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A dismasted sailboat (keelboat) will be adversely affected. This is a well-established fact as discovered and confirmed by some of the leading minds in sailing while investigating the Fastnet '79 disaster. Think of a metronome. Now remove the counterweight and cut the long stem off. With only the lower pendulum, that thing wiggles back and forth in maniacal fashion. Basically the same principle. The mast and rigging weigh less than the ballast, but exert a leveraging force to slow the motion against the force of the ballast. The effect will vary with each design, but the change is a fact.
 

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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 have been thinking about this same thing for a year. I've owned every type of vessel and I can say without exception a sailboat has more room in it than a power boat. My goal is to buy one and have the keel removed so that I have a smooth hull bottom. Without sails there will be no need for it or any ballast since loading up the boat with basic supplies will be sufficient. I'm not heading out for a long cruise or week long trip. Just great time on the water for a week at a time on Texas lakes. It needs to be able to be towed which is another reason I have decided to remove the keel. Looked at MacGreggors and they would be great but too expensive. I'm hoping to get one from a marina that has had to confiscate it due to non-paid slip fees and have them strip it of rigging and cut the keel off. I'll then trailer it to a fiberglass shop to have the bottom repaired from the keel removal and a new bottom job. Then it's off to my covered shop to start re-doing it from stem to stern. Keeping it simple will make it more user friendly. Motor will be a 40 hp outboard with steering cables and throttle/trans. I'm going to use a 'cajun' style stick steering so it's not in the way. That's my current thought.
What else can anyone offer me as I get closer to doing this?
 

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A dismasted sailboat (keelboat) will be adversely affected. This is a well-established fact as discovered and confirmed by some of the leading minds in sailing while investigating the Fastnet '79 disaster. Think of a metronome. Now remove the counterweight and cut the long stem off. With only the lower pendulum, that thing wiggles back and forth in maniacal fashion. Basically the same principle. The mast and rigging weigh less than the ballast, but exert a leveraging force to slow the motion against the force of the ballast. The effect will vary with each design, but the change is a fact.
Maybe in big water, but on a Texas lake on a generally calm day, tooling around the place and fishing. It would not produce any ill effects IMHO.
 

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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.
I have been in many MacGregors and under power or anchored off (without sails even being on the boat, mast removed as well) the boat operates just like a powerboat. I think some of the comments are made by purists of sailing which is okay but todays MacGregors can and do work perfectly under sail and pulling a skier with out board motor. So I kinda gotta take a lot of the discontent with a cup of salt.
 

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I love posts like these. It's akin to asking "I'm thinking of buying a hammer, and using it to install wood screws, what do you all think of this?"

Dude, buy the proper tool for your task instead of trying to (poorly) adapt the wrong tool to your intended task. Sailboats with their masts, often motor uncomfortably. I can't imagine doing a long trip without the mast. :rolleyes:
Lots of info here is foolish. You folks ever ride on a MacGregor, both under sail and under power pulling a skier? I have. It operates perfectly under either set up.
 

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Might be easier to get a centerboard boat and a pair of wire cutters than remove a keel. Put boat in 6 feet of water, cut centerboard cable, remove pivot bolt and presto, ya got an unballasted sailboat hull.
 

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Might be easier to get a centerboard boat and a pair of wire cutters than remove a keel. Put boat in 6 feet of water, cut centerboard cable, remove pivot bolt and presto, ya got an unballasted sailboat hull.
Great advice if you find a sailboat that has such and meets whatever criteria you may have laid out. Swing keel's are easy to remove.
 

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There are also purpose built small 'trawlers' that were designed for this sort of thing that would do the job as well if not better, without having to 'butcher' anything.

North Sea 26, Davidson 'Chugger', Albin 25 to name a few. These will have similar accommodations, likely a slightly bigger powerplant and would be working as designed, not a modified misfit....
 

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I have been thinking about this same thing for a year. I've owned every type of vessel and I can say without exception a sailboat has more room in it than a power boat. My goal is to buy one and have the keel removed so that I have a smooth hull bottom. Without sails there will be no need for it or any ballast since loading up the boat with basic supplies will be sufficient. I'm not heading out for a long cruise or week long trip. Just great time on the water for a week at a time on Texas lakes. It needs to be able to be towed which is another reason I have decided to remove the keel. Looked at MacGreggors and they would be great but too expensive. I'm hoping to get one from a marina that has had to confiscate it due to non-paid slip fees and have them strip it of rigging and cut the keel off. I'll then trailer it to a fiberglass shop to have the bottom repaired from the keel removal and a new bottom job. Then it's off to my covered shop to start re-doing it from stem to stern. Keeping it simple will make it more user friendly. Motor will be a 40 hp outboard with steering cables and throttle/trans. I'm going to use a 'cajun' style stick steering so it's not in the way. That's my current thought.
What else can anyone offer me as I get closer to doing this?

