had a rather unorthodox way of turning the running rigging/halyards aft from the mast
by mounting - as I believe he said - from 1 to 2 feet or so up the mast from the base. Having the lines running parallel to the cabin
top down close to the cabin
top rather than angling down would seem to be a rather wiser way to rig those lines and reduce deck
hazards. Mainstream sailboats of his size range normally have all the turning blocks/sheaves mounted down at the base of the deck stepped mast, one for reducing clutter of lines raised off the deck and two for ease of manufacture. Garhauer's whole page of replacement plates supports that type of configuration.
- - Deck stepped mast's have several major advantages over keel
stepped masts. One of which is obviously - no big hole in cabin top for the mast to pass through. Other include the ease of transmitting the upward "pull" of lines directly to the base of the mast eliminating the "pumping" problem. Even with a handmade large turning block/sheave plate like "delmarrey" has, the vast majority of the upward pull is still handled by the mast base and not the cabin top. It is an exercise in making a larger plate rigid enough to not want to bend upwards away from the cabin top.
- - If the cabin top around the mast base boot is cored then through bolting the larger plate will induce a crushing stress on the coring. Or induce through bolt movement as they pass through the cabin top and possible open up pathways for water
to migrate into the coring or inside the cabin as the plate tries to flex upwards.
- - On the other hand using the fixed tilting turning sheaves corrects a major problem of line chafe as the lines pass through the deck organizer. I get a lot of chafe wear on lines in my deck organizers as the more flexible mast base sheaves alter the alignment of the lines as they pass through the deck organizers.
- - Another major advantage of deck stepped masts and base mounted turning blocks/sheaves came to light during Hurricane
Ivan. My friend's Hunter
40 with deck stepped mast and a trademark Hunter
traveler arch had the front 3 feet of bow sheared off by another boat during the hurricane
. As the forestay was sheared loose, the mast tilted back and settled onto the traveler arch. The base of the mast was held close to the mast step by the running rigging
and turning blocks/sheaves and the electrical cables
. The 30+ feet of mast hanging out aft past the transom of the boat caused the bow to lift
out of the water
about 2 feet or more keeping the sea from entering the totally open interior
of the boat. Keel
stepped boats on both sides sunk quickly when their bows were sheared off. Chaulk up a good one for the deck stepped mast boats.
- - I am seeing more and larger mainstream sailboats with deck stepped masts these days. Although I suspect it is just a matter of their being more economical to manufacture and maintain.