Virtually all large racing and cruising sailboats have a fixed keel. A keel is needed to keep the boat from being blown sideways at all points of sail except downwind. A keel also provides weight low under the water to lower the boat’s center of gravity below the waterline, which is needed so that the boat bobs back upright if knocked over by wind or waves.
Sailboats have many different types of fixed keels, such as full keels (see photo) and fin keels. You can read about differences in keel shapes here. If you decide a fixed keel boat is best for your sailing purposes, consider also which type keel best meets your needs.
Continue for the benefits and disadvantages of centerboards and fixed keels.