Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-04-2010, 08:59   #1
Registered User
 
PatrickS's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Espoo, Finland
Boat: "Tranquil" - '79 Westerly Berwick Ketch
Posts: 62
Question for Current or Former Ketch Owners (Only)

If and when you might consider moving to a new boat, would you prefer one with a ketch rig?

If so, why? If not, why not?


(Please, please, please, no comments and opinions from folks who have not or do not own a ketch and do not have extensive intimate personal experience, not merely second hand knowledge, or based on lots of research and logical deduction, etc. etc. etc. Thanks.)
__________________

__________________
PatrickS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 09:06   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In the water, somewhere.
Boat: Allied Princess 36' Ketch
Posts: 59
I love mine.

Pros: Lots of sail options, balances brilliantly, easily heaves to, lower mast height reduces pitch in heavy weather and slides under bridges more easily, not that much more complicated to sail singlehanded, and gives you a backup sail in the event something happens to your main, extra mast to put stuff like radar and additional antennas on. Many more pros than that but you get the gist. I also love flying a reefed mizzen at anchor to really keep her into the wind.

Cons: Doesn't point worth a damn (but that's as much my cutaway full keel as anything), extra sail and sail slides and such to keep in inventory, one more thing to deal with.

Would I buy another ketch? For cruising, hell yes. For racing? Hell no. But that's like asking would I buy another full keel or modified full keel boat - similar answers. Ketches are great rigs, lots of fun, lots of options, and really I don't think a ketch vs. sloop (and even less a Ketch vs. Yawl) comparison is able to say whether one is 'better', just that they are 'different' and those differences can be enumerated pretty well. Then you pick what you like.
__________________

__________________
svaletheia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 09:16   #3
Registered User
 
speciald@ocens.'s Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat - Carib, Chesapeake
Boat: 58 Taswell AS
Posts: 1,139
I would suggest a cutter rig instead of a ketch (see avitar). The staysail should be permanently mounted, not stacked on deck. This rig will give you as many sail options as the ketch but be easier to set and use.
__________________
speciald@ocens. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 09:22   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In the water, somewhere.
Boat: Allied Princess 36' Ketch
Posts: 59
The cutter offers two headsail options, but nothing aft of the main for additional balance. A ketch rig sails completely differently from a cutter rig, for instance cutters have pretty much the same options as sloops when heaving to, effectively (yes you can choose which headsail to back, but you still lack the mizzen). A ketch can be rigged with an inner forestay as well, which gives yet more options.

Not saying its better, worse, or otherwise, but don't infer from having "as many" sail options that they are comparable sail options.
__________________
svaletheia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 10:00   #5
Registered User
 
bloodhunter's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Baltimore MD
Boat: Morgan 45 Enchantress
Posts: 171
Images: 11
What I liked most about my ketch was how well you could balance it by adjusting the mizzen. As long as the wind was relatively steady she would sail herself all day -- no autopilot needed. In fact it was very relaxing sitting at the helm with my hand lightly on the tiller and watching the world go by.
Also the sails on a ketch are usually smaller than those on a similar sized sloop or cutter so they are easier to handle, especially if you're single handed or with a small crew. If you hit light air and your budget can stand it you can get an asymetrical spinnaker and even a mizzen staysail.. Also some ketches also have a staysail as well as a jib giving you more sail options.
However, a ketch will not point nearly as high as a sloop or cutter.and they tend to be slower than a sloop of the same size.
Currently I have a cutter. She sails like a witch, is very comfortable for cruising , is very strongly built and best of all is paid for. However, IMHO she'll never balance as well as a ketch but that's just the way it is and no problem for us.
But if I were looking to buy a boat, I'd never rule out a boat because it was a ketch.
__________________


SV Enchantress
located Herrington Harbour South, Friendship MD
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof
bloodhunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 10:49   #6
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,760
Use the search function. There have been some EXTREMELY in-depth (not to say, impassioned) discussions of this on here, which you will find interesting.

I think Bloodhunter pretty much summed it up, though, if you want the Cliff Notes.

Personally -- I will never go back to a sloop which has huge disadvantages for water sailing">blue water sailing. Cutter or ketch, and on balance cutter, but ketches are cool too.

As some one said or implied, your keel is more important than the rig anyway. If you have a long or longish keel, for whatever reason, then there's no disadvantage to a ketch other than deck clutter and cost of keeping up and replacing all that rigging and sails. So you might as well go ketch. If you have an efficient modern keel, then it's a shame to ruin its upwind abililty with a ketch rig, in my opinion.

