Depends very much on the size of boat, intended cruising area, and personal preferences.
KETCH: splits sail area into smaller, more manageable size; lower masts for ICW
bridge clearance; more complicated and expensive rigging
(two masts, two sets of shrouds, etc.); easy to reduce sail and still keep boat balanced; big stick in the cockpit
to either hang onto or bump your head
CUTTER: two headsails; easy to reduce sail and keep going well to windward; not necessarily more difficult to tack to windward (you can just sheet the staysail amidships and ignore it); relatively fast to windward. Mast
generally stepped further aft than sloop
SLOOP. most efficient rig for sailing to windward. Difficulty of handling sail depends on: (1) size of boat; (2) type of furling
(slab, in-boom, in-mast, behind-mast, etc.); and manner of rigging.
I've sailed all these with my family, at different stages of their life. We cruised for several months in a Pearson
10M sloop and a Pearson 365
ketch. The sloop was much more fun; much faster, less clutter.
The mizzen on a ketch looks good in pix when wind-vaning at anchor
. Real advantage is very dubious, IMHO.
On balance: sloop or cutter for price/performance/ease of handling unless you have a really big boat. Then, a ketch might make sense.
BTW, I'm in my upper 60's and have no problem single-handing my 42' sloop, though I have recently succumed to certain niceties like in-boom furling
, electric winch
, roller-furling genoa