Originally Posted by trk2
Has anyone actually experienced being aboard a sailboat with no mast? I've moved several sailboats between harbors for winter storage without masts, and the boats were all more stable without a mast. I think many people are assuming a sailboat without a mast behaves the same as a sailboat without any sails up and it's completely different. But this is all based on personal and a rather limited selection, but wide ranging type of boats (from a 27' sloop to a 58' hermaphrodite brig).
Yes. I've done it twice: Once through the Erie Canal (from Catskill, NY to Tonawanda, NY); and once from Holland, MI to Mobile, AL. Both times, the mast was stowed horizontally above deck.
My initial thought was that with our 8800# of ballast in the keel, we'd be more stable; this was not the case.
In dead flat conditions, it's quite an enjoyable ride.
However, once the usual problems (pb wakes, chop, quartering or abeam seas, etc) come up then the boat's motion gets dicey.
As counter intuitive as it sounds, having the weight aloft really helps dampen the roll.