Is one better than the other?
I can''t remember the text, but a few years ago in my ardor to "bluewater" my boat, I had concerns about deck-stepped masts. I finally found some data that indicated an approximately 10%, as I recall, loss in the column strength due to deck stepping without additional connection from spar to compression post. The guy at former Westsail in California builds a tabernacle for around $250 that can be mechanically attached to deck and compression post to overcome most, if not all, of the strength loss. A friend who dismasted in the "Pigs on Water" (debauchery at its finest) race in Coral Bay emphasized his delight with deck stepping, since, he felt, a keel-stepped mast might''ve holed his hull. I think he was distracted by the all-girl crew coming up on him doing the necessary and permissible distraction technique of, for lack of a better term, "lifting their canvas."