Thanks Wildlatin. My location is Blakely, Ga. very s.w. conner of Ga.
Nice... I see there are a few small lakes just North of there, not to mention the pretty huge (to me) Walter F. George Reservoir. I had no idea that that area had so many sailing possibilities. Kinda makes me jealous as my area of W. PA is kinda sparse. BTW, you can set your location in this forum by going to your 'User Control Panel' (at top right of any page), then opening 'Profile'... it's way at the bottom after a bunch of archaic junk. I think the first user registration process should ask for people's location- since it makes quite a difference in their sailing experiences... (IMHO).
The mast on the 14 is very light.
Cutting almost 20% of it off is not going to make it that much lighter.
If you have physical problems raising the 14's mast, then you have larger problems - like righting the boat and climbing back on after a capsize.
It may be time to move to a boat that's less physically demanding.
Mbounds definitely has some points.
I think people can enjoy their cats pretty much even if they can sail only very conservatively- no flying hulls- and just make sure they are able to swim and importantly make sure to wear a good PDF. Things happen when you are older and it's part of keeping an active life... All these challenges can be overcome by sailing with friends who can keep an eye out for the older sailors.
I plan to keep sailing for the next 10-20 years and I'll definitely be one...
One other option is to upgrade to a larger H16 on which an older 'captain' can more feasibly have a 'hearty crew' to help with boat setup and any eventualities...