Maximum mizzen height for canals
I own a shoal draft cutter ketch that has a tabernacle-stepped mainmast, which I am setting up for easy lowering when going up rivers and canals, but the mizzen does not go down so easily, plus I would like to leave it up for the VHF antenna, flags, plus it's nice to lean up against when sitting on the transom (that's how this boat is sailed, mostly: sitting on the transom, leaning against the mizzen, one foot on the tiller).
The mizzen is nice for maneuvering under sail and for keeping the boat from swinging while at anchor, but there is plenty of sail on the boat for coastal and ocean passages without it, and if I have to shorten the mizzen mast, I will do just that.
The canal thing will be a new trick for this boat; blue water has been its element for most of its long, happy life. What I am wondering is this: how tall a mizzen is reasonable to let it pass under bridges, here and in Europe?
First SailNet post, by the way.
It all depends on the canals you intend to use. The Erie canal has clearances of 15ft to 20 ft depending on which branch you're using. The Rideau Canal is 22 ft. If your looking for a specific canal do a search on the internet.
The vertical clearance on the Frexinet guage canals in France is 3.5 metres, except for one on the Canal du Centre that is 3.42 metres.
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