Easy now, put down the chainsaw. I can't think of a simpler way to to get a power boat. you could do it the hard way and buy a powerboat and add the cajun steering then you could use it to catch Gators.
most of us here on SN are trying the best we can to keep the mast up.
Please take this discussion to the Sailless boat forum
 

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Lots of info here is foolish. You folks ever ride on a MacGregor, both under sail and under power pulling a skier? I have. It operates perfectly under either set up.
No, it operates marginally in either setup. The Mac is the "spork" of boats. It does everything mediocre, and nothing very well.

Your definition of "perfect" is merely that it is capable of motoring and sailing at all. Yes, I've sailed aboard the Mac. I've also sailed rings around two of them in my Pearson 30. If you had any sailing experience, you'd know that although it sails, it doesn't sail all that well.

I'm not really sure what your point is here. You've made your decision, you're not looking for advice. You're looking for validation. Do whatever you like, but don't look at us for validation. Really, all you're seeking is a free beer-drinking platform on the water.

Your decision to turn a screwdriver into a hammer instead of just buying a hammer is your business. Good luck with that.
 

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I think that the OP accomplished his goal here...

He got everyone to write five pages of debate over a silly question that could have been easily ignored...:laugher
 

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"The Mac is the "spork" of boats."
IIRC that honor belongs to the Revell, and the MacG should at least be called a titanium spork.

But I think JonB gets the prize for this one, as they say "Oy! Such a marriage!" or as the used car salesmen say, "there's an ass for every seat".

Who'd have thought, a perfectly converted boat, ready and waiting for wedded bliss.

Bubblehead, ain't you never pounded in deck screws with a three-pound sledge? Works just fine. (G)
 

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Removing the mast - wow. I have had many sail boats with auxillary engines and I find I can always depend on the sails to get me where I want to go. Not so with engines. I have had my share (and maybe more) of engine failures over the last 50 years and they usually happen at the worst time. No I would keep the mast and sails unless you like to drift along out of control now and then. (Only power boats I would consider cruising on will have twin engines.)
 

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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.
Some traditional sailboats and hull shapes that were intended to sailing gained a new life as sailboats. The beast example that come to my mind are Llauts also called as Menorquins. There are hundreds of them around Mallorca, once used as sailboats and know used mostly as motorboats. One famous brand even based all its motorboat production around those boats:

Menorquin









Regarding what you want you should look for sailboats with a traditional shape, long shallow keelers (not deep one's), beamy boats with a relatively high CG (not to roll much) and that took its stability basically from hull shape. With care you should find one suitable. Off course it will not be a perfect fit for the function but it will work reasonably well if you don't try to go over hull speed.

Regarding those pictures you can see that they add a lateral hull extension to diminish roll. Another device was used in fisherman's boats that still had a shape heavily influenced from the time they used sail. In this case they add some kind of lateral small keels (more a stabilizer really) that not only diminish roll has sustain the boat in the beach. This kind of structure will not be hard to add to an existent boat.

Regards

Paulo
 

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This seems like an appropriate thread to post my latest "find". :)

vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/van/boa/3565104446.html1973 Columbia sailboat/pilothouse cruiser
I actually went and looked at that boat. The pilothouse addition and alterations made it pretty roomy actually, but it did roll worse than I expected, and it's probably due to no mast to balance it out.


As for the OP's question, I think the question was good (though lots of people ignored the actual question to instead belittle his idea because it isn't something they would like). Personally I had wondered what effect not having a mast on a sailboat hull would have, so reading this has been beneficial.

I totally understand what the guy's reasoning is, for cruising speed say 5-6 knots, a sailboat with a lil tiny diesel taking 1/2 gallon per hour or less of fuel, is far preferable to a trawler taking 4 gph (say $2.50/hr vs $20/hr, the difference adds up real fast). Some people want to motor along slowly and economically, nothing wrong with that.

It just seems it would be best to keep the mast even if not using sails at all, if this is the way someone wants to go.
 

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There are plenty of people who have converted life boats (which can be quite large) and launches, instead of chopping up a sailboat. And of course plenty of trawlers that have masts with a steadying sail. Take a trawler, put on a prop that is optimized for 6 knots instead of 20, and run at 6 knots and you just might close some of the economy gap. And length-for-length, you might find a 28' trawler has as much interior space as a 42' keelboat. Which makes the dockage much cheaper as well.
 

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Learn to sail. It's more rewarding, more sophisticated, more enjoyable, greener, cooler, quieter, cooler, not smelly, cooler and just plain, cooler.
 

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Use a sawzall rather than a hacksaw or angle grinder. It'll be way more efficient. Have it hooks up to a crane so as soon as you cut the top 20-30 feet of mast off the crane can swing it free. Sawzall will work on rigging too but it'll chew it messily. Post video of the procedure.
 
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