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Old 10-07-2015, 19:59   #1
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Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

So ... Long time lurker, first time post. Been considering a few boats to retire and cruise on (buying this year and about five more years away from retiring) everything from HC33 to Passport 40 to Hylas 49 to Amel Super Maramu.

The Hylas would take all my money and wouldn't have enough to refit or cruise, so it's really just a dream boat. The Amel is a bit large for a cruising couple and a bit deep in draft, but picking one up and doing an update refit to the 2000 model makes the most sense and is right in our budget.

The problem is I'm in love with the Baba 40! Actually, that's not the problem. The problem really is that my mind was poisoned by Robert Perry's article where he talked about his buddy building Airloom with a 6' taller mast and having fun with a surprisingly swift full keel boat. I have 5 years of playing off the coast of SoCal, Catalina trips, sailing around the Queen Mary and such until I actually take off. To add potential insanity, I actually really appreciate the versatility of a ketch rig in foul weather and I know that 11 ketches were built per Perry's specs.

The final straw was seeing this little 30 with tan bark sails! So, I'm going to try and pick up a Baba 40 for under 6 figures, probably spend another 6 figures on an extensive refit. My long-winded question is how quickly will I ruin a perfectly good boat by having a shipyard add a mizzen mast to my 30 year old boat along with a taller main? I have no idea if it's possible to have a mizzen mast deck stepped and be reliable by a shipyard during a refit. I guess to me it seems like I'm trying to accomplish too much with one boat or do too much with it to still be reliable???

The plan is the Pacific Northwest, down the coast to Mexico, through the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, New England, back through Panama to the South Pacific over 6 years or so.

Thanks for your sanity and input .... growing up on my dads little Ericson doing summer trips to Catalina is hardly world traveling experience!

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Old 10-07-2015, 20:14   #2
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Cost? thats the point, if is designed as a true cutter, im not sure if the original plans include a ketch rig but anyway if its a cutter you are dealing with some isues if you insist in a mizzen and all the gear involved, first the mizzen need a strong deck support, aka compresión post or deck beam etc..., chainplates, extra rigging, extra sail, extra running rigging, and still is designed to sport a cutter rig, guess its more easy to found a ketch in the market , and cheaper, but i dont want to ruin your dream, if you wana try ,,better contact a reputable rigger and Mr Perry in fact, haaaa and i disagree with you hehe, to me the true cutter rig in bad weather is a must.... Good luck..
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:47   #3
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

You are a basket case

However, others would say the same about me😀

Our refit is done and we have a lovely boat for a good price. GL
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:58   #4
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

The first boat we were drawn to six years ago was the Baba 40, since we came close to buying a Baba 30... Thirty years ago. You need to get over the outward appearance of all the wood work that you'll be spending the remainder of your lifetime varnishing and sanding.... and varnishing and sanding...and varnishing and sanding, and focus on the practical aspects of various boats.

I don't think you can just add an additional mast without screwing up the balance of what's already there.

But if you truly love to sand and varnish, and sand and varnish, and sand and varnish.... And don't mind the forty year old boat odor that won't seem to go away... Then go for it.

Now let's talk about 40 year old iron fuel tank and waste tanks that'll need to be cut out and changed. You might want to start a second thread on this topic. And while you're at it maybe a third thread on replacing or refinishing the screwed on teak decks.

Good luck.
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Old 11-07-2015, 13:06   #5
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Quote:
good boat by having a shipyard add a mizzen mast to my 30 year old boat along with a taller main?
I think the having a shipyard part of this is the key. You are going to dump a ton of dollars into this, maybe 50k+, by the time you are done with rigs and sails. The value you've added to the base boat will be negligible, so if you are OK with dumping that kind of money into a hole, then sure - go for it. I've sailed in races with Airloom on the course -- I suspect you'll find that a Baba 40 is actually a decent sailor with a new set of sails. Your plans going down the Pacific side of Central America means lots of light to no air days with a fair amount of motoring. Once in the Carib you have strong tradewinds that usually mean a nice staysail and a reefed main.
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Old 11-07-2015, 15:03   #6
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Please before you do anything else contact Bob via:

Robert H. Perry Yacht Designers, Inc.

