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Old 01-08-2015, 02:46   #76
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

A short clip on my Hobi AI with free standing mast.
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:52   #77
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
...You haven't mentioned steel masts. When you do the math, it beats all the rest; considering longevity, cost, and peace of mind...
Okay, I'll take the bait here - how can steel compete with composites, or even alloy, when weight up top is so critical to performance and safety? Maybe for lamp-posts, but for yacht masts?
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:11   #78
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by NevisDog View Post
Okay, I'll take the bait here - how can steel compete with composites, or even alloy, when weight up top is so critical to performance and safety? Maybe for lamp-posts, but for yacht masts?
Ah, I was hoping someone would call me on that.

It's not just weight...we're not in the realm of shaving every ounce at the expense of everything else, like dedicated racers. We have to factor in cost, durability, and self-repair in remote places. JR is a low aspect rig so weight aloft isn't as critical as the marconi rigs; but still important. Alloys and composites (including wood & bamboo) are ideal for yards, battens and booms.

Steel is tough and strong, allowing smaller mast sections and thinner walls for the same strength (and less windage); and the fatigue and failure modes are a whole lot more forgiving than wood, alloy and composite. It surprised me too, and I'm still combing the massive micah-archives to dig up the articles that go into the calculations and comparisons that make steel masts a great choice for a certain subset of the sailing community. It's not for everybody, or every boat.

I see the usual objection to JR, pointing ability, has been raised. If one looks into the experiences of modern jr sailors, a modern jr is at no disadvantage on a lee shore compared to the marconis. With cambered battens and proper sail trim the difference is minor in the matter of a few degrees, but the other advantages outweigh this.

Firstly, a good sailor shouldn't be on a lee shore in the first place. Sometimes it is unavoidable, such as a wind shift, but could it be that every advance in performance through technology brings with it corresponding increased risk-taking? I've noticed engine-less sailors have a much more cautious approach to getting around. They can't be caught in an unpleasant engine-out crisis and must take much greater care of their rigs and handling; perhaps by doing this they automatically avoid risks that the motorised folk dare take.

Further, the strength, simplicity and reliability of the jr on a lee shore should enable the jr sailor to get more out of his rig (with one caveat). Just when he needs it he can push a little harder, whereas the marconi is stressing an already high-strung rig, just at the time when a small failure can be catastrophic. Failure cascades.

The caveat mentioned above is....light winds. Downwind in light air isn't so bad, the jr easily hoists a large area with little fuss, and the masts are raked forward to permit the sails to pivot out under gravity and save what little energy there is to drive the boat. Going to weather in light air is the one weakness of the jr....but for those eventualities one can anchor, or hoist the iron genoa, or deploy the yuloh or sweeps if one absolutely must be under way. It's always a compromise and playing to the strengths while avoiding the weaknesses.

I'd rather have a relatively sluggish light-air boat that really shines when things get dangerously rough; built-in fail-safe, rather than fail-deadly. Given that most weather is mercifully gentle and most well-planned trips are with the wind and tide rather than against them, the objection to jr as being un-weatherly isn't the deal-killer it's made out to be, depending on the intended purpose of the whole system. I'm not in a hurry, which means when external circumstances are already hurried, I'm more relaxed and don't get trapped and overwhelmed as quickly. It isn't an ultimate solution; at some point I'll surely retreat to my bunk, assume the fetal position, clutch my blanky and suck my rum-soaked thumb and wish to be a landlubber again, but I'm doing my best well in advance to make sure that happens as late and as infrequently as possible.

For me, the jr is ideal; it permits me to be a lazy conservative cheapskate and escape the hectic rat-race without constantly fretting myself into purchase-induced poverty, or tempting my God too far with my puny little boat in a dangerous environment.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:13   #79
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
Ah, I was hoping someone would call me on that.

It's not just weight...we're not in the realm of shaving every ounce at the expense of everything else, like dedicated racers. We have to factor in cost, durability, and self-repair in remote places. JR is a low aspect rig so weight aloft isn't as critical as the marconi rigs; but still important. Alloys and composites (including wood & bamboo) are ideal for yards, battens and booms.

Steel is tough and strong, allowing smaller mast sections and thinner walls for the same strength (and less windage); and the fatigue and failure modes are a whole lot more forgiving than wood, alloy and composite. It surprised me too, and I'm still combing the massive micah-archives to dig up the articles that go into the calculations and comparisons that make steel masts a great choice for a certain subset of the sailing community. It's not for everybody, or every boat.

