Cal Mast Step
I will be purchasing an older Lapworth Cal next year in the length range of 29 to 34 feet. After I get it ready I'll be using it in the Puget Sound and for cruising in British Columbia. I would like the capability to cross the Gulf of Alaska eventually and cruise in Alaska. My local 'experts' and some books I have read say that I need a keel stepped mast - my understanding is that the Cals in my length range have deck rather than keel steped masts.
Is keel stepping that necessary and (please understand, I'm still in the muttering stages - be kind!!) is it feasible to change the stepping location?
The debate about keel stepped verses deck stepped has been extensively debated on this and several other sailing forums and a little work with the Search function, above, will allow you to find them. Beyond that, for our part we owned a 1976 Cal 2-29 with a deck stepped mast until 2002 when we moved up to our current yacht, also with deck stepped mast. In 50+ years of sailing, these and prior yachts, the only advantage I have seen to keel stepped masts is somewhat greater ability to bend the mast which, in theory, allows greater sail trim. That may be so for all-out racing yachts with relatively thin flexible masts but I have not seen it confer any particular advantage given the other vageries of yacht/sail trim and, of course, all-out racing yachts are not what most cruisers sail.
While Cal's are relatively light-weight yachts, they were reasonably well built and if an older yacht was well cared for, with some improvements they are certainly capable of long distance crusing (although, frankly, I wouldn't choose one for high latitudes).
Use the Search function here; on Cruiser's Forum; and, on some of the other sailing forums for more information and opinions.
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