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Old 19-06-2016, 16:16   #1
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Boat: Beneteau 373 37
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Shortening the mast

Background

Currently sail a 40ft Jeanneau (fractional club)on the Chesapeake
Have sailed offshore a few times
Retiring and moving to Fl Panhandle
Wife and I sail often and want to be able to get under 50ft bridges in the area as well as occasional trips to Keys and Bahamas
Want to purchase newer (2005 ff) boat in the 34-35 ft size.
Probably will go with "production boat"
Will be our long term retirement boat so I am not really concerned about resale impact.
Plan to purchase in the next 6-12 months.

ISSUE
Most of the boats we like have mast heights around 50-53 feet.
I have read extensively and talked to people at the sailboat show in Annapolis and still don't have a good "feel" for the option of shortening the mast anywhere from 2ft (minimum) to 4ft (maximum).

Question
Is this doable from a practical standpoint?
Impact on performance (can I reduce the sail area at the top to reduce loss)? We are cruisers - not racers
Guesstimate of costs (both initial and long term if any)
Anyone with real world experience with doing this (greatly appreciate this) especially if in the Fl Panhandle area.

Thanks for taking your time. I hope I have given sufficient information for your reply
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Old 19-06-2016, 17:12   #2
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Re: Shortening the mast

doug572008,

Most of the ICW bridges have 65 feet of clearance.
Most cruisers here are happy if they have a 63 foot mast to go down the ICW.
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Old 19-06-2016, 18:10   #3
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Re: Shortening the mast

Sorry, I should have mentioned GICW. There are a number of 50 foot bridges around Mobile to Panama City Fl.
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Old 19-06-2016, 18:17   #4
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Re: Shortening the mast

Practical and do-able yes. Aside from reduced performance and cost, I cant see any decent reason not to to it. Aside from one "very" big issue that is. ... Unless you are prepared to convert it all back when you go to sell the boat, you may reduce the value of the boat substantially. You may also have a very reduced buyers market when you do put it on the market.

Remember, when calculating your heights you need to include any antennas, vanes, anemometers etc.
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Old 19-06-2016, 18:42   #5
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Re: Shortening the mast

Yep. I would cut it. Why not.

b.
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Old 19-06-2016, 19:22   #6
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Re: Shortening the mast

Only 3 50 ft GICW bridges in Fla Panhandle. Navarre Bridge (Navarre), Brooks Bridge (FT Walton), Dupont Bridge (East of Panama City). The Bridge at Destin (not really ICW) is only 49 ft. All the rest are at least standard 65 ft.
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