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Old 06-12-2015, 17:14   #1
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Sailboat without rigging.

Just sold my full keel Gladiator 24 - finding single handed sailing is becoming more of a challenge as time passes.

Loved the salt and am considering a slow motor cruiser, but here is an idea on which I'd like opinions. (Apologizing ahead of time to the purists)

My Gladiator would cruise at 6.5 knots with a quiet Mariner 9 hp four-cycle kicker, a bit shy of hull speed. Stable as a house and finger touch on the helm. All my water time is in protected waters for the most part. Most of the cruisers have old big blocks and expense is measured in gallons per mile.

Thoughts on using a solid sailboat as a cruiser and dispensing with the rigging all together? There is are a couple of Bristols - a 26 and a 27 for sale on craigslist. The 26 is very inexpensive - because the hull has been redone and has yet to have any rigging added. Would add a new outboard with a charging circuit.

Is this a totally dumb idea? Practically and would I be laughed out of every marina I visit?

Actually prefer the slow ride. I do a fair amount of fishing and have the gear for pulling crab pots. And I have a mooring buoy off our property.

Thanks,

RLT
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Old 06-12-2015, 17:22   #2
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

At least here in the Netherlands, some people do just that so not an unusual sight.
Most add a small 'motorboat mast' (sorry, don't know the English term).

Sailboat minus rigging = motorboat with a lot less room than a "real" motorboat

If it's what you want, no reason not to do it.
Whatever you do, there's always people disagreeing.
Can't please the whole world, so you might as well do what makes you happy

Edit:
This is what I meant by "motorboat mast" replacing the original rigging:

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Old 07-12-2015, 04:43   #3
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, RLT.
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Old 07-12-2015, 04:57   #4
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

I would not be influenced by the impressions of others regarding the appearance of your "sailboat" without rigging, but I would take some time to evaluate the practicality and comfort of the vessel. Sailboats do not behave the same way in the water without the weight of the rig aloft. The mast, even with no sails raised, slows the period of the roll. You motion may be much more tender and active without the rig. Maybe you'd do well to see how the boat behaves without the mast before you loose the rig.
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:09   #5
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

I will second the advise from Hudson Force. In any waves or chop at all, a sailboat without a mast will tend to roll a lot and probably with a very quick motion.

Have read a number of accounts of sailboats that lost a mast at sea and all had comments about the increased motion, so much so that it was very difficult to easily and safely move around on the boat in rough weather.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:35   #6
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

In addition, many sailboats don't have enough tankage for constant engine running. That means you have less choice about when and where to fill up, or you are dragging jerry cans around. This obviously depends on the individual boat, the tank size, your cruising grounds, and your intended use.

Single Diesel engine small trawlers like the Prairie 29 are very efficient as long as you aren't maxing out the RPMs.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:53   #7
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

A fellow at o0ur marina did the same thing with a Tanzer 7.5.
He had half the iron keel sawn off and replaced the mast/rigging with a trawler "mast". He fitted a new 10 hp Tohatsu and bimini cover. Apparently, he got he boatt for(nearly?) free, sold tgthe rig and offset the OB and mount costs
He cruises alloverr the N.. Bay with glee..
He says he did it like this in the Islands 30 years ago and plans to go ICW back ther again soonest
DO whatever suits you
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:01   #8
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I will second the advise from Hudson Force. In any waves or chop at all, a sailboat without a mast will tend to roll a lot and probably with a very quick motion.

Have read a number of accounts of sailboats that lost a mast at sea and all had comments about the increased motion, so much so that it was very difficult to easily and safely move around on the boat in rough weather.
Yeah, this caused a LOT of problems for boats (which were dismasted) in the '79 Fastnet race. And it made them much more prone to roll overs, once their rigs were gone.

You could mitigate it to some degree with a heavy, Trawler type mast. And if it's a big concern, then doing the math, so that the replacement gives the equivalent roll moment of inertia, isn't that tough.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:53   #9
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Yeah, this caused a LOT of problems for boats (which were dismasted) in the '79 Fastnet race. And it made them much more prone to roll overs, once their rigs were gone.
.
Trying to understand what you mean by that?

Without the weight of the mast, sails and rigging aloft, the same sailboat would have a much lower centre of gravity and considerably less windage.

That would make them more difficult to roll..... Unless you meant that they sat broadside in a storm swell with no propulsion?
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:08   #10
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

I'm guessing without the mast the moment of inertia is reduced and so the frequency and the speed of rolling increases.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:09   #11
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

I've seen a couple of boats like your describing on the ICW down below Clearwater, while I'm sure not having all that weight aloft would quicken roll response, it should also decrease rolling angle, and you would be foolish I think to go outside of protected waters with only a small single engine as propulsion, so since you wouldn't be in big water anyway, rolling moment may not be an issue.
If it were an option I'd leave the rig intact though
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Old 07-12-2015, 14:22   #12
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

In Brittany, small, ie 18-20 ft, sailing boats without their rigs are very commonly used for inshore work.
If using an outboard for propulsion, it wouldn't be too difficult to add fuel storage, one or more extra tanks with their own fuel lines, perhaps.


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Old 07-12-2015, 15:48   #13
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

Sounds like a ok project. Out boards only stay in the water to a max of 26' boat. I know some go longer but you will not have back up sails. 4 stroke out boards get good fuel economy so a couple of tanks will get you a long ways unless you try to run at 6.5 knots. I am not sure if that is possible on that size boat.


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Old 07-12-2015, 16:08   #14
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

I have found a sailboat without sails up to be very rolly. I don't know maybe it's just the mast doing it.. or maybe the deep heavy keel acts a pendulum... and of course you get a small wet cave instead of the visibility and light interior of say a Tollycraft 26.
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Old 07-12-2015, 16:38   #15
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Re: Sailboat without rigging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
At least here in the Netherlands, some people do just that so not an unusual sight.
Most add a small 'motorboat mast' (sorry, don't know the English term).

Sailboat minus rigging = motorboat with a lot less room than a "real" motorboat

If it's what you want, no reason not to do it.
Whatever you do, there's always people disagreeing.
Can't please the whole world, so you might as well do what makes you happy

Edit:
This is what I meant by "motorboat mast" replacing the original rigging:


Very pretty boat

Perhaps the ones you're referring to are used for canals and inshore motoring?

Any kinds of waves at all would cause some problems to a sailboat sans rig. Years ago when the CCA did work to support their positions on racing offshore, they did some work on a water table which showed the difference of a masted boat vs one without the mast. The masted boat was less likely to roll in larger waves. Sorry guys, I really don't know the era of the work--could have been anywhere between the 50's and the 70's. no reference.

In the USA there are so many good power boats (cheap) that I'd think the OP could just find one and use it instead.
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