My pal has a Goderich 40 center-cockpit, round-chined steel
ketch. It's a substantial piece of work from the drafting board of Bob Wallstrom and Ted Brewer (I believe Mr. Wallstrom actually drew it, but it's definitely got Brewer "touches".) I've ridden this boat in some big air, and it does quite well with the mizzen/jib combo, but she can't point even as well as my own 41' steel cutter
(in other words, not even close to my Viking 33.)
On the other hand, were my friend to produce his long-buried mizzen staysail or mizzen spinnaker
, I'm pretty sure he'd take me in a light air reach.
There's arguments in favour of the ketch, sure, but the fact is that they've fallen from favour in the "regular folks" list of new boats, and are pretty rare in decent condition in the used market. I would've had one had I been able to source it, but a steel cutter found locally made more sense. Why would I have favoured a ketch? Because I can't afford a Shearwater 43 or a Saga 43, and I want to cruise
before I die or win a lottery. A couple can operate a ketch with muscle power, usually, and there's a stronger likelihood of keeping a bunch of (relatively) lower, smaller sails
up. The ketch staysail, for instance, is, with a reefed mizzen, capable of driving the whole boat at apparent wind
speed that would argue for a trysail and/or storm jib
on a sloop, and yet is arguably safer to manage.
Now, if I could only make a case for the yawl...