Losing a rig on a monohull
sailboat in a storm with huge seas and strong winds must be terrifying especially when your kids
are on board. The mast
provides most of the roll moment of inertia to the boat and keeps it from rolling viscously from side to side. My Westsail 32 had rounded bilges and without a mast, riding out a storm in my Westsail would be like trying to survive in a washing
machine in a spin cycle. The older round bilge
cruising yachts can be awful without a mast to stabilize the motion.
Newer design modern yachts with flatter bilges won't have as much of a problem with rolling if the mast goes over the side. The relatively flat bottom gives them more initial stability even without the mast up there.
One of the things I like about my catamaran
is that the roll moment of inertia of the hull
is awesomely large even without a mast present. If the mast goes over the side, at least I won't have a problem with all the rolling. Plus, without the mast, I'll still have two engines to get me back to safe harbor.
Of course, if the catamaran
flips over, I will have the largest and most expensive life raft in the world!