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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-07-2016 06:29 PM
centerline
Re: Sailboat without a mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesman100 View Post
I know this is an old thread but thought I would reply anyway.

I had thought of something like this and have read a few articles where some folks have actually done it. I recently bought a Mac 22 and with this boat there is no need to make any changes. It's small enough to add a mast stepping system and with the swing keel I can raise/lower the keel to suit my needs. Raise the mast for stability while motoring or sailing, or leave it stored across the cabin. If you plan on extensive cruising the 22' would be a bit (well, more than a bit) small. Which makes me wonder, what would be the maximum size sailboat that a mast stepping system would be practical?
as the owner of many different boats throughout my life, I can shed some reasonable light on this.

its really not a worry for those that want to remove the mast from a sailboat and use the hull as a cruiser only... there definitley are pros and cons, but for the most part, thru this entire thread it has been about how rolly the sailboat would be in a seaway without the mast, and, yes it is a fact.... but not so much that it is unbearable like so many "swear" it is.
these people have obviously never been aboard a powerboat in a choppy seaway....
my point is, they are comparing a sailboat without a mast to a sailboat WITH a mast, so yes, they are correct. but when comparing the mastless sailboat to a powerboat, the sailboat is more stable.... a 30' powerboat bobs like a cork, but can sink like a rock when inverted... at least the mastless sailboat will return upright.

as for trawlers, they CAN ride better because some of them DO have a shallow, but weighted keel... and all of them are designed to be as stable as possible, but for a man on a budget as most who would consider doing this is, a trawler is out of the budget.

and it IS true that a sailboat is quite a bit more fuel efficient than an equivalent powerboat.... and boats in the 28 to 32ft range, all have about the same storage space available... when they start getting bigger, the powerboats do begin to have larger spaces to store stuff.

for those that think one could by an old powerboat and put a smaller engine in it to gain the fuel economy... this is not very well thought out statement.
powerboat hulls do NOT slip thru the water as easily as a sailing hull does... and by the time one gets done repowering/modifying the powerboat hull in an attempt to make it as fuel efficient as the sail hull, the sail hull will can be thousands of miles away, with money still in the kitty.....

I am also a firm believer that all things being equal between a smaller "budget" sailboat and the traditional style "budget" powerboat, a sailboat is a more comfortable home for long term cruising....
And, if I was out somewhere in the ocean broke down, where help may be days or weeks away, I would much rather be in a mastless sailboat, than I would in a traditional powerboat... because during a storm, it is safer even if you only take a minimal amount of care.

trawlers are not included in this assessment because I believe that anyone considering doing this is working on a tight budget...

even if it does go against the grain of what most people want to believe, it can be a very economical way to go boating... but one should consider the reasonable pros and cons, not the unreasonable ones....
01-06-2016 10:30 PM
Wesman100
Re: Sailboat without a mast

I know this is an old thread but thought I would reply anyway.

I had thought of something like this and have read a few articles where some folks have actually done it. I recently bought a Mac 22 and with this boat there is no need to make any changes. It's small enough to add a mast stepping system and with the swing keel I can raise/lower the keel to suit my needs. Raise the mast for stability while motoring or sailing, or leave it stored across the cabin. If you plan on extensive cruising the 22' would be a bit (well, more than a bit) small. Which makes me wonder, what would be the maximum size sailboat that a mast stepping system would be practical?
10-13-2015 03:17 PM
Iriemon
Re: Sailboat without a mast

Another thought I had thinking about this rotational inertia stuff.

If putting mass further way from the center of rotation dampens the effect of spin, i.e. putting a mast on a boat, then by the same logic, wouldn't putting heavier weight at the ends of the boat, as opposed the middle of the boat, dampen the effect of pitching?

Maybe some of your physicists here can answer that question.
10-13-2015 03:10 PM
Iriemon
Re: Sailboat without a mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
You could also balance the boat by stowing a lot of heavy stuff above the water line. Can't see that it would have been hard to mimic the arm and weight of the mast by lashing a bunch of jerrycans with water on both sides mid ship for example, or on top of the cabin.
I'm no expert on physics, but that seems counter intuitive to me. I had thought that a sailboat mast prevented rolling only by the force of wind on the sail, but more knowledgeable folks here convinced me otherwise, one post in particular by making the reference to an ice skater who spins fast with arms tucked in and slows with arms extended. From my limited research this has to do with "rotational inertia" and "angular momentum". This article explains the phenomenon.

http: // www .bsharp.org/physics/spins

Under this principle, simply adding weight on deck wouldn't help, you'd have to add weight aloft to get the increase between the "axis of rotation" and mass, increasing the "moment of inertia."

The effect apparently depends on the amount of mass and the distance it is away from the center of axis. Thus, having a top heavy mast would apparently reduce the speed of roll compared to a lightweight carbon job, which would allow for faster roll.

Again, sounds counter intuitive to me, but consistent with the posts of more knowledgeable and experienced members.

