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  #11  
Old 01-18-2007
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I personally am torn between the pros/cons of each option and think (as everything else) it may depend on you personal preferences and type of sailing you are doing. My current boat has a keel steped mast, however I have owned several other boats with deck stepped masts. I tend to subscribe to the idea that Jeff mentioned about loosing the mast with it being keel stepped. With the bigger stump left behind I would hopefully be better equiped to jury rig a means of getting to safety. If in doubt please refer to the photo's of Ken Barns dismasted boat. (a discussion for another thread) There is a clear stump of a mast left that could have been used if needed. A deck stepped mast, while possibly easier to clear away would have been just that, cleared away.

Jeff- I like the configuration you descripe with the deck stepped mast being bolted to the compression post, but wouldn't that negate your point in being able to clear away a deck stepped mast? I would be interested in your thoughts on smaller boats where a deck stepped mast is often bolted to the step, often in a configuration that allows it to hinge when stepping/unstepping. I was once dismasted in a small boat with a deck stepped mast and I can tell you that it ripped a very large hole in the deck when it went.

One last thought. While it may seem over kill to some, my boats never leave the dock with out cable cutters and/or bolt cutters and hacksaw on board in case of such an emergency.
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2007
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Who is bolting the deck step mast to the compression post????
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2007
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It is very important to realize that a deck stepped mast has to be properly engineered, to transfer the loads from the mast foot through the cabintop to the keel. In older boats this was often done using a bulkhead, and that would cause problems if the bulkhead was damaged or altered. In more modern boats, the load is transfered via a compression post. If this isn't done properly, the tension on the shrouds and stays can cause the mast to compress the cabin top, leading to damage and possible delamination of the cabin top.

I prefer the deck-stepped masts as it allows the cabin to have better water-tight integrity. The mast, in keel stepped boats, is often a source of water into the bilge.

As for which is more likely to come down...neither...but if one does come down, the keel-stepped mast is far more likely to leave a long stub to jury rig something from, where the deck-stepped mast is more likely to be completely lost. However, that said, the keel stepped mast is more likely to leave a hole in the cabin top... so it is a toss up in my book.

PS... the compression post on my boat is through-bolted to the mast step on the outside of the cabin top. The post itself is a 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" stainless steel square column and runs from the hull, at the forward end of the centerboard case, to the cabintop.

Giulietta-

I don't think anyone is advocating bolting a deck-stepped mast to the compression post...just the compression post and the mast step itself...not the mast.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 01-18-2007 at 11:42 AM.
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H
[FONT=Arial]My preferred set up is a deck stepped mast that has a welded flange on its bottom that is through bolted through the deck into the top flange of a structural aluminum jack post. My current boat has a keel stepped mast. It is my intent to pull this mast and have it modified to that arrangement if I ever go offshore with her. "
G- That was taken from Jeff's last paragraph, if I am reading it correctly.
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2007
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Hmm... it looks like Jeff is advocating it.. I don't believe anyone makes a boat with a deck-stepped mast that is bolted to the compression post... it makes much more sense to bolt the mast step to the compression post, and then if you want, to bolt the mast foot to the mast step... you can... But I think it doesn't make much sense to bolt the mast itself directly to the compression post. You would have to unbolt those every time you wanted to lower the mast... and thereby lose some of the advantages of a deck-stepped mast and create more places for water to leak into the boat.
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  #16  
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SD, I went back and re-read it again, because soemtimes I need to read two or three times to understand...

"mast that has a welded flange on its bottom that is through bolted through the deck into the top flange of a structural aluminum jack post."

Still did not understand...( the English I did) you guys make things diffrent over there......

As T said in another post:

OHHHH My!!!! Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!!!

Last edited by Giulietta; 01-18-2007 at 11:52 AM.
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  #17  
Old 01-18-2007
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I am not trying to start an argument. When it comes to designs specifics and engineering, etc, I will tell you I am not the expert... as stated before. However, I cannot see how a deck stepped mast is better for offshore than a keel stepped. It would also seem to me that a properly engineered keel versus deck would be less likely to be dismasted. Maybe I am just splitting hairs, but I venture that if you took a pole on the number of dismastings, the reason there are so many keel stepped boats dismasted is that they were in the horrid conditions that might have taken a deck down earlier.

Not trying to be a smarty and start an argument. Sincere question: How can a deck stepped be better than a keel for seious offshore?

- CD

PS I still maintain that I like deck stepped better for obvious reasons.
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Old 01-18-2007
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I think that a deck stepped mast is better when far offshore not because it is less likely to fail but that the consequences of a failure are less severe; as a keel stepped mast might take part of the deck with it when broken and swept overboard while a deck stepped one will leave the deck intact.
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  #19  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin
I think that a deck stepped mast is better when far offshore not because it is less likely to fail but that the consequences of a failure are less severe; as a keel stepped mast might take part of the deck with it when broken and swept overboard while a deck stepped one will leave the deck intact.
Zan, please note that (IF) the thru deck is properly engineered, it will hold the bending force on breaking. Its a feature when you build it. Unfortunately not all boats with keel steps can claim that.

I forgot how many times I posted this photo...

DO THIS WITH A DECK STEP.....Rest my case!!!




The whole story...
Here is story for you..


For the record, I would never ever again have a deck step. I had a boat with one, a few years back. But what do I know, I don't read books...

Last edited by Giulietta; 01-18-2007 at 12:24 PM.
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  #20  
Old 01-18-2007
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Zan,

I guess I would dissagree with that. I would think the deck step is EXTREMELY LIKELY to take a huge chuck of the deck with it when it comes back down through the cabin top... versus a keel step would be more likely to snap above deck. Someone else help me, but I recall pictures of the Fastnet where they showed the huge hole in the top of the cabin. And as I said before... hope you weren't standing there.
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