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Old 19-07-2016, 08:57   #46
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Mandurah, Western Australia
Boat: Roberts 45
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Re: Ketch Sailing for Beginners

We've just returned from 3 months sailing up and down the Western Australia coast and used every configuration of our staysail ketch. Like you and many of the contributors, we had to feel our way past the theory into the practicalities of sailing our boat. With the furling genoa, clubfoot staysail, single reef mizzen and triple reef main, we have such flexibility. One of our favourite configurations was motoring at low revs with staysail, triple reefed main and full mizzen pinching at 30 degrees apparent in 30 knots wind and a heavy sea. It just seems to be an easily managed rig. Anyway back to the question. The mizzen, I find, is a difficult sail. I've never known how much power I get out of it upwind or downwind. On a beam reach I can feel it's contribution. I think it's value is in heavy weather (as aforementioned) and the utility use. Certainly we use it a lot at anchor particularly in heavy weather, to stop swing and reduce pull on the ground tackle. It works very very well. We also use it (again as aforementioned) to assist tacking and it requires some traveller work but it's not that easy to do. In trimming the mizzen when under full sail I start from the back and move forward when the wind is after of abeam but do the opposite when going upwind as the drive still comes from the closely sheeted genoa. Good luck with your trimming.

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Old 19-07-2016, 09:06   #47
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Re: Ketch Sailing for Beginners

as my mizzenboom is 14 feet, it IS a big aid. some mizzens are considerably shorter and higher aspect--i think my old fashioned one is awesome. it is most comfortable sail configuration. my jib is a genoa, a good driving sail.
i found this configuration to be perfect for my boat.
others may vary.

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