But I have a cat so all this is irrelevant to me.
10-09-2015 07:13 PM
krisscross
Re: Sailboat without a mast

You could also balance the boat by stowing a lot of heavy stuff above the water line. Can't see that it would have been hard to mimic the arm and weight of the mast by lashing a bunch of jerrycans with water on both sides mid ship for example, or on top of the cabin.
10-09-2015 02:42 PM
Iriemon
Re: Sailboat without a mast

Thanks Jeff, sound advice.

Our boat is a PDQ 32 cat, so the rolling should not an issue. That it might make more sense to buy and sell a trawler versus putting a thousand or so hours on the engines is an interesting proposition I'll have to mull a bit.
10-09-2015 02:12 PM
Jeff_H
Re: Sailboat without a mast

This somewhat depends on the boat in question and on you. I don't have experience making the loop but I have a little experience on boats without their masts. There have been a few times when I have had to move a sailboat without a mast. In one case, after my Folkboat lost its mast, and another bringing an approximately 40 foot boat to Direcktors to get a new mast when I worked there in the 1970's. In both cases the motion on these boats was so violent that even moving safely around the decks was very difficult. Power boat wakes (we were in the Intercoastal Waterway) were shocking events that made standing almost impossible and moving about the cabin quite dangerous.

But what I am not sure about is whether these were a unique experiences or typical. I have never been sure whether there was something about these specific boats that resulted in the experiences that I had. I have purposely asked people who have motored with their masts on their deck whether they have noticed a different motion. All say that they have and most said that it was bearable. I don't know how much worse not having a mast aboard would be from there.

So, in my mind the answer would seem to lie in the specifics of the boat and your tolerance for uncomfortable motion. If I was considering doing something like that, I would have the mast removed and put on the dock, and then go out in snotty weather or a busy weekend and see whether I was comfortable or not. If I was marginally comfortable, I would then add some ballast to get the boat to sit on her lines, (or down in the bow a little since you are motoring and most boats squat when they are motoring) and go out and try that again, and see how that felt.

If it was acceptable to you, you have your answer. If its not acceptable to you, then you had planned to have the mast removed for the trip anyway, and at that point, I would build a cradle to support the mast on deck and try that to see if that is any more comfortable. If that was not bearable, do some maintenance on your mast and then put it back up and look for other options.

But frankly, if it were me, as others have suggested, you probably would be way ahead of the game buying a small trawler yacht, make the trip, and then selling her when you got back. The depreciation on the trawler should not be all that much worse than having to rebuild the engine on your sailboat after putting a couple thousand hours on it, and the shallower draft and larger accommodations would make the trip more comfortable.

Jeff
10-09-2015 01:31 PM
Iriemon
Re: Sailboat without a mast

I know this is an old thread -- but it is a ongoing question.

I wouldn't buy a sailboat to use permanently as a non-sailboat for reasons others have mentioned.

But for purposely of doing the Great Loop (mentioned in the OP) only, I see some logic to removing the mast for the trip.

I have not done the Great Loop, but when I took a sailboat up the ICW a few years back, the "sail" part of the boat was not an advantage. There were very few places that were actually practical to sail in, and having a mast meant innumerable times waiting for bridges to open. Most of the times we just motored, and waited for bridges.

There were few area where we had to navigate any kind of signficant wave action, Albermarle Sound comes to mind, and Chasapeake Bay. But mostly the biggest problem with waves were from other boats.

Except for the Great Lakes, it seems that most of the rest of the Great Loop is probably in the same category. I'm guessing you're probably not going to be actually sailing much. And to go thru the Eire locks and Chicago, you've got to take down the mast and put it back up, twice.

We are planning a Great Loop trip on a sailboat in a couple years, and I'm thinking of leaving my mast at a yard in one of the Okeechobee storage places. No waiting on bridges, and the costs of the extra fuel needed for areas I could actually sail would probably be less than the costs of unstepping and stepping the mast a couple times. And we don't have to deal with the mast laying on our deck and hanging over the ends for half the trip.

For sailors who have actually done the Great Loop, I'd appreciate your views. Did you do a lot of actual sailing on the trip?
01-13-2015 09:36 PM
capta
Re: Sailboat without a mast

I love it; "If one could repower up a bit to have a frankenstein trawler cat that would be efficient at low speed (trawler-like gph) but have some 'umph' when you needed/wished to go faster, too."
Yeah, that's the poor man's way, let's just repower! A couple of BIGGER diesels will probably need bigger shafts, different screws and perhaps even struts.
Never mind that most cats have very narrow engine spaces, and oh, I guess we will need to reinforce the engine beds for the greater horsepower. Of course, adding a few hundred pounds to the stern of any boat, let alone a cat, should really improve performance as well, wouldn't you think?
Repowering with bigger engines to go slow is like buying a shrimp trawler or a tug boat to make long distance voyages; it is never economical.
I love how some people will come on here with a rather impractical idea and abuse those who have a pretty good idea of that impracticality, ignoring some pretty good advice. If I had a buck.......
01-13-2015 09:30 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Sailboat without a mast

I guess this is how it goes. I want to do something stupid, but if you think its stupid, you're stupid.
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