He is old, he is gruff, but he knows his stuff!

Paul
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Old 11-07-2015, 15:24   #7
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Cost? thats the point, if is designed as a true cutter, im not sure if the original plans include a ketch rig but anyway if its a cutter you are dealing with some issues if you insist in a mizzen and all the gear involved, first the mizzen need a strong deck support, aka compresión post or deck beam etc..., chainplates, extra rigging, extra sail, extra running rigging, and still is designed to support a cutter rig, guess its more easy to find a ketch in the market , and cheaper, but i dont want to ruin your dream, if you wanna try ,,better contact a reputable rigger and Mr Perry in fact, haaaa and i disagree with you hehe, to me the true cutter rig in bad weather is a must.... Good luck..
T-Shea,

Neilpride has outlined the issues for you, pretty much. I expect you'd also have to relocate the mast. For all the above reasons I think it is a terrible idea. You can have tanbark sails if you want, but bastardizing a design is really not the best way to go. Plus, it would really cost a fortune. As neilpride suggested, if you want a ketch, buy that. If you're in love with the Baba 40, do not disfigure her.

Ann
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Old 11-07-2015, 16:04   #8
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Well put, Ann. I was actually thinking that since I'll be refitting anyways, I was contemplating refitting to Mr. Perry's original ketch design that was specified for that boat rather than some hatchet job.

I'm sure after my first few sails on her as a cutter, I'll lose the desire to change it over to a ketch rig (I hope). Although, I did just order a book from Amazon that has a Baba 40 ketch that rounds Cape Horn. That's bound to fan the flame :-/


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Old 11-07-2015, 16:13   #9
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Hi TShea.

I notice this is your FIRST post on the forum. Welcome aboard CF!

What follows is written in a friendly tone of voice. With good humor. And with the sole intent to help with an opinion.

Since you asked if you are "crazy," I will respond in the simplest way: Yes.

I like the Baba 40 boat design (and HC38-48 too).

I like tan bark sails too (see my profile album why). And Teak Decks too.

I like ketches, whenever the owners actually use both masts and all sails.

So, I understand the "visual" appeal of the traditional styled yacht. I love them.
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But I can live with a cutter (less sticks, less rigging).

I would never want to change a boat from a Cutter to a Ketch.

Nor would I want to buy a boat that had been changed from a Cutter to a Ketch. (consider the mast placement fore/aft on the boat plan)

So, not only will there be the initial cost of making the changeover, there will the future issue of selling it to someone in the future who may also be reluctant to purchase a 40-50 year old boat with THAT serious modification, to something as significant as the rig, some "crazy" Previous Owner did to the boat.

In all fairness, ALL Previous Owners (PO) are considered crazy for what they do to the boat before the Present Owner (PO) got it, according to the PO (Present Owner).

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My Opinion? Seriously Consider the Cutter.

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I am pretty sure the Baba40 is a keel stepped mast (cutter). Moving that mast position would involve interior modifications too.

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Also, I think Kenomac brought up some other significant considerations (black iron tanks, mucho wood to manage).

While I can live with (and like) the "salty" look of raw teak (not varnished) especially on a boat like the Baba or HC, it is the underlying and more significant possible issues of "teak deck leaks" "soft decks due to saturated core" and "embedded and corroded tanks" that I find unappealing.

So, I would save the "refit budget" for the more significant possible needs of the boat such as new tanks (if needed), engine rebuild or repower (if needed), new electrical, new sails, etc.

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Here is what Bob Perry says (his words from his blog) about the Baba 40:
"The Baba 40 is one of my all time favorite designs. It is superbly well balanced and goes upwind in a breeze like a freight train."

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Good luck on your boat choice.
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Old 11-07-2015, 16:20   #10
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

From Bob's blog:

"We eventually were asked to do a ketch rig for the Baba 40. I have no problem with ketches. I'm not keen on the added clutter in the cockpit and the mizzen shrouds can be a nuisance. But several ketches were built. My pal Jeff has one and just finished rounding Cape Horn in his. He's convinced this is a great boat."


