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Old 21-02-2007, 12:44   #1
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KETCH, SLOOP OR CUTTER

Well ,wich one and why ?? A family of four cruising the world.
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Old 21-02-2007, 13:04   #2
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A Ketch! We are happy with our's.
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Old 21-02-2007, 13:05   #3
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Gosh ... and to think that I would vote for a Ketch too. But, esk ... you forgot about a Yawl, or Schooner.
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Old 21-02-2007, 13:08   #4
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A Schooner would be a interesting choice for a family of four. Everyone would would have a job to do.
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Old 21-02-2007, 13:19   #5
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Aloha esk,
I've sailed on all and find the cutter less cluttered with rigging, easier to handle and points to windward better than a ketch and schooner. If all you do is sail with the trades (not against them) a schooner or ketch is great. If you are beating to weather half the time a sloop, cutter or yawl have better pointing characteristics. The sloop's headsails are usually harder to handle because of their size and a cutter splits that size up into smaller chunks for ease of handling plus you can boom the staysail to tack very easy.
You've asked a question that invites personal preference so standby for a lot of personal opinion answers.
Kind Regards,
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Old 21-02-2007, 14:33   #6
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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 on.

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 or ketch.

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.

Bill

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 and windlass, roller-furling genoa, etc.

B.
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Old 21-02-2007, 15:20   #7
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Horses for course as said above.
We're late 50's and easily handle a 46 foot sloop with a 66 foot rig - no issues, no clutter, and quick up wind or down.
JOHN
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