I see the usual objection to JR, pointing ability, has been raised. If one looks into the experiences of modern jr sailors, a modern jr is at no disadvantage on a lee shore compared to the marconis. With cambered battens and proper sail trim the difference is minor in the matter of a few degrees, but the other advantages outweigh this.

Firstly, a good sailor shouldn't be on a lee shore in the first place. Sometimes it is unavoidable, such as a wind shift, but could it be that every advance in performance through technology brings with it corresponding increased risk-taking? I've noticed engine-less sailors have a much more cautious approach to getting around. They can't be caught in an unpleasant engine-out crisis and must take much greater care of their rigs and handling; perhaps by doing this they automatically avoid risks that the motorised folk dare take.

Further, the strength, simplicity and reliability of the jr on a lee shore should enable the jr sailor to get more out of his rig (with one caveat). Just when he needs it he can push a little harder, whereas the marconi is stressing an already high-strung rig, just at the time when a small failure can be catastrophic. Failure cascades.

The caveat mentioned above is....light winds. Downwind in light air isn't so bad, the jr easily hoists a large area with little fuss, and the masts are raked forward to permit the sails to pivot out under gravity and save what little energy there is to drive the boat. Going to weather in light air is the one weakness of the jr....but for those eventualities one can anchor, or hoist the iron genoa, or deploy the yuloh or sweeps if one absolutely must be under way. It's always a compromise and playing to the strengths while avoiding the weaknesses.

I'd rather have a relatively sluggish light-air boat that really shines when things get dangerously rough; built-in fail-safe, rather than fail-deadly. Given that most weather is mercifully gentle and most well-planned trips are with the wind and tide rather than against them, the objection to jr as being un-weatherly isn't the deal-killer it's made out to be, depending on the intended purpose of the whole system. I'm not in a hurry, which means when external circumstances are already hurried, I'm more relaxed and don't get trapped and overwhelmed as quickly. It isn't an ultimate solution; at some point I'll surely retreat to my bunk, assume the fetal position, clutch my blanky and suck my rum-soaked thumb and wish to be a landlubber again, but I'm doing my best well in advance to make sure that happens as late and as infrequently as possible.

For me, the jr is ideal; it permits me to be a lazy conservative cheapskate and escape the hectic rat-race without constantly fretting myself into purchase-induced poverty, or tempting my God too far with my puny little boat in a dangerous environment.
A WELL stated argument for junk rig or saling ahead of the circumstances. I sailed for a solid year in the Bahamas with no engine in all weather. It makes one a better sailor, living by the tide instead of a schedule.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:41   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmith View Post
Free standing mast sailors....ok, spill the beans of your secret knowledge. What happens when you are on a dw leg and a squall pops up behind you and comes barreling down upon you? I know I have heard they are easy to depower. But if the wind is pressed against the sails and you slack the main halyard I assume the sail just doesn't drop. Also very curious what you do in a real blow for a trysail. How to you keep the boat crabbing into the wind when lying ahull? Please share with us...

Hi, I sail a Freedom 32 full time. In regards to serious heavy weather conditions this is theoretical as Ive been very fortunate and have avoided very serious weather to date. I should say I have regularly sailed Freeform in 25 knots plus and seen the mid 30s without problems.
Freeform has 3 reefs and can be reefed ddw. All lines lead back to the cockpit. Because I have lines attached to the reefing tacks the main can be pulled down while loaded.
For those not familiar with the non ketch freedoms the rig consists of a large roachy main and a small self tacking batterned jib incorporating a camber spar.
I haven't been able to get Freeform to heave to which I believe to be common, therefore this isnt a heavy weather tactic. This leaves me with fore reaching under jib alone or in really serious stuff running with weather. My plan to run in really bad weather is this. Main not up, jib sheeted tight to centerline and use my hydrovane instead of autopilot. Knowing my boat I'd be quite confident using this combination running, if weather deteriorated further and surfing became a problem I would deploy my drogue. As mentioned this is just theory thankfully.
For me the benefits of this rig are,
●very simple wing to wing set up when running ddw.
●just no worry what so ever in regards to standing rigging.
●reef later due to leach spilling wind.
I've sailed approx 15000nm with this rig and have alot of confidence in it, in fact I would struggle to go back to wires, cant see the point. I have had many comments over the years from other sailors that struggle with concept.
Cheers Dale.

