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Old 07-12-2008, 17:49   #16
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The boats I'm looking at are mid 40' so maybe I should have said that when I started the question. The leading couple are sloop center cockpit models, but it just worked out that way. I'll admit that one of the reasons I like the CC sloop is the clear area on the aft deck for lockers and solar panel systems etc.

But back to the sailing question of the ketch vs sloops; for those that gave the flexabilty of the rig (only the jib & mizzen up etc), do you really feel that this overall is better/less work than just reefing on a sloop? (just asking, not attacking)
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Old 07-12-2008, 17:53   #17
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The way that I reef is by taking down the main. The boat is nicely ballanced and moves smartly. This works very well in the 40-45 plus knot winds that I have been in.
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:37   #18
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Quote:
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But back to the sailing question of the ketch vs sloops; for those that gave the flexabilty of the rig (only the jib & mizzen up etc), do you really feel that this overall is better/less work than just reefing on a sloop? (just asking, not attacking)
All things being equal, if I had a choice between two identical boats, one a ketch and the other a sloop, I would take the ketch. But things are hardly ever equal, and there are so many other more important aspects of a cruising boat, I wouldn't let the rig type make the decision for me. Having had both, it still wasn't a very big factor for us when shopping for our most recent boat.

Kind of like hair color on a woman. I like blondes, but you don't pick a wife based on her hair.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:06   #19
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rigs...

By far the easiest boat to sail which I've owned was an obese gaff catboat whose boom was equal to the LOD. Which doesn't mean I'd necessarily want that for an offshore cruiser, or for a liveaboard, or for a daysailor.

The ketch works well, so does a yawl, and so does a schooner. If they didn't, they wouldn't be used. The ketch was very popular as a 'bluewater cruiser' rig up until perhaps the 1990s, but that's sales marketing more than objective measurements. There are benefits and drawbacks for every rig, keel design, and hull configuration and you'll need to study the one you have to get the most out of it.

One point I do strongly suggest for a boat planning on passages of more than a night is a 'cutter foretriangle'. Having at least a jib and a staysail can give you more options in shortening down. Having the inner stay be a break-away to clear the foredeck for a big lapping sail might make the rig that much easier to work.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:20   #20
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I have been struggling with configuration too, but for what its worth, I have (after sailing a few types) 1. Gotten away from the CC model- the hieght makes it move alot more in the seaway, and I get enough seasickness as is. 2. Yeah those Shannons are beautiful, but I see a lot more success aboard the Cutters.
I'm looking for a solid 40ish single handed cutter. Got inches from a V-40 this last week but the survey didn't turn out as expected.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:02   #21
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Gotta get my 2 cents worth in here! My personal preference is a cutter. It allows nearly as much sailplan flexibility as a ketch with a much simpler rig. All that extra standing and running rigging is just that much more to maintain, adds windage when at anchor, and, imho, makes for more complexity when sailing.
Now, when you get over 60 feet or so a ketch starts to make sense because of the smaller sail sizes as compared to a large sloop plus when the boat starts to get that large there is additional space on board for the extra gear. (Sailed a 32 foot ketch once and could not believe the amount of clutter all those lines and pieces of rigging caused on that little deck!) But personally, if I was going that large, I'd prefer a schooner rig over a ketch rig - easier to deal with and generally quicker.
I've sailed my share of sloops, ketches and cutters and for the size boat most of us have (can afford) I'll pick another cutter every time.
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Old 08-12-2008, 13:44   #22
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Originally, I was only interested in sloops for all the practical reasons of cost of equipment. But we fell in love with a Pearson 424 and had to have one, so we have a ketch and we love her! We also love the great owners group... In fact, that was one of the selling points. Look for an active group of owners who will share stories, posts pics on how to fix things, commiserate with you when necessary, etc. :-)

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Old 01-03-2010, 21:42   #23
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we have a Shannon Ketch, 43/46 and we do love her BUT the mizzen rigging is a pain at the dock and a blessing in a seaway. There is no good Bimini for us,as previously noted, and when i find some $$ im gonna replace the intermediates with cable and an overfield lever so i can get rid of the obstacles for ingress and egress to the cockpit in port.
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Old 01-03-2010, 22:10   #24
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I prefer the ketch

Having sailed with a lot of different charter boats we finally bought our own one. It appeared to be a ketch with cc and we were very impressed how much better and easier this is to sail. Since we live on the boat and we have time speed is no question. I would say 90% we sail only with mizzen and jib. As a consession to my wife there is always one reef in the main. As others mentioned flying the mizzen stay is phantastic. A great advantage is that its very simple when you have to heave to. We have spent two nights this way in the northern adriatic and felt very save. Unfortunately here in the med a lot of sailors perceive the ketch rigg as being old fashioned. I think this comes from the boat builders because the ketch rigg is much more expensive. This is my personal oppinion and experience.

