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In fairness, the OP asked a very narrow question which was overlooked by most, who just critiqued the overall idea (including me, but after giving my opinion on the question). He wasn't looking for feedback on "which boat"-- only

Would removing the mast as described have any ill effects on the vessel?
Of course, nothing wrong with giving advice beyond that which is solicited. It's often helpful.
 

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Señor Member
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Would removing the mast as described have any ill effects on the vessel?? Thanks Al.
Al,

I'll take a stab at giving a concise response:

- If you mean "will removal of the rig permanently damage the boat," then no.
- If you mean "will removal of the rig negatively effect it's seaworthiness," then yes.
- If you mean "will removal negatively effect the boat's value," it certainly will.

The first and third bullets above are pretty much self explanatory.

The middle one's the kicker.

A well designed sailboat's all about bringing opposing forces into balance. Take part of that design away, and the resulting imbalance will require you to make many compromises. I can tell you from personal experience that you'll find a rig-less keel boat to be a handful in even moderate conditions. And don't think that just because you are going to be in near-shore or inland waters you will be immune -- any large body of water with sufficient fetch will develop sea states that need to be respected.
 

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Chastened
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In fairness, the OP asked a very narrow question which was overlooked by most, who just critiqued the overall idea (including me, but after giving my opinion on the question). He wasn't looking for feedback on "which boat"-- only



Of course, nothing wrong with giving advice beyond that which is solicited. It's often helpful.
I did address his specific question- I said that the boat would ride uncomfortably. Removing most of the mast would harm the riding capabilities of the boat. That's why I suggested that he buy the proper tool for the job. :)
 

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Doesn't sail enough
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Ditto what Bubblehead just said. Buying a sailboat to motor around with really does not make any sense at all.
Have seen a lot of people happily drop the stick to cruise the canals in Ontario. My slip neighbours just took their Bayfield 25 from Simcoe to Georgian Bay (they did bring the stick with).

But I have seen sailboats cruising the Rideau Canal without the stick - guess they left it at home.
 

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Has anyone actually experienced being aboard a sailboat with no mast? I've moved several sailboats between harbors for winter storage without masts, and the boats were all more stable without a mast. I think many people are assuming a sailboat without a mast behaves the same as a sailboat without any sails up and it's completely different. But this is all based on personal and a rather limited selection, but wide ranging type of boats (from a 27' sloop to a 58' hermaphrodite brig).
 

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Señor Member
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Has anyone actually experienced being aboard a sailboat with no mast? I've moved several sailboats between harbors for winter storage without masts, and the boats were all more stable without a mast. I think many people are assuming a sailboat without a mast behaves the same as a sailboat without any sails up and it's completely different. But this is all based on personal and a rather limited selection, but wide ranging type of boats (from a 27' sloop to a 58' hermaphrodite brig).
Trk,

Yes. I've done it twice: Once through the Erie Canal (from Catskill, NY to Tonawanda, NY); and once from Holland, MI to Mobile, AL. Both times, the mast was stowed horizontally above deck.

My initial thought was that with our 8800# of ballast in the keel, we'd be more stable; this was not the case.

In dead flat conditions, it's quite an enjoyable ride.

However, once the usual problems (pb wakes, chop, quartering or abeam seas, etc) come up then the boat's motion gets dicey.

As counter intuitive as it sounds, having the weight aloft really helps dampen the roll.
 

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Quirky
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As counter intuitive as it sounds, having the weight aloft really helps dampen the roll.

Not really. The keel acts like a pendulum without the weight aloft since there's nothing to slow it down.

The builder of one of mine recommends pulling up the lead centerboard if the sails are not full to prevent the pendulum effect.
 

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My guess is that the OP asked after having searched around some great loop sites. This being the one that stood out to me.

Choosing your Great Loop boat.

I would make the assumption he wants to take his time, enjoy the sights, and motor when there is nice weather, and think the answers should come from that viewpoint.
 

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In fairness, the OP asked a very narrow question which was overlooked by most, who just critiqued the overall idea (including me, but after giving my opinion on the question). He wasn't looking for feedback on "which boat"-- only

Would removing the mast as described have any ill effects on the vessel?
Of course, nothing wrong with giving advice beyond that which is solicited. It's often helpful.
Good point, you're right, of course...

However, I think it certainly would be helpful if the OP had offered some more specificity than simply "a used sailboat"... Giving at least a hint of size or budget might influence the sort of reply I'd be inclined to give...

If his idea of a "used sailboat" is something akin to a Catalina 27, for example, I'd strongly advise against such a plan... If his budget might allow for something more substantial like a Fisher motorsailer, however, or maybe a H-R Rasmus, that could be a whole different ballgame, such boats could be considered to be reasonably suitable for doing the Loop sans the rig...
 

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Aspiring to be a Mexican
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There are all kinds of concessions made in sailboats to make them sailboats that will sail well that are unnecessary in a power boat. Many of those concessions make for a kind of crappy boat, unless you're sailing. Narrow sterns, less cabin for less windage, small ports in case you get rolled, a cockpit in the back instead of a nice deck to fish from, and many others that I'm too tired to list. I think a powerboat makes a better powerboat.
It's doable, sure, but you're making compromises in comfort to gain nothing. Plus you'll have to answer a million dumb questions.
 