If you do go with a ketch, try to find one with double headsails (misnamed "cutter-rigged ketch", which is actually an oxymoron). It's really great having two different headsails on roller furlers, for reasons you'll find in the other threads. I think most modern ketches are rigged like that, and you wouldn't want one with a single headsail -- you'd give up more effective sail plan flexibility, than you gain from having main and mizzen.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 11:07   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In the water, somewhere.
Boat: Allied Princess 36' Ketch
Posts: 59
I second what Dockhead and Bloodhunter said - my ketch will (when I am finished) have twin forestays. Since mine wasn't originally designed for it I am adding a solent stay to allow me to continue to run hanked-on sails as well as a roller furling headsail (big genoa). This gives me multiple options forwards as well.

Cutters are wonderful boats, as are ketches. And as Dockhead said (sort of echoing my implication earlier), the keel makes a big difference. If you want to point, get at minimum a cutaway, modified keel with a full skeg rudder, but don't throw a boat out entirely just because it has a longer full keel - the stability and ruggedness of that design might be more worthwhile to you than pointing 10 degrees higher. Its all in how you plan to sail her.
__________________
svaletheia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 11:18   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,592
Images: 240
If a stay’sl sloop might be called a “Slutter”; then perhaps a stay’sl cutter could be called a “Clutter”.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 13:25   #9
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,760
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
If a stay’sl sloop might be called a “Slutter”; then perhaps a stay’sl cutter could be called a “Clutter”.
"Slutters" are probably what most of us cutter-drivers really have, if we use our terms precisely.

A real cutter has the mast further aft, than a sloop.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 14:01   #10
Registered User
 
marc2012's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: abbeville la
Boat: seawind II Patience
Posts: 542
Love my ketch rig for all the above reasons.Also adding solent.marc
__________________
marc2012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 16:22   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
I've owned both and as has been said would not rule out a ketch. I loved the many sail options with jib, staysl, main, mizzen staysl and mizzen but that also added a lot more rigging to maintain and since I'm trying to go simple I'm opting for a cutter.
regards.
__________________
John
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 16:27   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 5,787
I've had both a sloop rigged Pearson Vanguard, and the current Allied Seawind II ketch. While the pearson was much faster on the wind, and pointed a little higher I could never get it to balance out quite like the ketch. The ketch allows me to sail for hours without an autopilot or touching the helm. It also allows the main to be dropped altogether and sail only jib/jigger, this for me is more comfortable in winds over 25knots than the sloop ever was.
__________________
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 18:05   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
You're discriminating against me. I've had a beer on a ketch, so I'll comment.

They're wonderful things...because they are sailboats. But it's just too much extra rigging for the benefit. I might make an exception for ketch's with mizzens of a size approaching that of the main, and if they can fly a proper deck-tacked mizzen stays'l clear of the main boom. But otherwise, why bother with doubling the initial and on-going rig costs for some small advantages?

Actually I do sail a ketch. My radar is on an aft mast..... So report me...
__________________
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 19:21   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Having owned two true cutters, I would say the concept of a ketch follows similar goals. Smaller sails that are easier to handle. This has been negated a bit by roller furling jibs and similarly furling mains. The ease of handling was really the reason. They are not any harder to handle today for the same reasons.

I do feel it takes more practice to use a staysail or a ketch We won't consider yawls. Those little extra sails seem to gain insufficient respect for what they can do in times that count. The modern sloop probably is the most versatile rig but when you are buying from the pool of older boats the ketch and the cutter can rise in the list of good affordable choices. Most boats take extra effort to master. Out of the box with little experience the extra sail may be a disadvantage until you get the hang of it.

In the days of hanked on sails a large jib could be the death of you when it was time to change sails and only two crew aboard.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-04-2010, 19:44   #15
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,972
In the US, many bridges have a 65ft clearance. If you sail a boat that's longer than 48ft or so, two shorter masts will expand your US cruising grounds considerably.

Some Shannons have a version of a ketch with double headsails that they call a "Sketch". Similiar to a Solent rig except the sails are reversed. The genoa is on the inner roller and a yankee jib on the outer roller that's usually on a short sprit. It's advantage over the Solent rig is that either sails can be tacked without being rolled up since the jib is small enough to make it through the gap between the headstays. Putting the smaller sail farther forward also keeps the center of effort constant so the boat balances better. For real storm conditions they recommend using a removable inner stay and proper storm canvas.

Carl
__________________

__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question for Gemini owners Canibul Multihull Sailboats 23 20-03-2011 15:27
Installing BSS VMS - Alternating Current Question..... bobfnbw Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 3 11-01-2010 11:35
A Question for HR43 Owners MARC D Engines and Propulsion Systems 0 16-11-2009 09:23
New Catalac owners / mast question syoung33 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 48 11-02-2009 23:42
Question for inflateable owners WaLiveaboard Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 17 23-11-2006 08:51



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:30.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.