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Old 02-03-2010, 08:30   #25
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I really like my yawl. It's kinda cool to be able to fly five sails at once....
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:40   #26
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To me, the balance one can acheive with the ketch is great....I have nevel sailed a sloop that can be trimmed like a ketch or a yawl. Also the relative ease of dousing the main when the wind comes up and sailing jib and jigger is great. Downside is the clutter and excessive amount or rigging wire needed, adding to the windage and adversly affecting performance when beating. Crack off of the wind a few degrees and the windage is nothing compared to the balanced power. Downwind the mizzen sail is struck and the boat sailed like a sloop.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:51   #27
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To me, the balance one can acheive with the ketch is great....I have nevel sailed a sloop that can be trimmed like a ketch or a yawl. Also the relative ease of dousing the main when the wind comes up and sailing jib and jigger is great. Downside is the clutter and excessive amount or rigging wire needed, adding to the windage and adversly affecting performance when beating. Crack off of the wind a few degrees and the windage is nothing compared to the balanced power. Downwind the mizzen sail is struck and the boat sailed like a sloop.
I come from a racing background and am amazed at how much trouble it is to sail an under powered boat downwind. The boat rocks and rolls its way down waves. Put up a spin and the boat has enough power to shoot down the waves with out the roll. Till the wind gets too strong . LOL That being said if you take the mizzen down when going down wind you are reducing the amount of sail area by a large degree. I did the Milk run from Mexico to Tahiti on a 38' Ketch. It was slow and sluggish. I then got on a Swan 57 from Tahiti to Oz and it was really fun. This is far from an apples to apples comparison of the rigs since the Swan was a much better sailing boat. I personally like the Cutter rig b/c you can set the storm staysail and a trisail and have a similar balance to the jib and jigger on a Ketch.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:56   #28
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I come from a racing background and am amazed at how much trouble it is to sail an under powered boat downwind. The boat rocks and rolls its way down waves. Put up a spin and the boat has enough power to shoot down the waves with out the roll. Till the wind gets too strong . LOL That being said if you take the mizzen down when going down wind you are reducing the amount of sail area by a large degree. I did the Milk run from Mexico to Tahiti on a 38' Ketch. It was slow and sluggish. I then got on a Swan 57 from Tahiti to Oz and it was really fun. This is far from an apples to apples comparison of the rigs since the Swan was a much better sailing boat. I personally like the Cutter rig b/c you can set the storm staysail and a trisail and have a similar balance to the jib and jigger on a Ketch.
I'm also a racer (foredeck on the monos and solo on uni rigged cats) I have found that by reducing and balancing the boat is faster off the wind (i'm also an impulsive trim tweaker( I cannot stand the sight of headsails with the sheet lead car in the wrong position)). But with the mizzen struck and a mizzen staysail up, along with a spin.........
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:08   #29
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Even though I love ketches I must admit that a good sloop can be balanced as good as a ketch, but it requires more skill.

Down wind sailing: first photo is at 25 knots wind, gusting to 30. Note the running backstays on main & mizzen that run to the masthead. Second photo is at 35 knots gusting to 40 on just the full main sail. That is something only a ketch can do without risking broaching. Note that the boom vang is tight (boom-to-deck-angle is 90 degrees) and the boom sheeted in a bit so that only the spreader tips touch the sail. We just passed a catamaran that is under jib only.
Click the photo's to get to the full album.





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Old 02-03-2010, 09:26   #30
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Years ago I had the pleasure of having a older gentelman (from the land down under)
crewing for a season on my boat.. The subject came up once about differences of Sloop vs Ketch rigs.. Very Smartly he turned and replyed, "If They Had To Put A Second Stick Up, They Designed The Fu**in Boat Wrong"..
Got some good memories of that Old Fart that season...............
Odd thing is no one has come up when and when not a Katch rig will and wont work..
In my use, a ketch rig has only been a positive addition in a broad reach..
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