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Old 20-02-2015, 07:47   #1
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Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

New to the forum, I thank you for the opportunity.

I am in the beginning stage of deciding a vessel. Not new to the boating community, having had several power only, never owned a sailing boat.

I will begin with two of my 7,311 questions by asking about sail configurations and the different keel and rudder designs.

I'm thinking a full keel, cutter rigged ketch with a center console.
My thoughts, stability, less heeling and a more shallow draft compared to winged or otherwise deep keels.

On a full keel, is it decided to rig the boat cutter, because it requires more sail area, and, does the ketch configuration simply act as a staysail or does it actually provide more sail area and headway when lifted.
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Old 20-02-2015, 07:57   #2
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, whprsnpr.
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Old 20-02-2015, 08:37   #3
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Thank You...
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Old 20-02-2015, 09:20   #4
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Welcome

A sloop is the most efficient rig upwind, for the same hull, displacement and sail area this is probably worth about a 1% improvement in boat speed.

The ketches and cutters have two big advantages over sloops

1. Sail area is broken up more so sails are smaller and easier to deal with. As boats get bigger this becomes more of an issue.
2. It is much easier to balance the sail area of these boats. This is most important in heavy weather.

A cutter has two or more foresails ahead of the forward mast.

A ketch has 2 masts with the aft one being shorter and the sail area on the aft (mizzen) mast being about 2/3-3/4 that of the main. There is also technical (and very contentious) distinction of the mizzen mast being in front of the rudder post.

The only functional reason to have a cutter rigged ketch would be sail area minimization on a very large boat.

For most offshore boats I would prefer a cutter since the extra rigging provides redundant support to the mast ( ie if shroud or stay breaks you are less likely to lose the mast).


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Old 20-02-2015, 09:42   #5
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Thank you.

Follow up, I have noticed that a great many Cutter rigged boats, have multiple spreader bars on the main mast. Is this a helpful item in keeping sails and sheets from getting tangled?

Or, something I do not yet recognize?

Thanks again...
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Old 20-02-2015, 10:02   #6
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

spreaders and their number are determined by the height of the mast and the thickness of the mast......the skinnier the mast, you need more spreaders to keep it straight and so as it gets taller.....nothing to do with cutter or sloop.
What size boat are you looking for and just to confuse the mix, there are catamarans and trimarans........
I've had a sloop with a fin keel, a full keel cutter and now a cat.
My advice learn to sail well, become a prudent seaman and then it won't matter what configuration you get.
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Old 20-02-2015, 10:03   #7
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Spreaders are means of supporting the mast in the transverse direction when you have a limited width to anchor the shrouds. As the angle between the shrouds and the mast get smaller the higher the compression loads are in the mast and tension loads in the shrouds. So the mast gets taller, the boat gets narrower, or the designer decides to move the shroud base inboard; the at some point an extra pair I'd spreaders is added so the shroud angles widen up and loads go back down.

More spreaders is a also a way to compensate for a light mast section such as would be used on a racing boat.

If you see 2 or more pairs of spreaders on a reasonably sized boat it is probably a racing boat or was originally designed as one.

The more spreaders on a boat the more effort that will have to be expended tuning all the stays so the mast is straight.

The boat I want has double spreaders which allows the shroud base to move in all the way to the cabin and the side decks are nice and clear for going forward in heavy weather.


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Old 20-02-2015, 10:23   #8
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Size will depend on girth or width. My wife may have issues with a narrow, faster boat. I would not. We have in the past just out of curiosity, looked at sail boats, at the time, somewhere in the 40'-44' range was suitable.

In my younger life, a lifetime past, I did a great deal of sailing. Mostly day sailing, a couple crossings of the Catalina channel, one or two to the Santa Barbara group.

I have likely forgotten much of what I learned then, but I know this going in. I have a great deal of respect for mother ocean. I've seen her at her best, AND, worst. 40 years of surfing up and down the West coast, in places at times I likely should not have been.

Then came the power boat phase of my life. I learned a great deal.
Where the fish live and how to get there is less than desirable conditions.

My goal, warm winds and warm waters, rejoin the human beings in life, members of the blessed boating community...
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Old 20-02-2015, 11:49   #9
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIRELOS View Post
spreaders and their number are determined by the height of the mast and the thickness of the mast......the skinnier the mast, you need more spreaders to keep it straight and so as it gets taller...
Uh...no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
...The only functional reason to have a cutter rigged ketch would be sail area minimization on a very large boat.

For most offshore boats I would prefer a cutter since the extra rigging provides redundant support to the mast ( ie if shroud or stay breaks you are less likely to lose the mast)...
Excellent post. I would add that the cutter rig gives one more options for shortening sail and balancing the boat. A removable inner forestay is handy.
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Old 20-02-2015, 12:16   #10
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Just realize of course that all designs have advantages and weakness
You have to determine what is important to YOU, and bluntly, what you can afford or are willing to pay.

My boat works for me, but you might hate it.
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Old 20-02-2015, 12:29   #11
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

I strongly suggest you get a good book on sailboats, nomenclature and designs.
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Old 20-02-2015, 13:39   #12
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Yes, this is very good advice.
I have several on navigation, seamanship in general.
Chapman's to me is a very, good, all around book to begin with.

I have grown weary of being land locked.
Moved to the mountains 30 years ago, nice, but the ocean has been absent from my life since that decision was made.
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Old 20-02-2015, 15:44   #13
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

“On a full keel, is it decided to rig the boat cutter, because it requires more sail area, and, does the ketch configuration simply act as a staysail or does it actually provide more sail area and headway when lifted.”
I have noticed that a great many Cutter rigged boats, have multiple spreader bars on the main mast. Is this a helpful item in keeping sails and sheets from getting tangled?”

“My thoughts, stability, less heeling and a more shallow draftvs later “Size will depend on girth or width. My wife may have issues with a narrow, faster boat”

The way these are worded lead me to think you need to read more and probably walk the docks more.
But keep the questions coming by all means!
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Old 21-02-2015, 04:16   #14
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

By all means, I lack experience in sailing vessels, I'm the first to admit this.

One of the greatest things I have noticed in the boating community is that folks are more than willing to share knowledge willingly.

Years ago, I had an issue at the Police dock, Shelter Island San Diego. I could not figure out how to pump out my black water tank. My boat was an older California, rigged to catch Tuna, not much to look at, but got the job done. A man in a very high end 80' yacht, dressed like a Donald Trump kind of fella, took the time to walk me through the pump out process. Got-R-Done.

I was impressed. Just another day helping out a fellow boater he told me.

We have kind of the same comradery in the trucking world. I am an owner/operator, a disappearing breed in today's world. If a fellow driver is stranded or broken down, we all do our best to lend a hand. I have come to expect this behavior as I am certain you all have in the boating world.

Again thank each and every one of you for the information.

I have many more questions as you see in days/weeks following.
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Old 21-02-2015, 04:30   #15
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Re: Sail Configuration and Keel/Rudder Design

Question...

I am not necessarily certain, but it appears as if there are seasons where winds and ocean conditions may be more favorable for making the journey from our West coast to say, Hawaii.

And, when someone is making plans and preparations, is there a method of coordinating with other boaters who might be planning the same passage.


Safety in numbers kind of thought...
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