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Old 09-08-2014, 20:26   #31
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Re: Buying/using a sailboat without a mast

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Is anyone here old enough to remember the National Geographic stories of Irving Johnson, cruising the canals and rivers in Europe in his sailboat Yankee III ?
What ever happened to that boat?
I remember! Those pictures and stories fueled this MN farm boys dreams.
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:41   #32
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Re: Buying/using a sailboat without a mast

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Originally Posted by DocParty View Post
Despite what you may be hearing or reading, a sailboat will act the same with or without a mast in place. A big difference can be felt when sails are up. If you had a sailboat that had been de-rigged and took it out on the lake under power and it had correct ballast and whatever keel that was on the boat was in tact it would handle just the same as it would with a naked mast erected.
The ballast weight counter acts the long tall mast and the. sails pull/push from the effects of the wind. Some sailboats pull keels up (if they can) when sailing downwind to reduce drag so this in it's self proves that a keel is not an absolute in every circumstance.
I have seen many sailboats trolling around the lake with sails down, mast lowered and tied off and people cooking on the back deck and enjoying a glass of wine with a fine meal. They in no way were being tossed back and forth. It's not any different than if the mast were up.
Go and do what makes your day enjoyable. If you learn to sail, it'll be an adventure, but believe me, you will be under power without sails many many many many times and never will your boat rock or feel any more unsteady just because the rigging is gone. In fact it may be more stable with all the rigging gone since at 35 feet or so the wind affect will make the boat rock.
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Well, Doc, this has to be one of the most incorrect posts that I have ever seen on CF.

I have had the experience of being dismasted at sea, and I can say from personal experience that there is one hell of a difference in the motion of the boat. In our case the motion became violent, with rapid rolling and pitching, but little change in yaw accelerations. The sea state was left-over seas from a full gale, only about 35 knots remaining, and a big ground swell. The motion was so bad that pots leaped off of the gimballed stove, toast flew off of the toaster rack, water sloshed out of the kettle (and the toilet for that matter), and it was difficult to stand up without holding on firmly. It was extremely uncomfortable, awkward and bloody dangerous. We were really glad that it happened only 85 miles offshore rather than far out at sea.

No difference??? BS!

Jim
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:51   #33
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Re: Buying/using a sailboat without a mast

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, DocParty.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:20   #34
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

A dismasted sailboat is an excellent example of a vessel with an excessively high GM. The roll can be very snappy, even violent. All that ballast is there for a reason, to stiffen up the boat against the lateral force of the sails, and keep G reasonably low even with the weight of the mast swinging around a boat length above the metacenter. When mast and sails are both totally removed from the equation, in any significant seas, the sailor discovers the discomfort, even peril, of too high of a GM, or Metacentric Height. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that since too low a GM ("top-heavy" condition, to oversimplify) is bad, the higher it is, the better. Unfortunately, that just isn't so. Look up Metacentric Height on wiki, for a simple explanation. Too high is almost as bad as too low.

However, for the OP's stated purpose of cruising canals and other inland waterways, I think maybe this is not such a big deal. A dismasted sailboat could probably work just fine if Draft is not an issue. And the high GM could be tamed, with a short stub mast and boom made from heavy steel pipe, or a ballast tank left deliberately half full for the free surface effect. I rather like the steel mast idea, myself. With a nice long boom you have a great way to launch a dinghy, load stores, etc. Simply moving a couple hundred pounds of tools and spares up high can make a difference. Or a false bottom in the chain locker, to get the weight of the chain up higher. There are ways to deal with a high GM, but it is simply a bad idea to take a dismasted sailboat motor cruising in a big nasty ocean. In protected waters, in general I think it is doable and practical.

An economical setup would be where the engine, running at rated cruise rpm, can push the hull at the desired cruise speed through the water. Nearly all powerboats, and indeed most sailboats, are overpowered for economical cruising. But the typical sailboat will be better than the typical motorboat of the same length. The only disadvantage that I see is the sailboat won't be as roomy as an equivalent motorboat.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:36   #35
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

And now a dose of reality for the OP ............
Buying a fixer-upper boat is lot like buying a fixer upper-house. The structure, systems, mechanicals and two different electrical systems are way more complex.

Most inexperienced people buying these cheap junkers abandon them after losing their life savings.

It can be done, your dream is a great one many have tried and the vast majority fail as they get in over their heads. Here are a few links that may shed some light on what you have to look forward to.

Marine Survey 101, Do Your Own Marine Survey

"Buying an Old Boat"

And one more, this one a must read for the OP. The absolutely saddest post I have ever seen on this forum
I am walking away from my boat !
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:59   #36
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

want to make it even better and more economical, check out solar boat chronicles.com, I was fortunate to spend some time aboard and this may be a bare bones boat but it is very comfy. the skipper is great and designed it himself. and when you consider a zero fuel bill it makes total sense, and he has already done all but a small portion of the loop on the northwestern end.


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Old 10-08-2014, 08:02   #37
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

I do not agree with not buying a fixer upper. If your expectations are high an you are not doing the work then yes run away very fast. if you are handy and do not plan on going blue water soon, absolutely look that way, especially multihull. much more stable and roomy.


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Old 11-08-2014, 07:50   #38
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Re: Buying/using a sailboat without a mast

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could someone explain to me how any power boat can be as fuel efficient as a sailboat? In the three months I kept mine on erie last season I used less than 3 gallons of fuel. I pretty much just used it to motor in and out of the marina.
Day sailing a much different use from what cruisers typically do. While there are exceptions, from what we've seen most cruisers are under power 90% of the time (coastal not ocean crossings).

As far as comparing fuel usage under power: Sailboat are and aren't more efficent compared to a true trawler hull.

