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post #78 of Old 10-09-2015
Iriemon
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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?
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