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Old 08-10-2006, 18:23   #1
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Fritz from Annapolis Boat Show

I've been here four days. Keep looking at the same four boats over and over again. The front runners are:

Caliber 46
Valiant 42 (really a 40)

Regarding another boat we're looking at, what does the group think about deck-stepped masts? One of the boats that I'm looking at has this, and the owners of the company swear that it's a better design for structural strength, which is counter intuitive to a non-engineer like me. Comments about this would be appreciated.

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Old 08-10-2006, 19:12   #2
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I don't like deck stepped masts. Having said this I have to confess I have a boat with a deck stepped mast and can find nothing wrong with this. I guess my bias comes from having had keel stepped masts for twenty years. There's pros and cons, some say if the rig fails it's better to be deck stepped then you can heave the works over the side. With my keel stepped boat I've taken the mast down about 30 times(winter storage and going through the NY State Canal System) and it's easier with a keel stepped, undo everything, go to the crane, and pull the stick out. On the other hand with my deck stepped boat I don't intend to ever unstep the mast, but if you do, you have to make sure you're fast to the crane before you undo the shrouds. If I liked a boat I would not let the fact that the mast was deck stepped deter me. In the final analysis the rig is designed to do what it has to do, deck stepped or keel stepped I don't think there's a lot of difference.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 08-10-2006, 19:24   #3
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I think if you look at the structral parts of the problem you have to ask if the chain plates are taking all of the load then what are the bolts at the bottom of tha mast supposed to do? You sure don't want the deck itself to take any load at all. Any problem in the rig on a keel stepped mast is seen clearly at the deck joint. The water begins to leak in. A hole in the deck isn't a bargain either.

I would agree with Rick.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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