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Old 03-01-2009, 07:03   #1
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Ketch vs Sloop vs Cutter

I know that this may be a very debateable subject (I don't want to start any fights). But as a general rule which rig does better in light air? If you used the same hull with the three different rigs, which one would be better ( by better I mean not setting still baking in the sun)? Lets say there is a 5 knot breeze and you are on a beam to broad reach.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:13   #2
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NEW sails is really the best answer for light breeze. Then you can include drifters, spinnalers, and the sort. My 30ft. Columbia use to drift in 8 knot winds. When I put on new sails she was actually sailing 3-4 knots. Less weather helm, and you can get off of your ear. She will sail more upright. I prefer a cutter because of the versatility in all weather...i2f
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:21   #3
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If you search the forum history you will find that the question of which rig is best has been addressed a few times, including the benefits of each on various points of sail, ease for short-handed sailing, safety, storm tactics, etc.

The short, simple answer to your specific question and point of sail is the boat/rig that can hoist the most sail area for the size and weight of the boat. Different point of sail will generate a different answer.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:47   #4
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There is no single answer- I prefer the ketch for many reasons not the leasst of which is the beauty of a ketch under full sails.....
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:59   #5
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Most racing yachts are sloops for good reason, this is generally the fastest rig, particularly into wind. Ketches are generally the slowest with cutters in between.
The specific question of a very light wind on a broad reach, is however, a more difficult question. It would depend on mast size, displacement etc, but the Ketch might be the quickest if it had all the possible sails up and the racing crew to handle them. .
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:57   #6
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cutter rig setup for singlehanding

Hi i2f :
How difficult, expensive is it to setup a cutter rig for singlehanding.
I have never sailed on a cutter rig, just sailed sloop rigs.
Where might I find more info on this subject.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:43   #7
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In light air you will usually call upon your largest genoa or better yet your screecher or spinnaker. The larger the mainmast, the larger the foresail you can raise for light air. I.E. a sloop rig.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:44   #8
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My Island Packet 380 is a cutter and is set up for single-handing. The key is to be able to handle everything from the safety and comfort of the cockpit.

All three sails can be furled/unfurled from the cockpit. The staysail boom is a Hoyt boom, which is self-supporting and thus doesn't require a topping lift. The control line for the rigid boom vang on the main is led to the cockpit. The anchor windlass has a rocker switch on the steering pedestal, so I can handle the anchor from the cockpit, too. An autopilot allows me to do all the sail handling while the boat steers itself, including tacking or gybing. The IP380 has a fairly large aspect ratio for a cutter--I think it sails pretty well in most all conditions.

As far as costs, the boat came that way, with the exception of the rigid boom vang ($500), and the autopilot with 10 meter wired remote ($5,200 installed).

For me, the cutter rig is ideal since most of my sailing has been offshore and in the tradewinds. I added a cruising spinnaker which made sailing in the light winds on the Chesapeake a lot more fun. Again, with a sock for the spinnaker and using the autopilot, I could set and douse the sail by myself.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:50   #9
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Chesapeake

You will most likely find the answer right here by doing a search and typing in "cutter".

The most popular these days is a sloop with a cutter option, adding a baby stay. This way one can run a full genoa for down wind sailing. Or cut back to two fore-jibs for up wind.

In my case I run a roller reefing genoa which can be furled to a jib size fore-sail and I can run the second jib behind. Then in a blow I can furl the genoa all the way and run just the second jib and reef the main to balance out the boat.

But, it's the hull design that really make the difference in which rig is best. I really like the gaff-head look but that's usually a full keeled heavy boat that takes a crew to run.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:08   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesapeake View Post
Hi i2f :
How difficult, expensive is it to setup a cutter rig for singlehanding.
I have never sailed on a cutter rig, just sailed sloop rigs.
Where might I find more info on this subject.
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The work is not hard. You would have to check with an expert to see if your rig will support an innerstay. Both my headsails are furled with the same size drum. This way if need be one can be used to replace the other.

If you want a hank on staysail it will be relatively cheap. I am guessing, but on a 30ft. boat probably about $500 for stay, blocks, sheets, and attaching points. A little research through the West Marine catalogue will give you a better idea. Of course furling will add another $1k give, or take a couple of hundred bucks. I think Kai is aware of an inexpensive furling that is reliable too.......i2f
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:18   #11
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This also depends on the size of boat. "Generally"..,when a boat get up over 20,000lbs., a split rig can make the boat easier to handle. The same rig on a 10,000 boat tends to be a pain in the @$$ to get around on. In light air you should fly a cruising chute and pour yourself a cold one.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:22   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
The work is not hard. You would have to check with an expert to see if your rig will support an innerstay. Both my headsails are furled with the same size drum. This way if need be one can be used to replace the other.
I might add that your mast must be able to take the second inner stay, as stated. In my case I have to add running back stays to accommodate a baby stay to prevent mast bend/pumping.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:32   #13
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Rig performance upwind can be very different than downwind. High aspect (tall mast) sloops with large genoas tend to be best upwind but this isn't a great cruising rig. Off the wind, a gaff rigged schooner is pretty amazing and a square rig is even better. The Maltese Falcon is square rigged.

If you are looking at cutters also look at the Solent rig. Increasingly popular in the UK and a great rig if you like the safety of staying off the foredeck. Think of it as a cutter with the cutter stay set close to the headstay and on a furler. A 90% jib goes on the inner stay and a genoa on the outer. The jib gives much better drive than the cutter sail and can be used any time the apparent wind is over 15 knots either upwind or down. The genoa is used downwind and upwind in light air.

One drawback is that the genoa has to be rolled up to tack but it's generally used only as a downwind sail so this is not a big problem. The other problem is that the two headstays (which adds great rig redundancy) are hard to tension properly. Generally it's best to set the jib stay tighter and accept a little more sag on the genoa.

The jib can also be partially rolled with a pretty respectable sail shape for up to 40-50 knots. Above that you still need storm canvas.

Some feel that the cutter stay is good in storms because it moves the sail area close to the center for better stability. A counter argument is that many newer boats without a full keel need some sail area farther forward for helm balance or even to tack.

The Solent stay tends to be easier to add than a cutter. The foot is close enough to the headstay that deck reinforcement is simple. The head of the jib is also close enough to the mast head that no additional stays are needed. Of course, use or consult a good rigger.

Carl
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:35   #14
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If yer new stay is within a couple of feet of your forestay you should not need running backstays, a baystay, which sits a lot lower, will. Adding an inner forestay is a good option for an offshore boat, with a quick release lever it can be tucked out of the way quite easily. Its not expensive, if you do the rigging work yourself the wire on a 38 foot boat will cost about US $100, add the hounds, the deck/ bulkhead fitting and the stayloks and you might be at $200. A quick release lever can be had used for about US$60-90.
Hope this helps
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:41   #15
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For light air a sloop wins every time.
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