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Old 11-07-2015, 16:36   #11
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

The Baba is a great boat and very well built. If you can put up with the wood maintenance go for it. You wont get much better in that size.
However, just leave it a cutter. The cutter is great for short handed sailing, a quick reef of the main and dousing the headsail with the staysail up and you will have a really enjoyable sail in 35 knots of wind.. flat and fast.
I'm not against Ketches, but with the added clutter not real prone to them either. With the advent of the furling headsail.. all of a sudden a cutter makes a lot of sense for easy sailing.
Also look at the Ta Shiba...and the Panda 40 it's pretty much the same boat.. and I think more of them were built with less exterior teak.... some without teak decks too. Same boat yard Ta Shing. http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=2334
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:24   #12
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Shea View Post
So ... Long time lurker, first time post. Been considering a few boats to retire and cruise on (buying this year and about five more years away from retiring) everything from HC33 to Passport 40 to Hylas 49 to Amel Super Maramu.

The Hylas would take all my money and wouldn't have enough to refit or cruise, so it's really just a dream boat. The Amel is a bit large for a cruising couple and a bit deep in draft, but picking one up and doing an update refit to the 2000 model makes the most sense and is right in our budget.

The problem is I'm in love with the Baba 40! Actually, that's not the problem. The problem really is that my mind was poisoned by Robert Perry's article where he talked about his buddy building Airloom with a 6' taller mast and having fun with a surprisingly swift full keel boat. I have 5 years of playing off the coast of SoCal, Catalina trips, sailing around the Queen Mary and such until I actually take off. To add potential insanity, I actually really appreciate the versatility of a ketch rig in foul weather and I know that 11 ketches were built per Perry's specs.

The final straw was seeing this little 30 with tan bark sails! So, I'm going to try and pick up a Baba 40 for under 6 figures, probably spend another 6 figures on an extensive refit. My long-winded question is how quickly will I ruin a perfectly good boat by having a shipyard add a mizzen mast to my 30 year old boat along with a taller main? I have no idea if it's possible to have a mizzen mast deck stepped and be reliable by a shipyard during a refit. I guess to me it seems like I'm trying to accomplish too much with one boat or do too much with it to still be reliable???

The plan is the Pacific Northwest, down the coast to Mexico, through the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, New England, back through Panama to the South Pacific over 6 years or so.

Thanks for your sanity and input .... growing up on my dads little Ericson doing summer trips to Catalina is hardly world traveling experience!

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Its hard to beat an Amel - from the 'little' 39ft Sharki to the latest models. If you are looking to cruise these are brilliant boats.
What ever you decide, good luck.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:33   #13
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

a friend on sailors run, baba 40 ketch, is rounding the world solo catching all the capes. good boat.
converting to ketch from cutter is a lotta lotta dough. can you find one already rigged as a ketch??? stuff gets pricey whenye wannna change rig...masts are pricey. booms cost dough. bob perry rocks.
amel is a good boat. many are seen here as they cruise through. there is one in our marina for summer storms. lovely boats. solid and capable. people who own em say they cannot be beat.
but then so is every boat sailed long distances successfully. cannot be beat...
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:46   #14
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Of the 6 cruising sailboats I have owned over the last 41 years, the rig I prefer is a double head rigged sloop. Next the slutter, then the cutter and very last was my ketch. What a waste of money. ( extra mast rigging and sail ) Not efficient and with modern furlers etc, money would be best spent on these.
I have had every rig offshore including a modern catboat.

These rigs were on boats that were from heavy displacement to ultra light.
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:54   #15
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Re: Baba 40 re-rig to Ketch Rig ... Am I crazy?

Welcome Aboard CF, T-Shae,


Have you looked at the Morgan OI Ketches? I have a Morgan 36 OI ketch, that I am very pleased with. It might be a little older than what you want, and I have done some mods to her, but the price was right. Since getting her I have sailed her down the ICW to Key West, to the Dry Tortugas, to St. Pete and Tampa, and now sail her up here in Puget sound. and points North. Her shallow draft will let you go were others can't, and her weight makes her handle and ride nicely in a blow. No she is not for sale, but you can look at her if you are up here in Puget Sound. Good Luck in finding what you want, It took me Two Years to find my Morgan...
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