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Old 13-09-2014, 06:03   #16
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

There are also those really unique ketches that tack by turning the wheel, have no standing rigging and are very easy to single hand, made by Freedom. Like all boats, another version full of compromises.


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Old 13-09-2014, 06:52   #17
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

My ketch points just fine, also self steers nicely when trimmed properly. The downside is the complexity of the rig and deck clutter of multiple sheets running forward. Its going to get worse when I install two more tracks and go to a non self tacking jib on the inner forestay, but the additional power will be worth the inconvenience.
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Old 13-09-2014, 07:30   #18
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

having sailed extensively in both sloops and ketch rigged sailing boats, i much porefer a ketch for heavier weather. no weather helm issues as we experienced in sailing a sloop into heavy weather.
all of my mizzen and headsail adjustments ar e from cockpit, and easily done..
my ketych has wide flat decks with no hardware to break yer toesies and cause issues.
i LOVE my ketch in 60 kt winds-- the sloop in which i sailed gom with similar wind speeds was more than a handful.
chubascos are lovely in ketch rigged full keeled sailing boats. would not want to be hit by one in a sloop thankyou

i have sailed sloops since age 7. am new at this ketch thing, but i adapted most quickly.
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Old 13-09-2014, 11:30   #19
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

I've owned several sloops over the years including a 35 ft Yorktown for 20 years. When we started planning the "big blue water cruise" a few years ago we bought a 50ft ketch. There were lots of reasons- more space belowdecks for storage, good value for the money-ketches are a little less expensive than more modern sailing rigs, sea kindly in a big blow, more sail options, etc. Some of the other Sailors that have commented on this posting have been pretty accurate in their assessment of a ketch's sailing abilities. I typically need to tack about 90 degrees off the wind but for big weather or big waves she rides very comfortably. We came around Point Conception CA in heavy weather and she just puts a shoulder down and keeps plodding along- slow and steady. But in the final analysis we bought her because she is pretty and that provides all of the motivation I need for her considerable upkeep.



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Old 13-09-2014, 18:52   #20
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

I just can't take a strong stand on this issue. It's like choosing between steak and lobster. There are many more differences among boats than just the rig. If you just consider the rig; then it becomes a question of where you sail,- how you sail,- vertical clearance needs. How could I choose? If they are both overcooked I'll take the steak, but if their both tough I'll take the lobster!

Let me survey the ketch and the sloop first and then I'll choose!
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Old 13-09-2014, 19:14   #21
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

I had mostly cruised on full keel traditional boats, 1 a yawl, and 1 a sloop. Great handling boats, and great close and broad reaching. That said, now that I have a true windward performer, I could never go back. It's amazing how nice it is to be able to go to windward efficiently. Ketches can also sail decently well to windward if sheeting angles and underbody are optimized. The issue is that the mizzen in a yawl or ketch is in disturbed bad air when going upwind. So unlike a sloop, where all sail area in the mainsail contributes to the slot with headsail, about 1/3 of non-jib sail area is ineffective upwind in a yawl/ketch.
This split sail area however makes balancing sail off wind and in heavy stuff better. Also improves bridge clearance. A compromise. I'd rather spend the rigging dollars and effort on a good reefing system and removeable inner forestay than on ketch rigging.
But if the perfect boat at perfect price was a ketch- sure!!




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Old 14-09-2014, 11:07   #22
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

Troll hunter, I dont see your cruising plans listed. There is a large difference between coastal, or long passages. If you are going to be taking long passages, you need to consider if the mizzen will interfere with a windvane. If you are looking at an aft cockpit ketch, the mizzen sometimes is such clutter in the cockpit, that it makes the cockpit uncomfortable. Alden, and Sparkman&Stevens have proven that ketches can sail very well, but unfortunatly many ketches have the sailing ability of a sand barge. Fat hulls with huge interiors, and lots of salty looking things, may be comfortable, but rarely sail well. Reasonable windward performance is important in cruising, but it is a combination of rig, hull, and crew, NOT JUST THE RIG! Just my 2 cents worth. ______Grant.
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Old 14-09-2014, 11:37   #23
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

one last item of import--even while coastal sailing, one can run into , or be run over, by awesome hard winds.. i found these to be unmanageable in sloop settings, but sooo easy and fun with my barge like ketch that sails well in huge winds . these are designed for a specific kind of cruising, and if you are willing to put up with the common complaints of the wannabe racing set, you will more than enjoy the comfort and settled attitude these have while sailing in a 60 plus knot chubasco for a couple of hours.
HOWEVER, if you prefer the performance style uber fast cruiser, you will never like a ketch, whether full keel or other wise.
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Old 14-09-2014, 13:03   #24
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Re: Ketch pro & cons

Cruisers Love Ketches.

For myself, after owning a C&C 35 racer/cruiser for many years, did not even really think about a two masted boat when I went shopping for a long range cruiser.

That is, until I kept coming back to a 44' ketch that just spoke to me.

Just like the OP, I investigated the pros and cons of the split rig, and found the usual opinionated ideas from the majority of sailors that are sailing sloops.

Fortunately, the folks with real ketch experience prevailed, and I took the ketch for a test sail in 20 gusting 25, with short steep waves, and I was sold. Changing sail area, and balencing the helm, are so much more efficient in the large seas offshore with the versatility of two masts.

For me, it is well worth the extra expense of maintaining two rigs, and having to put on two sail covers to secure the boat for storage.

Ketches are not for everyone, just for those that love them.

If I went back to having a boat for day trips, and protected water sailing, I would probably be happy with a sloop.

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