Adding a mast to an A27

Discussion in 'Motorsailers' started by MotorCityBW, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. MotorCityBW
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    MotorCityBW Junior Member

    I have a crazy idea of adding an mast to an Albin 27 Family Cruiser. I'm looking for design input. The idea is explained here:

    Crazy A27 Mast Idea

    The rig I'm thinking if using is a Catalina 22 mast and boom. The mast is cut down to approximately 20' feet. I will be running a rollerfurling headsail and a very very small main.

    I've created a reinforced deck-stepped mast step. I want to use two upper stays and two lowers mounted to the cabin top using the original C-22 rigging & eye bolt arrangement. The fore stay at will go to the bow deck. I'm considering no back stay. Can I get away with this setup for "auxiliary" sailing?

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    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  2. Nico Crispi
    Joined: Jun 2017
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    Nico Crispi Junior Member

    No back stay? I would consider a lower forward stay and some swept back spreaders.

    What are you trying to accomplish? Different approaches needed for stability or propulsion.
     
  3. MotorCityBW
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    MotorCityBW Junior Member

    I want to be able to roll out a headsail while motoring, gain 1-2 knots and some stability. I also want to be able hoist a dinghy up on the hardtop using the boom.

    The mast is about 20' long, now with two shrouds per side, mounted approx 3/4 of the way up the mast. I am considering a fractional rig to bring the headstay somewhere between 3/4- 7/8 up the mast.

    The chainplates are standard c-22 thru bolts. The stem head is actually a tang now attached to the windlass which has been thru bolted to the deck. The mast step has been reinforced and build up with fiberglass and coosa board, then a c-22 stainless mast step mount attached.

    I'm thinking I can use a CDi f1 furler. And I'm actually taking design cues from my Compac 16 pilothouse. It's very simple and easy to raise. I may even try the sails to see how things fit.
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    There are resources on the net that will guide you as to how much propulsive force you will get out of a sail..... I'd suggest in your case, it will be rather modest, and combined with the hull form, and its propulsive needs, the end result will be a very slow crawl, or very little "assist" to your engine. The sort of sail plan that would have her hiking along, would be a threat to stability.
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The Catalina sail plan is about 200 sq. ft., so let's call it 170 - 180 with the cut down main. Stability will not be threatened much with this rig on this design, unless trying to sail in a gale. It's likely you'll break the mast or yank out fittings long before these stability concerns would be worrisome and this is one of the issues. The mass of the Albin 27 is much higher than that of the Catalina 22, so the rig is way undersized for the loads it'll need to endure in a pitching sea with building winds. Simply put, you'll break stuff if you try to fly anything, in more than modest winds.

    This is the least of the concerns, the big one will be mast compression under the step, which I don't think you've fully anticipated (they can be huge). Swept spreaders might work, though given the hull form and possible points of sail, a waste of time IMO. Put in a running back, double or a split running back, which can be unclipped when not needed. This will insure it'll stay put and the stay(s) can be tucked out of the way, when under power.

    Speeds on a beam reach will be a few knots at best (likely less) and motor-sailing speeds will likely not change over your current powered speeds, unless you're underpowered. The only real advantage is as a steadying sail, in which case you don't need a main and jib, just one sail will do. As a steadying sail, you'll flop over with a little heel and the sail will calm down the boat's motion, to a degree, in certain sea states. The Catilina's boom isn't very strong and you can't lift much more than a couple hundred pounds with it. I've lifted 250 pound crew members out of the drink with this boom and it was all it could do, with plenty of flex in the process.

