Is one better than the other?
Thanks for all of the minutia Jeff.
I prefer keel stepped masts because the rigging load is more evenly distributed through out the entire structure of the boat. A keel stepped mast, if properly engineered, will have a tie rod connecting the mast and partner that will adequately handle the lifting force imposed on the partner (and cabin top) by the blocks at the base of the mast. Think of a keel stepped mast as having one more point of support compared to one that is deck stepped. I was dismasted once as well, (I didn''t actually loose it I knew where it was, in the water) and it was decked stepped! If you loose a shroud with a keel stepped mast, in all likelihood the mast stays standing, with a deck stepped mast she’s most likely going overboard.
It is shear (pardon the pun) nonsense to hack off six feet of your mast and mount the mast on the deck and then re-engineer the bulkheads and compression post to take the loads required. Someone has way too much time on thier hands!
Yeah, a little water gets into the bilge from the exit plates however that might only be a problem in a hurricane.