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post #82 of Old 10-13-2015
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Re: Sailboat without a mast

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.

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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.
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