    If it was me, I'd put on a set of double lowers, which will hold the stick upright without a back or headstay. Of course the uppers and stays too, so it can stand to some press. I'd probably fly a 130 - 140 genoa, knowing it's a downwind rig and maybe a pole to keep it drawing on some points of sail.
    With the mast cut down, the spreaders are now not in the ideal location, so move these and terminate the lowers into their mount.
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I'd have sworn PAR would have declared this idea not worth the trouble, but every day brings its surprises ! My question would be, are there many (or any )examples of this boat, or close analogs, being given sails ? It is, after all, a semi-displacement hull.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I wouldn't put such a tall rig on this puppy, though plenty of them do fly a steadying sail from a cockpit mounted mast. You'd only need about 40 sq. ft. to be effective, but don't expect any drive from it, just the calming action a steadying sail brings to the table. I don't think this concept (Catalina 22 rig) is worth the bother, when you can install a much shorter, stouter stick in the cockpit and hoist an effective sail, in a more desirable location (for a steadying sail).
     

  8. MotorCityBW
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    MotorCityBW Junior Member

    Thanks for the feedback and input, I really appreciate it. I think we're all thinking on the same track with regard to performance expectations and the various installation issues and concerns. So its great for me to hear someone else noodle around my unusual idea.

    As far as I know, there are no other Albin 27's with a forward mast, but there are two with a cockpit located setup. That said, one of the closest analogues to the A27 would have to be the Albin 25, which also occasionally employed a mast rig. A lot of people think of the Albin 25 was a motorsailer, but its really a self-described auxilary sailer--using the exact concept I'm talking about. See this information here: A27 Mast Project. Personally, I'd like the mast further aft, but I chose to mount my mast on the forward cabin, primarily because the cockpit will be covered by a hardtop, see: A27 Hardtop Project

    I planned for the mast step compression during modifications I did to the interior of the A27 boat. I have prior experience with a deck stepped mast. This is my Alberg 30 in the Caribbean. This was a substantial rig that put a lot of pressure to the deck. There was no compression post, and the mast was entirely deck stepped. I rebuilt the mast step on this boat, documenting the refit and ownership in a book I wrote. "One Less Traveled: Owning a Classic Plastic Sailboat" ISBN978-0977792405
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    My modifications to the Albin 27 mast step also involve me installing a stand alone shower in the forward cabin. Another unconventional idea, I know. Basically my A27 now has a free standing shower in the head, with 6' headroom. By pushing out the forward bulkhead of the A27 head compartment in the forward cabin by approximately 12", I gained a spacious and well proportioned head. And right under the mast step, there is now the forward corner of the head bulkhead, an unofficial compression post. This has been explained and documented here: A27 Head Modification.

    I agree the C-22 mast and boom seem undersized. But the best part of this rig was that I acquired it virtually complete, with a roller-furler, and all hardware/rigging and later winches for pennies. I probably would have gone larger --but could not pass up the deal. I particularly wanted a mast that I could step single handly, and store on the cabin top while underway, and this can be done with this mast. I took the concept and idea from the Briney Bug mast setup, see: Briney Bug Mast. I hear your concerns about the boom, and they're reasonable. No one wants to heft a a 250lb dinghy onto the hardtop. But luckily, I solved that problem with an 80lb dinghy, see: Building a Dyer Dhow Ultralight Dinghy

    So that brings me to the following questions:

    1) When you say double lowers, does this mean two lower stays per side, or four per side--terminated at the mast in the former approximate position of the spreaders? I was going to eliminate the spreaders all together, and go right to the mast.

    2) Are you still advocating, additional upper shrouds, terminated where? at the mast head?

    Right now I have four chainplates for four stays---plus the fore stay (say that really fast). The angle of the shrouds, is what holds the mast up. Exactly as you say, my A27 main sail will be very small about 40sqft, the jib will be on a furler a light weight 130-140%, and its for 90 degrees to downwind and steadying ability.

    Faux Sailing: "I guess I'm a sailor at heart. I miss my classic sailboat. But I'm too fat and old to sail a boat like that any more. It sure would be fun to roll out a headsail and maybe drift along while the engine turns over. I don't care.... It doesn't have to go to weather and it doesn't need to be too complicated."
     
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