over 1m have reported small amounts coming in. This happens when cresting a wave. Pressure on the keel drops momentarily and the keel can lift slightly opening the seal formed at the keel handle. The keel may slap from one side of the box to the other. As pressure comes on the keel again it can jet a very small amount through the open seal.
When staying on board overnight and using a stove, to cook rice or make tea the amount of moisture generated can condense on the inside of the boat, especially in the colder nights of early spring or late autumn. My experience is that this runs down into the bilge by the keel bolt:
https://www.seahawk17.org.uk/boat-description-keel.php#pivot but squeezing a sponge just once was all that was needed the following morning to make it completely dry again.
A search on the site for "pump" reveals that it is not unknown for a boat to be fitted with a bilge pump, but my experience suggests the need for one is limited to boats with poorly fitted echo sounders or fish finders, or where leaks around the cockpit lockers are poorly sealed, when rain can enter the boat and find its way to the deepest part of the bilges.