Sailboat without a mast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 77 Old 08-28-2012 Thread Starter
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Sailboat without a mast

I'm new to this forum. Am planning to purchase a used 30' sailboat but I'm not interested in sailing. I would like to remove the mast except for about 8 feet for antenna mounting. Would like to do the great loop and not have to worry about a mast, also very economical cruising. Would removing the mast as described have any ill effects on the vessel?? Thanks Al.
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post #2 of 77 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

no might actually balance it more. you plan on putting a bigger or more powerfull motor in? bigger fuel tank? sailboat are made to sail and not to motor 100% of the time.

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post #3 of 77 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

No, there's no reason why you can't remove the mast and just motor. Plenty of people transport sailboats in that manner.

However, sailboats are designed to sail. If all I wanted was to motor, I'd personally look at a trawler. You'll get a lot more comfortable of a boat if you get one that is designed to be motored.
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post #4 of 77 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

Of course, a sailboat is very unlikely to have as much internal volume and room for stores as a power boat of the same length, and sawing off the mast will deprive the boat of the ability to steady its motion via the sails or to save money by sailing.
-- And, cruising sailboats of that size usually have much more of a displacement hull design than powerboats and don't have room to install a much bigger engine, so a mast-less traditional sailboat would become a slow powerboat without the option of having a big engine to get out of trouble.
-- Also, you'd probably be paying to motor around with a big heavy lead or iron keel that isn't doing much to earn its deep, and which would restrict you from entering shallow water. (You could maybe saw off and sell a lead keel for good money, but then your boat would be even less stable.)
-- And powerboaters and sailors would probably both be suspicious of a boat that doesn't know which side it's on.
But, as "they" say, your sea miles may vary.

PS: Better than sawing off the mast would be saving it on land somewhere safe, so as to preserve a sailing option as well as the boat's resale value, or perhaps selling it -- the mast is worth a lot more as a mast than as some sort of hokey antenna support or whatever.

Last edited by rgscpat; 08-28-2012 at 07:49 PM.
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post #5 of 77 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

I'm curious, why would you want a sailboat to motor with? Not that there is anything wrong it but it is somewhat counter-intuitive.

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post #6 of 77 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

A 35' sailboat with a Beta 16 diesel like and old C&C 35 I gets in the 14 MPG range in real life as i have been racing on one the last 5 years and we only keep a 10 gallon fuel tank

That being said there is NOTHING more rocky and uncomfortable than a sailboat without sails
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post #7 of 77 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

I read a piece on Fuel mileage Trawler v Sailboat, same trip same time of the year, in the End the Trawler spent 900% more then the Sailboat on Fuel and got the same mileage.

You might find a motor-sailor that you can drop the mast from and install a 16' 4x4 as your antenna mount, Also your radar reflector, Steaming Light, Anchor Light ,cross bar for flags and Deck lights and it will be easy to drop if you need to get under something very low. Then when you get back you can put the mast back on and sell it .

Best of luck on your Trip, it is a Trip i would love to make myself. Fair Winds

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Re: Sailboat without a mast

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Originally Posted by pedalsteel View Post
I'm new to this forum. Am planning to purchase a used 30' sailboat but I'm not interested in sailing. I would like to remove the mast except for about 8 feet for antenna mounting. Would like to do the great loop and not have to worry about a mast, also very economical cruising. Would removing the mast as described have any ill effects on the vessel?? Thanks Al.
If you're serious, and I have my doubts. I would recommend that even though you don't want to sail, you should leave the mast on the boat. If you are planning on passing under bridges that don't open, it would be possible and certainly more sensible to set up the mast to lower when you need to.

You don't have to sail it, but leave the mast on the boat. It will roll your guts out if you remove the spar.
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post #9 of 77 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

Buy a small trawler.. that's what it's designed to do. Sailboats (at least keelboats) without their rigs tend to be overly stable and will have a snappy, uncomfortable motion due to the loss of the inertia of the rig itself, never mind the stabilizing effect of the sails.

A small 'chugger' will have more volume, likely, and would be being used as intended.
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post #10 of 77 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

I'd get a sail boat that was small enough to lower and raise the mast by myself to not worry about the bridges, OR, as mentioned, a trawler style, possibly a pilot house motor sailor! I'd probably go with a trawler before a MS myself.

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