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Old 13-03-2011, 04:06   #1
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Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

somebody tell me what is so amazing about ketch rigged sailboats?
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Old 13-03-2011, 04:27   #2
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Re: ketch rig....WHY?

is there meant to be something amazing?

just askin' as I've got a ketch rig and only have the usual mixed bag of plusses & minuses that apply to most rigs. and most other boat things.

Something amazing would be nice to have
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Old 13-03-2011, 08:44   #3
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Re: ketch rig....WHY?

--the ability to fly the sweetest looking of all sails--the mizzen staysail

I have a yawl.
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Old 13-03-2011, 09:22   #4
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Re: ketch rig....WHY?

Jib and Jigger in 30 knots.
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Old 13-03-2011, 09:24   #5
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Re: ketch rig....WHY?

Maybe the ability to have a large combined sail area while keeping each individual sail easy to manage in heavy air. I love split-rigged boats.
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Old 13-03-2011, 09:43   #6
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Re: ketch rig....WHY?

For larger boats, it splits the sail area among more sails, making each sail smaller and lighter for a crew member or solo sailor to handle. Also, allows for shorter masts enabling passage under bridges.
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Old 13-03-2011, 09:47   #7
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Re: ketch rig....WHY?

great for hanging an awning between main and mizzen rigging.......
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Old 13-03-2011, 11:03   #8
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Size per size... Ketches are more expensive, and have more parts to break and/or maintain, but they allow the sailplan to be split up, making them easy to reef. On the other hand, the mizzen is often in the way if it's in the cockpit. In my view, the neatest thing about them is the ability to put a radome and "quiet" wind generator, up high and out of the way, (without a conflict with the jib), as well as split up mast head clutter. Many would argue that they are more beautiful, and I think this is the main reason that some folks are drawn to them. AESTHETICS COUNTS!

A cutter rigged boat on the other hand, that's normally sailed as a roller furling sloop, but with the ability to sail with staysail and reefed main, or staysail alone... would be every bit as easy to handle shorthanded, less expensive to own & maintain, less complicated, and more efficient to windward. It may well have less aesthetic appeal though, and the mast mounted clutter must be partially eliminated or stuck on one mast. Here, the "sloop/cutter" pros outweigh the cons, and this is why Ketches have fallen out of favor with designers, builders, and buyers for decades.

It is largely a "personal" choice, however. In either variety, the good ones are wonderful, and the bad ones are a pain in the ass. I have never met someone with a modern sloop or cutter rig, wishing that they had a Ketch... And I have never heard of someone with a lovingly restored older ketch, wishing that they'd gone with a sloop or cutter.

It appears that we choose boats the way we choose spouses... emotionally!

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Old 13-03-2011, 11:18   #9
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

They can be pretty.
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Old 13-03-2011, 11:47   #10
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

They come with a built-in riding sail.

And foot for foot LOD they get under lower bridges.
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Old 13-03-2011, 12:11   #11
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdurham View Post
somebody tell me what is so amazing about ketch rigged sailboats?
Discussed in great detail in several threads on cruisers forum. At the top of the screen select "SEARCH" and use the terms "ketch" or "ketch vs sloop" or various combinations and you should find at least 100 posts on the subject.
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Old 13-03-2011, 12:13   #12
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
They come with a built-in riding sail.

And foot for foot LOD they get under lower bridges.
Very good points! Our friends "fully tricked out" Pearson 365 is an interesting combination. It is large enough for a middle aged cruising couple to cruise far and wide, has relatively shallow draft, and a mast height that can slip under the the US Gulf Coast's ICW bridges.

They have a photo of "Vixen" HARD PRESSED, sailing to windward off of Bequia, that is to die for. It is a beautiful rig indeed!

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Old 13-03-2011, 12:19   #13
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder because to me, for pure looks, the schooner rig is the most pleasing.
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Old 13-03-2011, 12:56   #14
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
They come with a built-in riding sail...
Indeed.
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Old 13-03-2011, 13:00   #15
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Re: Ketch Rig . . . Why ?

The Pearson 35 is a Yawl, not a ketch. The yawl rig was popular when the P35's were first built because it was untaxed sail area under the CCA racing rule in use in the late '60s. The mast height for the Yawl and the Ketch in the P35 were both the same at around 40' so no advantage in getting under bridges for the Yawl and most of the other builders CCA Yawls. The designers of these boats mostly shortened the main boom just enough to hang the mizzen mast at the end of the boat but kept the same mast height. A pretty rig but the mizzen masts are a staying problem mounted so far aft for many of these designs. These boats were sailed as sloop until they were far enough off the wind for the small yawl mizzen to have some benefit and the very limited points of sail the mizzen staysail can be flown.

In todays world, a split rig really doesn't make much sense till a boat is well into 40' range. In the old days of cotton sails made heavier by soaked up water, smaller boats had some need of the smaller individual sails but with dacron and the ultral light composite sail material, individual sail weight and contolability doesn't make sense for boats under 40' or so. Bridge heights for boats of this length typically aren't a problem.
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