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Old 18-03-2011, 09:05   #46
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

They are beautiful under full sail. and you get to fly the fisherman and gollywobbler..
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Old 18-03-2011, 09:24   #47
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I'm surprised that I didn't get any argument from my earlier post. Evidently, even ketch people have allowed themselves to be cowed by the round the buoy racers and the production boat marketing peoples claims based solely on a sloop's slightly better pointing ability.

A ketch is the faster offshore rig for cruisers (monohull 42ft+).
Ketch rigs are generally slower than comparable sloop-rigged boats, so I don't think that this statement is generally true.

I'm not talking about super-ketches like Nick's Jedi. Among the many advantages of that extraordinary boat, Nick's masts are much further apart than on the typical ketch, which prevents the main and mizzen from backwinding, blanketing, and otherwise interfering with each other as typically happens on ketches.

That is because they have much more aerodynamic drag than sloops do. Besides that, their stumpier masts give lower aspect ratio sails. That is the same reason they do not point as well -- and the word "slightly" doesn't really catch it, in most cases (again, leaving aside certain super-ketches).

Now with more flexibility in the sail plan, you are more likely to have the right sails up in a ketch than in a sloop, so in some practical situations this inherent disadvantage disappears. For example, in say 28 knots of wind upwind, a sloop with high SA/D ratio will be reefed well down and the reefed sails will not have good shapes, and pointing ability will have been lost. A ketch, especially one with double headsails (misnamed "cutter-rigged ketches), might have only its mainsail reefed, or it might already be sailing efficiently on "jib and jigger", with much less loss of efficiency and pointing ability.

Better balance because of the mizzen also means that ketches will less often be sailed with a weather helm situation, which causes a loss of performance for many sloops in many situations.

So the theoretical performance disadvantages of ketches are less in practice, in many conditions. But they are still there.

I love ketches and almost bought one when we were shopping for what turned out to be our present boat. But not for their speed!! The boat we almost bought was a Holman & Pye Oyster 53/55, one of a few with a ketch rig. The previous owner had gone to a lot of trouble to make up for the disadvantages of the ketch rig -- laminated sails, fully battened roachy main & mizzen, a big suit of sails including different downwind sails, twin carbon spinnaker poles -- it was a lovely boat. But he admitted that even with all that he was still quite a bit slower than even the banal in-mast furling cutter-rigged 53/55's.

For an excellent technical explanation, see Post #3 here: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-r...ter-sloop.html
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Old 18-03-2011, 09:52   #48
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

The only trouble i have sometimes with my ketch is the main sheet interfering with the aft bow of the bimini, (fully encloseable cockpit). But I am adding padeyes to the deck to move the mainsheet outboard for longer downwind runs.
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Old 18-03-2011, 09:52   #49
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

we watched AS A KETCH FLEW BY US AND KEPT ON GOING SMOOTH AS CAN BE WHILE E BEAT Our selves to death bashing into a storm in gulf of mexico. we were beating into same storm as thyeand they were much faster-- had better sail area--much more sail can be kept aloft in a ketch than in a sloop as the sloop will have sloppy weather helm and the ketch will not have weather helm issues. your choice-- fight the boat or enjoy the boat. i have sailed cutters, ketches, sloops-- i prefer the ketch as is much more comfortable to sail long distances and takes what she is given and goes with it--i will not cruise a sloop again--is not worth the exhaustion that results and causes damage to boat. ketch doesnot have the circumstances that bash the hell out of you in weather. so...ketch wins. btdt in both and cutters as well-- no thankyou--i will keep the ketch and be comfy when i arrive.

on paper, points can be made to sell anything. i know have seen the work in progress by the hype guys. lol. believe what you will---i find the ketch is the best rig i have tried for cruising--some prefer schooners, as their sail patterns are more varied-- i like the ketch just fine. if ye compare a full keel boat with a fin, the fin will be faster-- but fast also has bad disadvantages-- like no tracking, heavy weather helm in storms and other discomforts you may not wish to experience. before purchasing, try SAILING the boat-- do sea trials in a storm. have a good time and test the hell out of the boat then decide what it is you really want. sail many boats before you purchase---- sailing is a lot better than reading some blurb which is made for selling a particular kind of boat. gooood luck.
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Old 18-03-2011, 10:29   #50
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Dockhead:
How do you figure "better balance with a mizzen"?
I like to keep as much sail area forward as possible. I think having a mizzen makes the boat harder to balance.
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Old 18-03-2011, 10:35   #51
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

I used to sail a Pearson 365 that had a very comfortable motion. even at anchor, we could keep the Mizzen up and it would help with our holding. I am certain that the hammock stretched between the masts has already been mentioned...
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Old 18-03-2011, 10:53   #52
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

In light air I'd take a sloop over a ketch any day. Ketches are great off-shore and crossings. But if one is just day sailing, especially single hand, A ketch is a lot of work.

