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Old 14-04-2011, 17:25   #1
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Ketch Advantages/Disadvantages

I know there are numerous ketch/sloop/cutter threads, and I have read through most.

If I can sum up, here is what I could obtain out of those:
  1. ketch rigged works well for 40 plus footers, not so well for less than 35 feet
  2. Ketch slower, but, easier to handle, especially single hand
  3. Ketch easier to handle in tough weather/seas

I am sure there is much more, but those seemed to be the salient points.

What I didn't see were the following:
  1. Maintenance issues - less stress, therefore less maintenance OR more rigging, therefore more costly maintenance
  2. Are replacement sails more expensive because there are more of them, or because they are smaller, less expensive?

I would appreciate real life examples as opposed to speculations.

If I missed any of the concerns one should have on ketch rigged boats, I would appreciate input on those also. Please don't discuss sailing performance issues, as I get what those are and what the various discussions around them are.

Thanks and looking forward to the collective wisdom of the group!
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Old 14-04-2011, 17:54   #2
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Unhappy Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post

Ketch .......... easier to handle, especially single hand
......
Thanks and looking forward to the collective wisdom of the group!
I don't get it... I don't see how a Ketch could be easier to handle, and more over single handed..?

I hope somebody can clarify it for me and/or enlighten me to the mystery of ketch handling...
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Old 14-04-2011, 18:24   #3
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

I believe he is referring to the fact that the total sail area is divided up into smaller segments. That is, a sloop of comparable size might have 500 sq ft of sail in the main, while the ketch might have a 300 sq ft main and a 200 sq ft mizzen. The theory is that the smaller sails are easier for a lone individual to handle as opposed to the one big one.

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Old 14-04-2011, 18:37   #4
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

Yes, a ketch is easier to handle, not just because the sails are smaller, but also because it can sail on most if not all points to the wind with one sail completely taken down (for repairs/replacing or just while reefing it with the sheet free).

About ketches being slower... I don't agree with that. I would agree with a ketch being slower upwind. Or, a ketch under 50' being slower than a sloop. I know for sure that many ketches are faster than same size sloops while broad reaching.

Rigging: this is a tricky point for a ketch owner. With one stick up, the capshrouds and their chainplates are (should be) calculated to be strong enough to pull the boat over until the mast hits the water. For a ketch, they sometimes limit that calculation to a spread of forces over both masts, meaning that you should always use sails on both masts to spread the load... or upgrade rigging.

The rigging on a ketch is more expensive and needs to be replaced just as often as on a sloop.

Sails: In the end I think sails for a ketch are a bit more expensive if you count 3 sails vs a sloop with 2. But, that sloop needs extra jibs/genoa's and the ketch might even end up being cheaper.

A ketch looks better

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Old 14-04-2011, 19:16   #5
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

Vertical clearance is a factor and very important for some. I can clear 55' fixed bridges with my forty-one foot ketch and this would be very rare for a sloop or cutter of the same length.
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Old 14-04-2011, 19:40   #6
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Yes, a ketch is easier to handle, not just because the sails are smaller, but also because it can sail on most if not all points to the wind with one sail completely taken down (for repairs/replacing or just while reefing it with the sheet free).

About ketches being slower... I don't agree with that. I would agree with a ketch being slower upwind. Or, a ketch under 50' being slower than a sloop. I know for sure that many ketches are faster than same size sloops while broad reaching.

Rigging: this is a tricky point for a ketch owner. With one stick up, the capshrouds and their chainplates are (should be) calculated to be strong enough to pull the boat over until the mast hits the water. For a ketch, they sometimes limit that calculation to a spread of forces over both masts, meaning that you should always use sails on both masts to spread the load... or upgrade rigging.

The rigging on a ketch is more expensive and needs to be replaced just as often as on a sloop.

Sails: In the end I think sails for a ketch are a bit more expensive if you count 3 sails vs a sloop with 2. But, that sloop needs extra jibs/genoa's and the ketch might even end up being cheaper.

A ketch looks better

ciao!
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Thanks Nick we ketch owners appreciate such a glowing description of a venerable rig. I doubt I could keep up with a Sundeer on any point of sail but it would be fun to try.