If you have a 40' sailboat, it might have a 40hp engine. If you open it up, you might get 7.5kts but the engine will let you know that you are pushing it hard, so most people back off to maybe 6-6.5kts.

If you have a 40' single engine trawler, you probably have something like a 150hp. If you open her up, you might be able to do 10-12kts but again, the engine will let you know that you are pushing it hard, so most back off to maybe 8-9kts because it feels like a comfortable speed for the engine.

It's not the hull shape or the engine that really eats up the extra fuel but the 50% higher speed. Back off to the 6-6.5kt speed in the trawler and you will be similar fuel economy compared to the sail boat.

So it's true that sailboats are more efficent but that's becasue they are typically driven at lower speeds. It's not true because if you slow the trawler down to sailboat speeds, the efficency is about the same.

PS: outside the canals and other very calm water situations, a monohull sailboat will be much worse in terms of rocking and rolling if the mast is not in place.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:23   #39
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

A person I know in Southeast Alaska sails a triloboat which is a junk rigged barge type sailboat. He has no motor and uses a sculling oar when there is no wind. He has been doing this for about a quarter of a century there. Check out his blog.

www.TRILOBOATS.com
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:02   #40
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

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If you have a 40' sailboat, it might have a 40hp engine. If you open it up, you might get 7.5kts but the engine will let you know that you are pushing it hard, so most people back off to maybe 6-6.5kts.

If you have a 40' single engine trawler, you probably have something like a 150hp. If you open her up, you might be able to do 10-12kts but again, the engine will let you know that you are pushing it hard, so most back off to maybe 8-9kts because it feels like a comfortable speed for the engine.
It is the shape of the hull and displacement which dictate the amount of force required to propel an object through a fluid. There is no way a 40HP engine and a 150HP engine will burn the same amount of fuel to propel their respective objects through the water.
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:03   #41
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

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Originally Posted by raybobsky View Post
I do not agree with not buying a fixer upper. If your expectations are high an you are not doing the work then yes run away very fast. if you are handy and do not plan on going blue water soon, absolutely look that way, especially multihull. much more stable and roomy.


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Out of a hundred fixer-upers, I would guess that 90% of the boats die with their dreams and are still setting at the docks..
We did a refit on ours 12 years ago when purchased.. and after 12 years cruising, its time to go throu the systems again.
If you are working a full time job to pay for it, you wont find the time to do it, and a part time job wont give you the funds to live and spend the money on the boat.. Any cruiser on there boat will tell you that the "TO DO" list and the "DONE" list have a balance and at times is very hard keep up with. and thats starting with a functional and opperational boat.
As you walk throu the marinas you can see the boats abandon from the amount of work to be done that has overpowered the owner..
Its a rare person that can bring a boat back to opperational use from a lost dream of someone else...

And not to start another debate about Monos VS multis but I would put our mono up against many multis for stability and roomy ness. and pretty close when speed is concerened in open water..
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:44   #42
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

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It is the shape of the hull and displacement which dictate the amount of force required to propel an object through a fluid. There is no way a 40HP engine and a 150HP engine will burn the same amount of fuel to propel their respective objects through the water.
A full displacement trawler hull is very similar to a monohull sailboat hull, so the force required at a particular speed is going to be pretty close.

You are making the classic mistake of looking at the rated HP not the HP the engine is generating at a particular speed:
- At 6.0-6.5kts, the sailboat motor is probalby putting out around 25hp.
- at 6.0-6.5kts, the trawler motor is putting out roughly the same 25hp.

There is likely a minor advantage for the sailboat as it is running at it's ideal speed but it's not going to be a major difference and is likely offset by the deeper keel which increases drag.

The reason you see trawler owners reporting worse MPG, is with a 150hp engine, the trawler owner feels like he is barely above idle and it's hard to resist advancing the throttle till it feels like the engine is working a bit.
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Old 11-08-2014, 17:42   #43
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

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A full displacement trawler hull is very similar to a monohull sailboat hull, so the force required at a particular speed is going to be pretty close.
you might be if you are talking motor-sailor but not a hull like mine..
Thats just like saying that you could put a mast and sail on a powerboat and get the same results.

and if thats the case, all the work that goes into hull design is a waist of time...
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Old 11-08-2014, 20:12   #44
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Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

Have to agree with Jim. I acquired a project yacht without masts stepped. Just for stability I stepped the mizzen in mainmast position. The two small sails it could carry with this was just not enough for comfort (let alone sailing). 20 knt wind with bit of a chop made it dangerous and uncomfortable to manage. A yacht needs its appropriate rig. And at the time I was motor sailing with a 150hp diesel.


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Old 12-08-2014, 06:44   #45
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Re: Buying/Using a Sailboat Without a Mast

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you might be if you are talking motor-sailor but not a hull like mine..
Thats just like saying that you could put a mast and sail on a powerboat and get the same results.

and if thats the case, all the work that goes into hull design is a waist of time...
Don't know what your boat is. If it's a planing hull dressed up as a trawler with a couple of big engines, you are probably right but I said a traditional trawler which implies a shape very similar to a traditional monohull sailboat (that's one of the problems with marketers applying names that have little to do with the actual boat)

Also the superstructure and keel are different. I suppose I should clarify from the waterline up in reference to the super structure. So just putting up a mast doesn't work.

Lop off everything from the waterline up and replace the keel with a deeper lead keel and yes, you could make a nice sailboat out of a trawler. A rather pointless exercise since there are so many cheap monohulls already set up as sail boats but it certainly would work.

But the point still stands, the difference in fuel efficency is mostly about how fast you go relative to hull speed not the size of your engine.
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