I would think one would have to motor a lot in inland waters, especially like the San Juan's here, where the wind changes directions every mile or so.
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Old 18-03-2011, 11:12   #53
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

I own both a sloop and a ketch. For a cruising couple, the ketch wins hands down for all the reasons mentioned above. The few drawbacks of the rig (all rigs have compromises) are far outweighed by the benefits. The sloop will be sold before we shove off.
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Old 18-03-2011, 11:23   #54
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
In light air I'd take a sloop over a ketch any day. Ketches are great off-shore and crossings. But if one is just day sailing, especially single hand, A ketch is a lot of work.

I would think one would have to motor a lot in inland waters, especially like the San Juan's here, where the wind changes directions every mile or so.
We frequently daysail our ketch and I find single-handing it isn't any harder than single-handing a sloop - there's only one more sheet to adjust. We also frequently sail inland waters - also not much more work than a sloop. If I were racing though, I'd take the sloop every time.
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Old 18-03-2011, 11:31   #55
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

About drag from the rig... it becomes drive when you sail the right way (broad reach).

Another advantage: your mast height is less so you fit under more bridges.

We just decided to sail back to Curacao from Panama (instead of heading for the US east coast) so we're gonna have one of the toughest upwind sails you can find. I'll report how our ketch will do

ciao!
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Old 18-03-2011, 12:21   #56
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

am looking forward to the handling of my ketch as i cruise southward in the off season......
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Old 18-03-2011, 12:31   #57
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob perry View Post
Dockhead:
How do you figure "better balance with a mizzen"?
I like to keep as much sail area forward as possible. I think having a mizzen makes the boat harder to balance.
I should have said EASIER to balance the helm, not better balance. You're right of course -- the further aft the center of pressure of the sail more, the more weather helm. Obviously.

I have to admit, however, that for me this is only theory -- I have little actual experience on ketches. But all the ketch-drivers I know say that this is the case. I'm taking their word for it -- do you think it isn't so?
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Old 18-03-2011, 12:33   #58
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
We just decided to sail back to Curacao from Panama (instead of heading for the US east coast) so we're gonna have one of the toughest upwind sails you can find. I'll report how our ketch will do

ciao!
Nick.
Yeah, well -- don't compare YOUR ketch to ketches in general.

I wish I were there crewing for you on that passage. Now where is the smiley which is green with envy?
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Old 18-03-2011, 14:07   #59
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Re: ketch rig....WHY?

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Jib and Jigger in 30 knots.
I disagree, having done it a few times. I find that in truly heavy conditions, having the sail area concentrated in the middle of the boat is MUCH better than having a bit way out front, and a bit way out back. The problem is that as you sail up a huge wave, first the jib gets a bunch of wind before the mizzen, so you get a lot of lee helm. Then as the crest passes under the stern, the mizzen gets the blast of breeze, so you get a bunch of weather helm. The result is a very uncomfortable (and potentially unsafe) corkscrewing motion.

I found this same ketch sailed MUCH better with conventional storm trysail and storm staysl, than it did under reefed mizzen and storm jib. Really, a large difference.

Nevertheless, spreading the sail area over lots of sails so each sail is smaller is a big win in my experience. For sail handling, loads, gear size. All good.

Since all round-the-world race boats built in the last 20 years are sloops, and many round-the-world race boats built in the previous 30 years were split rigs (schooner, ketch, yawl), I think this indicates that the round-the-world race community tends to prefer sloops, even though many of these fleets leave sail area unmeasured, or measured in a way that gives an advantage to split rigs over sloops (consider those Open 60s where only maximum height is restricted). I suggest this is yet another example of the difference between practice and theory.

But I still like sailing on split rig boats! Quite fun, lots to do, pretty.
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Old 18-03-2011, 15:30   #60
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Dockhead:
I would never generalize about ketches. I would never generalize about sloops. There are good ketches and bad ketches and to pretend they are all endowed with the same sailing characteristics is just,,,,

You see now I have to pause because the last time I spoke my mind here I was censored.

Just like a cutter, a ketch does increase your sail combo opttions.
Sounds to me like EA32 has it figured out.
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