Todd
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Old 14-04-2011, 20:30   #7
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

So would a schooners sailing characteristics be similar to a ketch, more or less? BOB
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Old 14-04-2011, 20:41   #8
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

I have never sailed a ketch, but own a 42' yawl. I can attest that shorthanding with the jib and mizzen can be easily done. In other words, you leave the main down and just worry about the jib sheets and helm, the mizzen takes care of itself (unless jibing). A lot less work and if there is enough wind, you can get enough speed.

A ketch or yawl also comes in handy when anchoring, pointing you to the wind with the anchor down and mizzen up.

Finally, I think they are rather pretty to look at, regardless of possibly being slightly slower on some points of sail.

With respect to cost, the rigging costs more to replace (esp rod rigging for the main - wire for the mizzen). But I suspect not a whole lot more. Hope this helps.
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Old 14-04-2011, 20:51   #9
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

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So would a schooners sailing characteristics be similar to a ketch, more or less? BOB
Our mizzen is 70% of the surface area of the main so it'll be very much like a schooner but I've also seen ketches where the mizzen is barely 30% of the surface area of the main and I think those will sail as good without mizzen almost...

So there's too much variety among ketches to state that a schooner is comparable. What I do know is that schooners "are dead" while ketches are still being designed. Now I will get some naval architects that design schooners daily all over me but I'll cope

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Old 14-04-2011, 20:51   #10
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

ketch is easier to handle than a sloop-i know--btdt , andmy ketch does 8 kts in 10 lol
and it is a brick
ketch has less weather helm and is waaay easier the=an a sloop to handle in big winds LOL.. been there done that-- vote always for the brick of a ketch .
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Old 14-04-2011, 20:53   #11
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

I don't think the saik prices are that bad for my 43' Gulfstar.
Fully Battened Mainsail - 9oz dacron, luff 38.3', foot 11.8', 2 reefs - $1,574
Standard Battened Mizzen - 9oz dacron, luff 27.5, foot 9, 1 reef - $919
125% Hank-On Jib - 9oz dacron (I = 45, J = 17) - $1,736

These are cruising sails , triple stitched, chafe patches, etc.

Don't know what a comparable sloop or cutter would be, but this is my pricing.
I bought UD new in 1976, sold her, then bough her back. PO's never used the boat and still has the original sails, except for jib..
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Old 14-04-2011, 20:57   #12
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
I know there are numerous ketch/sloop/cutter threads, and I have read through most.

If I can sum up, here is what I could obtain out of those:
  1. ketch rigged works well for 40 plus footers, not so well for less than 35 feet
  2. Ketch slower, but, easier to handle, especially single hand
  3. Ketch easier to handle in tough weather/seas
I am sure there is much more, but those seemed to be the salient points.

What I didn't see were the following:
  1. Maintenance issues - less stress, therefore less maintenance OR more rigging, therefore more costly maintenance
  2. Are replacement sails more expensive because there are more of them, or because they are smaller, less expensive?
I would appreciate real life examples as opposed to speculations.

If I missed any of the concerns one should have on ketch rigged boats, I would appreciate input on those also. Please don't discuss sailing performance issues, as I get what those are and what the various discussions around them are.

Thanks and looking forward to the collective wisdom of the group!
Then there is a yawl
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Old 14-04-2011, 21:42   #13
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

y'all heah me sayin the main for my sloop is gonna be $5000 to replace. for my ketch i can find a main for 200 dollars..LOL--the 200 dollar one come with a sea anchor and a genoa.... so... how is that more than the 5k for anew main formy sloop?? and mdy sloop is only 35 ft.... HHMMMMMMMM....lol


having sailed and cruised a ketch and a sloop and a cutter within the past 3 yrs, i can say in real life experience that i would much rather sail a ketch than a sloop for cruising, and i would rather sail a cutter than a sloop but i would rather sail the ketch than either a sloop or a cutter--is why i DO that...LOL

havent had to replace my rig--is brand new....did replace chainplates-- raqther do that on my ketch than my sloop as the ones on my sloop are internal and i did the external ones on the ketch....
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Old 14-04-2011, 22:08   #14
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

This ketch did pretty well.

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Old 15-04-2011, 05:40   #15
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Re: Ketch advantages/disadvantages

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This ketch did pretty well.
That looks like "the red cigar" :-) It is very much like a Sundeer but a yawl instead of a ketch (These were Open 60 designs). Here's another photo:


ciao!
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