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Old 03-10-2011, 22:16   #1
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Taller Mast

i am about to replace my mast and the new stick is 6 feet taller than the original. the plan was to cut the mast down 6 feet but i cant think of any reason not to keep the replacement mast at it's current length.

is there any reason not to stand up the taller mast?

a risk of being over powered when i get the new sails (39' @ 26000lbs)?

thoughts?

-steve
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Old 03-10-2011, 22:30   #2
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Re: taller mast

If your boat was designed properly, the mast height and keel depth/ballast were in balance with each other. Some production boats were built with "tall rig" options, but they invariably came with a corresponding deep keel option.

Unless the boat is currently fairly stiff, you'll find it to be tender once you heighten the rig. Most cruisers dislike tender boats.
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Old 03-10-2011, 23:25   #3
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Re: taller mast

If you are living in a light air sailing region, a taller mast might be beneficial. If you are in a place where winds are perpetually robust, a taller mast might be a liability. You would find that you were always sailing with at least a single reef in the main.

A taller mast increases the roll moment of inertia of the mast and tends to dampen rolling to some extent.

There are benefits to having a taller mast if it is appropriate to where you sail. You could have a higher aspect sail and shorter boom for better windward performance in some conditions.

You can give it a try, and if you are not happy with the outcome, then shorten it. As long as you use staylock or Norseman style fittings that are reusable, it won't cost anything to shorten the rigging when you cut the mast down in size if it should be necessary in the future.
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Old 03-10-2011, 23:46   #4
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Re: taller mast

i have no idea how she balanced as i have never sailed her. her previous owner died and i bought her from the estate. other than motoring her 6 hours from half moon bay ca to alameda ca she has not moved from the slip in 10 years.

i have never been in a position to consider these kind of options but since i cant put the 6 feet back on the stick after i cut them off, i figured i would solicit some advice.
-s
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:00   #5
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Re: Taller Mast

FWIW,

My feeling is that you can reef a big rig down in strong winds, but you can not unreef a short rig up in the light stuff.

If you go with the taller mast, do insure that your reefing gear is easy to use, for you will surely be using it frequently.

Incidentally, what sort of boat is she? This info might yield some responses about the relative stiffness of the design ie that it is regarded as stiff or tender in the stock configuration.

Cheers,

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Old 04-10-2011, 10:48   #6
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Re: Taller Mast

I've been thinking of putting a taller mast on my boat for better light air performance. Within reason, a taller stick will not cause problems with ultimate stability but will require reefing sooner. Running a double line reefing system back to the cabin top makes reefing a breeze and not something to be worried abconcerned with. As has been said above, you can always reef a sail on a taller stick but you can't add feet and sail to a shorter stick.

FWIW, the higher off the water you go, the greater the wind velocity. That makes sail area up high way more productive in light air condtions.
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Old 04-10-2011, 15:38   #7
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Re: Taller Mast

she is a yorktown 39, (26000 lb center cockpit).

the desire to stand up the taller mast is specifically for sailing in lighter winds. i am exploring other options to a spinnaker furler (i will be mostly single / short handed).

-s
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Old 04-10-2011, 17:16   #8
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Re: Taller Mast

In general a bad idea (for reasons already stated )to add to the designed height of the mast and since your sailing grounds are around S.F. Bay there is even more reason to leave well-enough alone.
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Old 04-10-2011, 17:21   #9
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Re: Taller Mast

What about going with a fractional rig? More or less the same sail area but with a higher aspect. Also, one could add a bulb to the keel. I guess the question is if it is worth the effort.
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Old 04-10-2011, 17:55   #10
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Very boat specific query.
I am adding to my designed mast height cos I am going from alloy to carbon fibre, the boat is large and heavy design with a reputation of needing a strong breeze to get moving well. And much sailing in lighter wind areas.
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Old 04-10-2011, 18:00   #11
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Re: Taller Mast

the yorktown can stand a taller mast-- check the feel after you addd it-- hank never changed his mast height from 34 ft boats to 40 ft boats,.... you could well be most happy withy your decision.

i knew hank. no , not proud of that, i just knew him.
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Old 04-10-2011, 18:13   #12
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Re: Taller Mast

If you're not comfortable making the calculation yourself, you should consult a naval architect. You may need to have the righting moment for your boat.
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Old 04-10-2011, 20:22   #13
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Re: Taller Mast

the new mast (with the 6 extra feet) is A LOT lighter.

do i remember correctly that the mast is generally 115% of the length of the boat? if so, the old mast is about 43' and the new about 49' (i will have exact measurements later this week) so i am within a pretty small margin of error as the old is a bit short and the new is a bit tall.

my rigging guy is suggesting we keep it at its full height and stand it up especially given i am not replacing the sails till next year and i can always reef the main.

-steve
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Old 04-10-2011, 22:13   #14
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Re: Taller Mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
the new mast (with the 6 extra feet) is A LOT lighter.

do i remember correctly that the mast is generally 115% of the length of the boat? if so, the old mast is about 43' and the new about 49' (i will have exact measurements later this week) so i am within a pretty small margin of error as the old is a bit short and the new is a bit tall.

my rigging guy is suggesting we keep it at its full height and stand it up especially given i am not replacing the sails till next year and i can always reef the main.

-steve
I think mast height will depend on things like the righting moment of your hull and the aspect ratio of your rig (P/E). Another thing to check is the geometry of your stays. Between Skene's Elements of Yacht Design, and Brion Toss's Rigger's Apprentice you will probably have all the information you need to check if the taller rig would be OK.

I don't think a rule of thumb like 115% of LOA is worth much.

Of course if your mast can be cut down later, you could just try it and see if you like it. Or you could just go with what your gut tells you...
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