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Old 01-08-2015, 06:48   #81
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I should say I actually by pass the first reef and now go straight to the second. By the time I need to reef the wind is quite up and the boat is just much better balanced with two reefs in and we are going plenty fast enough. I wish I had of started doing this years ago , it really improves your day.
Cheers Dale.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:14   #82
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
FINALLY figured out how to insert a pic!
Nice looking boat you have there!
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:22   #83
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

Quote:
Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
I should say I actually by pass the first reef and now go straight to the second. By the time I need to reef the wind is quite up and the boat is just much better balanced with two reefs in and we are going plenty fast enough. I wish I had of started doing this years ago , it really improves your day.
Cheers Dale.
The one thing that stayed-mast sailors have a hard time realizing is how giving a bendy mast is in high winds. I see other boats taking hard knocks all the time and rounding up, whereas Kynntana takes it on the side a bit and then settles back down because of the spillage at the top. I think the same thing is why we don't need to reef so early. I have been told by quite a few older, more experienced sailors that I really need to have 3 reefs, but as Dale has found, we don't need to reef when others might be fighting the helm. I have not found my upper limit on the first reef yet. It's good to at least 35 knots, but I know it can take more.

As to pointing, as I've become a more experienced racer, I am figuring out what the sail needs and we are pointing 'almost' as well as everyone else on the course. The trick is in the traveler (it is almost all the way to windward to better center the boom), then the main is cranked in as far as it will go with a loose foot, the vang is on tight, and jib open a bit. I don't know why that works, but it does.

I'm really digging it that I can embed pictures. I my boat.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:23   #84
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

Quote:
Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Hi, I sail a Freedom 32 full time. In regards to serious heavy weather conditions this is theoretical as Ive been very fortunate and have avoided very serious weather to date. I should say I have regularly sailed Freeform in 25 knots plus and seen the mid 30s without problems.
Freeform has 3 reefs and can be reefed ddw. All lines lead back to the cockpit. Because I have lines attached to the reefing tacks the main can be pulled down while loaded.
For those not familiar with the non ketch freedoms the rig consists of a large roachy main and a small self tacking batterned jib incorporating a camber spar.
I haven't been able to get Freeform to heave to which I believe to be common, therefore this isnt a heavy weather tactic. This leaves me with fore reaching under jib alone or in really serious stuff running with weather. My plan to run in really bad weather is this. Main not up, jib sheeted tight to centerline and use my hydrovane instead of autopilot. Knowing my boat I'd be quite confident using this combination running, if weather deteriorated further and surfing became a problem I would deploy my drogue. As mentioned this is just theory thankfully.
For me the benefits of this rig are,
●very simple wing to wing set up when running ddw.
●just no worry what so ever in regards to standing rigging.
●reef later due to leach spilling wind.
I've sailed approx 15000nm with this rig and have alot of confidence in it, in fact I would struggle to go back to wires, cant see the point. I have had many comments over the years from other sailors that struggle with concept.
Cheers Dale.
Dale,
Good post!
15,000 miles on that boat is good experience!
Thanks for adding the details AND the photos of your boat too.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:41   #85
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
The one thing that stayed-mast sailors have a hard time realizing is how giving a bendy mast is in high winds. I see other boats taking hard knocks all the time and rounding up, whereas Kynntana takes it on the side a bit and then settles back down because of the spillage at the top. I think the same thing is why we don't need to reef so early. I have been told by quite a few older, more experienced sailors that I really need to have 3 reefs, but as Dale has found, we don't need to reef when others might be fighting the helm. I have not found my upper limit on the first reef yet. It's good to at least 35 knots, but I know it can take more.

As to pointing, as I've become a more experienced racer, I am figuring out what the sail needs and we are pointing 'almost' as well as everyone else on the course. The trick is in the traveler (it is almost all the way to windward to better center the boom), then the main is cranked in as far as it will go with a loose foot, the vang is on tight, and jib open a bit. I don't know why that works, but it does.

I'm really digging it that I can embed pictures. I my boat.
Another good post and good points about the the mast spilling some wind.

HeyI really like that photo too! Good one! I think the appropriate comment is: "You GO girl!"

Really cool to see you single handing your boat.

That particular model of Freedom looks very appealing to me too, I like the stern.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:16   #86
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

In any discussions of boats with Free Standing Masts, it is inevitable that the question of "performance" comes up.

How does a boat with a Free Standing Mast compare in typical sailing when directly compared against other, more conventional boats?

I have done some research on this. What follows is just ONE way to address the questions.

Now, before I get into the real meat of the post, I need to make a few more comments to help others understand why I am posting this.

First, "Every boat is a Compromise." Never forget that.