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My guess is that the OP asked after having searched around some great loop sites. This being the one that stood out to me.

Choosing your Great Loop boat.
Hmmm, I certainly hope no one considering doing the Loop in a cruising sailboat is taking these numbers from that link seriously:

What you may not know is that the design of the sailboat's displacement hull makes it the very most economical vessel on the water. Think about it!

Sailboats are designed to move easily through the water in the slightest breeze. As a result, it requires a very minimum amount of horse power to move these vessels through the water.

For example:

A 32' to 36' (live a-board size) Sailboat might be rated for a 10 to 25hp engine and have a 10 mph fuel burn rate of 0.4 to 0.8 gallons per hour.
This guy is dreaming...
 

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Señor Member
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Hmmm, I certainly hope no one considering doing the Loop in a cruising sailboat is taking these numbers from that link seriously:

A 32' to 36' (live a-board size) Sailboat might be rated for a 10 to 25hp engine and have a 10 mph fuel burn rate of 0.4 to 0.8 gallons per hour.
This guy is dreaming...
LOL -- Jon's spot on. A 36' sailboat, 25hp engine, several "mph" over hull speed, all while sipping fuel? That guy's anatomically challenged (at least as far as elbows and rectums go...)
 

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Aspiring to be a Mexican
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Yeah that guy is full of it. A sailboat is designed to slip through the water CARRYING THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF BALLAST UNDER THE WATER TO COUNTERBALANCE THE FORCE ON THE SAILS! Oh, and then there's the dragging a keel around under the water so you don't go sideways part too. All that stuff under the water creates drag. We all know that.
That's why hydrofoils are faster, almost nothing in the water.
 

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LOL -- Jon's spot on. A 36' sailboat, 25hp engine, several "mph" over hull speed, all while sipping fuel? That guy's anatomically challenged (at least as far as elbows and rectums go...)
My 35' sailboat has a 35hp engine. On the motor we can do 5 knots at about .3 gallons per hour. At 6 knots, we burn about .5 gallons an hour. We don't routinely motor faster than this, but top speed through the water is about 6.8 knots on the engine. I've not kept meticulious notes on fuel consumption, so these figures are estimates. Is this about in line with what others are exeriencing or are my estimates off?
 

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My 35' sailboat has a 35hp engine. On the motor we can do 5 knots at about .3 gallons per hour. At 6 knots, we burn about .5 gallons an hour. We don't routinely motor faster than this, but top speed through the water is about 6.8 knots on the engine. I've not kept meticulious notes on fuel consumption, so these figures are estimates. Is this about in line with what others are exeriencing or are my estimates off?
I too am curious what peoples burn rates really are. I know thats not the point of sailing, but some of you guys must keep track?
 

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having the weight aloft really helps dampen the roll.

Not really.
PorFin is exactly right. It's not debatable. A sailboat without a mast is going to roll your guts out in a seaway. If you doubt this, you simply haven't ever experienced it.
I pull masts out of boats all the time. When walking around on deck after we pull the stick, there is a definite, noticeable difference every time. Especially on smaller boats.

Except with multihulls. I don't notice much of a difference there. ;)
 

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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.
I had to take the mast out of my wooden boat because of extensive rot/wood damage necessitating the removal of the keel as well.

Knothead is right. It will roll in an AWFUL motion that you will hate if you take the mast out. The hull shape of sailboats more resemble a canoe or kayak than a barge. Powerboats roll more slowly (read more comfortably) than sailboat hulls. The only thing that makes the motion of the sailboat roll comfortable is the weight of the mast far from the center of the roll.

Every seen ice skaters do spins? If they bring their arms close they spin quickly, if they spread them out they spin slowly. Same with your mast. If you remove that weight then all the weight in the boat is close to the center of the roll and every roll from every wave/wake will be head-snappingly fast. I've tried it both ways in the same boat. You will hate it.

On the other hand, if you leave the stick in place life will be more comfortable, you have the option of sailing if you choose, and your boat will retain resale value.

MedSailor
 

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Closet Powerboater
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There are PLENTY of older SMALL diesel powered Albin Trawlers like the 24' aft cabin that have huge room for the size and sip fuel
Yes. The Albin 25 is what you want. Check it out here:
http://www.jonesboatyard.co.uk/documents/Albin-Manual.pdf

Oh, as an aside, in addition to being the best boat choice for what you want to do, there is a GREAT technical discussion about roll and comfort and where the weight is on page 5-6 of the above document. They recommend adding weight HIGHER UP to create a more comfortable motion and the physics behind why is explained well. It addresses the discussion in this thread nicely and is worth a read I think.

Medsailor
 

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That's like trying to buy a Pinto and use it as a Jeep.

Just ain't gonna work, and enough people have told you why. The more frightening question should be how you're about to undertake a great and expensive adventure without doing the most basic groundwork to understand what you are getting into.

"Buy a cheap trawler" also does not mean "buy an old wood boat from the 1940's" because that can be a disaster too. Really, do some research, and if you don't do a lot of research, try to understand that the reason people don't do unconventional things (like butcher a sailboat) is because there usually are some damn good reasons for doing things the conventional way. Read up.
 
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