I personally strongly prefer a deck-stepped mast over a keel stepped mast but once again this is an area where opinions can differ widely.
I mainly quoted the above to give the link back, I deleted most of Jeff's post.
Jeff_H, I want to state that I greatly
admire your posts, and make a point to read all that I see. You personify the old saying of "he's forgotten more than I'll ever know". You also write well, express yourself clearly, and don't try to talk over our heads. You are interested in imparting knowledge, not showing off. Thank you for taking the time to educate us and share some of your insights.
I'm a novice in comparison to many, but I have had both types of mast steps. I will never own another keel stepped mast. The amount of water that streams down a mast during wind and rain is incredible, lots of it goes into the bilge with a keel stepped mast no matter how you try to keep it out. I've had one dismasting with a keel step, and it tore the cabin top as it came down. I was able to limp home under sail, using the boom to "sort of" hold up the main.
Raising and lowering a deck stepped mast is so much easier and safer that there is no comparison.