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Old 20-06-2016, 15:37   #16
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Re: Shortening the mast - thoughts?

Would you lose any sail area after you cut the mast if you had a square top mainsail? Surely the sail area would work out similar even if the mast is 4 feet shorter?


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Old 20-06-2016, 15:38   #17
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Re: Shortening the mast - thoughts?

We are boat shopping. When we see a listing that notes a mast reduction, we simply move on. We feel like those ICW "sailors" should probably have bought a powerboat instead of chopping up a fine spar; and we don't want to spend the money to put a proper one back on the boat. While we don't claim to be the norm (or even normal), I suspect that a great many other potential buyers will move on to the next boat when they see that you've neutered yours.

Since you did ask for advice, mine is that you should buy a ketch rig rather than trashing a perfectly good sailboat so you can have a shorter mast.
Others will disagree, and I doubt that anyone can define an absolutely correct answer.


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Old 20-06-2016, 19:13   #18
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Re: Shortening the mast - thoughts?

while i agree about choosing a schooner or yawl, you could shorten the mast and retain your sail area by adding a bow sprit, longer boom and boomkin for the back stay. lower aspect sails of the same sail area. it would take careful designing.

if it were me, i'd think of going with a junk rigged schooner. easy reefing. use modern cambered paneled junk sails instead of the old style flat sails.
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Old 20-06-2016, 20:59   #19
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Re: Shortening the mast - thoughts?

We have sailed from Savannah, GA to Pensacola, FL in our Hunter 42 Passage (62 ft airdraft) and from memory, there are only two legs that would be a problem going on the inside. That would be Ft. Lauderdale to Miami and Port St. Joe to Pensacola. Both are easy offshore hops. Stay with your current wonderful boat!
S/V Midnight Sun II
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Old 20-06-2016, 23:54   #20
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Re: Shortening the mast - thoughts?

Originally Posted by techmans View Post
A refillable water bag hoisted on the main halyard and controlled outboard with a line will let you accurately control your angle of heel while under power.
For a 53' mast which is say 55' above water, an angle of heel of 30 will reduce that to 48.
So, depending on how often you have to negotiate those bridges this would seem the cheaper way to go and should be fairly simple to set up.
That's a good idea, and fun to experiment with. Do you have a spinnaker pole to hold the halyard out? Use a very large bin liner inside a sail bag? Try it in the Marina, attach the bag/s, pole it out, poke the washdown hose/s in, winch the empty bags 5 feet up from the dock, turn the hose on, and wait for her to heel sufficiently. Don't forget to turn the hose off <grin>. That'd take 5 or ten minutes once you get it down to a fine art, do you think?

I've used a slightly similar technique (but not quite as clever) to get my keel off rocks. Had to tilt her over around 45 degrees using the main and mizzen halyard winches, errr, more than once.
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Old 21-06-2016, 20:22   #21
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Re: Shortening the mast - thoughts?

buy the type of boat that you would like / specify your own mast height / in freemantle ,Australia there is a low bridge to get into the river / the Wednesday night racing boats have developed a hinge system / they hinge the mast forward to lessen the height then winch it back up straight / a purpose built mast hinge some distance up from the deck is cantered the lower side forward with hinge on the bottom / if you are prepared to spend the money any modification is possible / have you considered a motor sailor with larger cast iron main / more living area, but smaller sail area
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:53   #22
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Re: Shortening the mast - thoughts?

Miami had one low bridge, it was put there on purpose. I just go offshore if they don't pant to see me I don't want to see them. shorting is expensive and they don't grow back

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