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Old 21-08-2009, 12:58   #16
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I think S&S gives some clues. Perhaps it's a case of optimising the jib and main sails for upwind and dropping the Mizzen, using it for reach and downwind work. If the helm towards the wind perhaps changing the sail on the Mizzen Mast to a tall thin sail may be worthwhile for extended windward working and better helm balance. Doesn't need to be big in area. Old Sailing boats often had staysails between masts but I think this was again for reaching as clean air would not be available. These are easy to rig and deploy. Try www.pdavis.nl for his 'Surprise' sailing simulator. It's designed for Square Riggers but can be changed to a ketch with a bit of care. It does show how sail balance affects the rudder angle, furling a sail can make the boat go faster!
Do let us know how things go with this, please. Very interesting stuff.
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Old 21-08-2009, 22:21   #17
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The truth which many owners of ketches don't really want to hear, is that a ketch under 50' long is not a very efficient sailboat design. The reason is that you end up without sufficient gap between the main and the mizzen. The mizzen becomes a "flap" for the main, much like the flaps on the wings of aircraft. And just like with the aircraft, the flaps give a lot of drag (that's why they are retracted during normal flight).

50' and up, it can start making sense for cruisers (performance to handling ratio) and from 60' up it starts making sense for racers. Those racers are still slower than sloop-rigged boats with the same hull when sailing upwind, but they are king of reaching.

The tell-tale sign is to look at the back-end of the main boom. If it is very close to the mizzen mast when in midships position, it will not be very efficient.

So, where does that leave the ketches under 50'? You get a cruiser that is very easy to handle, with great flexibility in sail plans, very good for heavy weather sailing etc. etc. and all that just for the cost of some upwind performance. When a sloop with an all hyped up crew working the sails, shouting etc. while hanging on for dear life, manages to pass a ketch, they might notice that the other crew is having cocktails in the cockpit while reading a book or hauling in dinner.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 21-08-2009, 23:01   #18
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
So, where does that leave the ketches under 50'? You get a cruiser that is very easy to handle, with great flexibility in sail plans, very good for heavy weather sailing etc. etc. and all that just for the cost of some upwind performance. When a sloop with an all hyped up crew working the sails, shouting etc. while hanging on for dear life, manages to pass a ketch, they might notice that the other crew is having cocktails in the cockpit while reading a book or hauling in dinner.

ciao!
Nick.

Nick...you left one thing out ....and that is they just look so darn cool..what ever the other drawbacks might be..
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Old 21-08-2009, 23:44   #19
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Well folks, I don't know what brand of ketches you are referring to but the go-fast racing ketch I remember from the 80s was (now I remember ) a Skye 50 (or similar) ketch and the main mast height was definitely not what I would consider "short" Google it and have look - this boat went to weather like a freight train!...

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Go back to the original requirement. The boats have to have equal sail area. Take the area from the mizzen and put it in the main and jib with a taller mast. If the boat was properly designed to carry the sail the sloop will be faster upwind.

More than one of the maxis from the 80s got rid of their mizzens once the rating rules changed to no longer favor them.

John
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Old 22-08-2009, 06:03   #20
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Much of the windward drive is determined by the length of the slot between the jib and the mainsail. A mizzen is a "stand-alone" sail, much less efficient than the main-jib combination. Also, it's located in the "dirty" air down wind from the main. So a ketch or a yawl will be less efficient to windward than a sloop with the same sail area.
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Old 22-08-2009, 10:37   #21
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One of the things about Oh Joy that I like is that she was built with a bowsprit, the only Knutson ever built with one. As a result, she carries over 800' of sail compared with the sloop at 610'. She'll run off from the K-35 sloop on any point of sail, especially offwind. I really like my Yawl rig. It doesn't hurt that only five were ever built and none like her.
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