Some of the distinct advantages of a Free Standing Mast have to do with the simplicity of rig, ease of operation (on most boats), and the increased reliability (due to fewer parts that can break, such as wire shrouds etc.). These have value to sailors who value reliability, simplicity, ease of operation, and safety. For example, I value my safety and I value reliability and ease of operation very highly. I also anticipate doing a lot of singlehanded sailing (even if I may have a guest or spouse aboard) and so I will give more value to the boat and rig that makes it easier and safer. In other words, I am willing to give up some speed and pointing performance, in order to get other aspects I value more highly. And, because I am more interested in a "cruising" boat on which I could go around the world, more than having a boat on which to race around buoys, I value the potential benefit of having a mast/rig that does not require as much maintenance and cost (e.g. regular replacement of stays, shrouds and chainplates, etc.) and might be more reliable when out on the Big Blue Ocean.

Secondly, who can we turn to for some kind of "measured" performance comparisons for boats that are typical (average cruising or racer/cruiser boats)?

My suggestion is to take a quick look at the PHRF numbers for the boats and compare those to comparable boats.

What are PHRF numbers?
Simple answer: They are "handicap" numbers assigned to different boats by a racing committee in order to "even the playing field" with a handicap system so boats of different types, displacement, lengths, designs, and makes can compete against one another. More on that below at the bottom of this post.

But, there is another matter of "What is Comparable?"
To make it simple, start with LOA. Look for boats that are very close in LOA (which has bearing on theoretical hull speed). The PHRF (racing handicap) numbers are a little different from area to area. I selected the PHRF numbers from the Northern California YRA (Yacht Racing Association) lists, because I know that the yacht racing in San Francisco Bay involves a wide range of wind and water conditions, including some light winds, but most often stronger winds. I also looked at the PHRF numbers for Southern California, and they were just a little different.

Since not everyone who reads this post or thread will be familiar with what a PHRF number is, I will include a few clips from an article that explains it in simple terms. Just be aware that PHRF numbers are NOT measured by some testing machine. They can be controversial, because they are decided or "weighted" by a committee of sailors in the local area, based on results of racing those boats in local conditions.

Simple Rule: a boat with a lower PHRF number is faster than a boat with a higher PHRF number.

For the purpose of this post, I looked up the numbers for the following brands that are associated with Free Standing Masts. I am not familiar with ALL of the models of each brand.

The brands listed for Free Standing Masts are:
1. Freedom
2. Nonsuch
3. Wyliecat

Then I looked over hundreds of boats and found the PHRF numbers for "popular" cruising and racer/cruiser boats that were 38 feet LOA or very close.

Here are the numbers:

BRAND LOA PHRF

Freedom 21 (CAT) 234

Freedom 21 (SLOOP) 222

Freedom 25 (WING MAST) 192

Freedom 28 192

Freedom 30 165

Freedom 32 171

Freedom 33 162
Freedom 36 141

Freedom 38 138

Freedom 39 144

Freedom 40 168
Freedom 42 111

Freedom 44 132
Freedom 44 SD 141 

Freedom 45 SD 108

Nonsuch 22 246
Nonsuch 26 210
Nonsuch 30 174
Nonsuch 33 162
Nonsuch 36 156

Wyliecat 30 IB 132

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Some Comparisons with Popular Cruising Boats

BRAND LOA PHRF

Freedom 38 138
Alajuela 38 198 (This PHRF number of 198 indicates this is a relatively slow boat.)
Atkin 38 183
Bristol 40 168
C&C 38 Landfall 126
Cabo Rico 38 186
CAL 36 cruising 156
Catalina 38 117
Crealock PSC 37 174
Endeavour 37 180
Hans Christian 38 Trad SM 192
Hanse 370 102
Hinckley 38 150
Hood 38 CB 132
Hunter 37 Legend 108
Island Packet 38 174
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40 87
Rafiki 37 174
Tartan 37-2 CB 126
Tayana 37 174
Union 36 180
Wauquiez 40s Centurion 72 (This PHRF number of 72 means this is a fast boat!)

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What is fast and how does that compare?

Looking up above we can see that some boats are much faster than others. Look at the Wauquiez 40s Centurion (PHRF 72) as an example. It is much faster than something like a Hans Christian 38 Traditional. But, that is to be expected because they are very different types of boats, even if they are close in length.

As another, more extreme example, one of the boats I raced on in SF Bay was a Santa Cruz 50. This is considered a "ULDB" or Ultra Light Displacement Boat designed for speed. It has a PHRF of (-6)! Of course it is a longer boat etc. The Santa Cruz 40 has a PHRF of 48.

My point? There is always likely to be a faster boat out there.

Frankly, I would rather cruise on a Freedom 38 over a Santa Cruz 50, primarily because of the Free Standing Rig.
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PHRF Numbers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfor...p_Racing_Fleet

Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) is a handicapping system used for yacht racing in North America. It allows dissimilar classes of sailboats to be raced against each other. The aim is to cancel out the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each class of boats, so that results reflect crew skill rather than equipment superiority.

The handicap number assigned to a class of yachts is based on the yacht's speed relative to a theoretical yacht with a rating of 0. A yacht's handicap, or rating, is the number of seconds per mile traveled that the yacht in question should be behind the theoretical yacht.

Most boats have a positive PHRF rating, but some very fast boats have a negative PHRF rating. If Boat A has a PHRF rating of 15 and Boat B has a rating of 30 and they compete on a 1 mile course, Boat A should finish approximately 15 seconds in front of Boat B.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:52   #87
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

Here is a 70 footer designed as a live aboard voyager for retired people, like me.

The idea is to absolutely minimize loads: highly loaded things are expensive and dangerous and require very careful maintenance.

The idea is to absolutely minimize operating expenses. The number of things NOT needed is a very long list.

The idea is to use solar electric generation without an engine or generator. The masts along the rails, canted outboard, without any shrouds, means lots of sun on panels, without those thin linear shadows that basically cripple power generation.

Each sail is 80 square feet, about the size of a Laser sail. Each sail is square top, square bottom, fully battened: no vang, boom, gooseneck, very low sheet loads, as the sheets only adjust angle of attack, not leach tension. The sails are attached to their individual mast via loops of spectra, similar to wooden hoops of old, but less noise, cost, maintenance, and weight. Each mast has just one halyard, no halyard winch required.

Each mast is a 24 foot 4" aluminum untapered tube. These cost less than $100 each, and weigh 16 pounds each. So stepping the mast is an easy operation (drop it into the socket). So dropping the spars to go through canals is trivial. The spars are sealed, no holes, so they float if you drop them by mistake.

This 70 footer has a fully loaded displacement of 20,000 lbs. Lightship, which is what builders usually advertise, is 14,000 lbs (so 3 tons of systems, gear, food, clothes, toys, people, water, fuel, dinghies, etc). Actually, the detailed weight and balance study, including everything, results in 17,400 lbs fully loaded displacement, with very generous safety factors over ISO scantling requirements. The 20,000 lbs displacement reflects the builder asking for a 15% weight margin.

By having the center of effort very low, the healing leverage is very low, which means having a lot of lead deep is not needed. This boat needs only 4900 lbs of lead in the bilge to have an angle of vanishing stability of 137 degrees, with a minimum righting energy of 872,727 ft lbs which is dramatically more than the 172,000 ft lbs required for ISO class A (unlimited offshore).

We were getting ready to start building late last year, when an unexpected opportunity/responsibility occurred: taking over Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology. So that is my current focus, but the boat will be built when things settle down some more.
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Old 01-08-2015, 13:22   #88
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by u4ea32 View Post
Here is a 70 footer designed as a live aboard voyager for retired people, like me.


SNIP…
WOW…that is a very unusual looking boat design.

Out of the box thinking.

I would enjoy seeing this sail.
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Old 01-08-2015, 13:54   #89
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Wyliecat Boats

Wyliecat
Wyliecat Performance Yachts: Homepage

I first saw Wyliecat boats while I was racing on San Francisco Bay. They are eye-catching because of their Free Standing Masts and wishbone booms.

Here is a quote from Naval Architect Robert H. Perry (Quoted in Sailing Magazine):
"I watched this boat sail up and down the Oakland estuary, and I was very impressed. It's the ultimate single hander. I kept thinking, "That's the boat for me."
That was a pretty calm day on SF Bay that those videos were taken.
You know it is going to be windy when the Wyliecats are reefed in the Estuary!
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Old 01-08-2015, 15:23   #90
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Catskill Mountains (too far from the sea)
Boat: 31' homebuilt Michalak-designed Cormorant "Sea Fever"
Posts: 1,810
Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

I'm late to this thread but wanted to post a couple pics of our 31-foot lug-rigged cat yawl. It's a Jim Michalak design, called "Cormorant." Not really a blue water boat, but trailerable, and a tremendously enjoyable coastal cruiser and gunkholer. It has served our family of four very well for over a decade now, including one trip to the Exumas.

Note that the unstayed mast is in a tabernacle for ease of raising and lowering for trailering. Works great for shooting under low bridges, too.

The mast is hollow birdsmouth, about 6" diameter at the base, and most of the way up, then a slight taper at the top. (Lugsails bear more force near the top of the mast and don't like a finely tapered bendy mast.) Can be raised by one person just walking it up, and lowered with no hands at all, just a bit of snubbing friction on the line at the base.

Not great to windward, but excellent in so many other ways. . . .
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