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Old 02-03-2010, 09:29   #31
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A couple more pennies worth ...

(i) we regularly sail downwind on cruising chute and mizzen which gives good power and balance in light airs, when the main would keep blanking the chute or we'd need a preventer or both. Our chute is about 1000 ft square so we really like it to do its job.

(ii) our mizzen boom is very low and if we ever invested in a new boom and sail we'd have it higher for convenience. We do have reef points in the mizzen.

(iii) I'd love a mizzen staysail but I'm nervous about it getting tangled in the wind genny!

(iv) we ideally wanted a cutter ketch, but couldn't find one in our price range. Very few boats on the market at a given time will tick all your boxes. Of course you could be the person who's up for building your own, but we aren't. Waiting forever for the perfect boat is another way of not going cruising.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:35   #32
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A ketch should be an appreciable length so the mizzen doesn't simply suck up the main's bad air. Also, Bob Perry points out in his book that the mizzen should be as big as practical.

As mentioned, they do balance nicely and the sail handling is easier - the two main reasons for choosing them. On the downside, they tend to complicate the addition of self-steering.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:37   #33
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nothing prettier than an angelman ketch....i've owned two and am looking to buy a third....sloop vs. ketch? i guess it depends on the boat and sailor...i learned on a ketch and love the versatility....
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:37   #34
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For Ketch:

1. Huge advantage in balance, especially under reduced sail.
2. Break up sail plan into more easily handled units.
3. Just gorgeous to look at; no comparison with single-stick vessel.
4. Lots of choices about what rags to put up.
5. Lots of choices for heavy weather.
6. Mizzen a great place to put radar domes and antennae.

Against ketch:

1. Slower on virtually every point of sail (not as noticeable on a really big boat with some distance between the masts, like Jedi's).
2. Not as weatherly (BIG disadvantage in my book).
3. Much more expensive and more maintenance (rigging and sails).
4. Cluttered decks.

So you pays your money and takes your choice. I think ketches are out of fashion mostly just because of keener price competition and cost. Their disadvantages are less of a problem for long distance trade winds passage making, and the advantages shine. For coastal work, though, not so good.

As others have said, a cutter is a good compromise. That's the way I went (although I was seriously tempted by a beautiful Oyster ketch). The foretriangle is broken up to give you more versatility, especially for heavy weather (you've got an instant storm sail by just furling the yankee, without even leaving the cockpit). The staysail allows you to use a high-cut yankee instead of a genoa, which is easier to trim and easier to tack (the staysail picks up the wind between the yankee and the deck).

Yet a cutter is just as weatherly as any sloop, a quality which is extremely important to me -- I like to be able to make real progress upwind, which means you can sail most of the time, instead of motoring. It is geometrically impossible on most cruising sailboats (like our old boat), and certainly on ketches. I prize the weatherliness of our new boat over almost every other quality.

P.S. On terminology: a purist will say that the phrase "cutter-rigged ketch" is lubberly nonsense. Having two headsails doesn't make a boat a cutter, by itself -- a cutter is a single-masted vessel with the mast further aft, than a sloop. Our "cutters" are actually, by classical definition, probably double-headed sloops, and not cutters at all, and certainly ketch and cutter are mutually exclusive. FWIW.

A good resource: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-r...html#post30236
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Old 02-03-2010, 13:30   #35
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We have a sloop now, but have sailed ketches.

To me, beyond some size, ketch is better, because the sails are smaller and I can still handle them alone and by hand. So, if I were to go for a bigger boat (I think, based on my skills and fittness, beyond 38'), I would go for a ketch. The ketch I sailed was an Endurance 35, she is 38' and just as easy to sail as my own 26' sloop (in fact, easier).

Talking performance, it is easy to note that all fastest boats today are sloops and for me the discussion ends here. Note also that the fastest boats today are no longer monohulls.

What I absolutely love about the ketch is that we can drop the main and she will still be very happy with the jib and the mizzen, virtually no matter how hard it blows. And she will keep her head very close to the wind - something we cannot do on our sloop. So, in heavy going upwind, again, to me, the ketch wins.

But there are many ketches and many sloops, so with particular designs this situation can be completely the opposite.

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Old 02-03-2010, 14:01   #36
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I am the first to admit that a ketch is slower than a sloop when sailing upwind. But broad reaching, a racing ketch will defeat a racing sloop when both have the same hull. The reason is simply that a ketch can put up much more sail area.

For cruising, let's look at that upwind performance. We are caught close to a lee shore in a nasty storm. Which boat will have an easier time to claw away from the lee shore, a 40' sloop with reefed main and genoa or a 40' ketch with mizzen and jib? I can tell you I would rather be on the ketch. A cutter probably beats both but then again ketches can be cutter rigged and set a staysail which in stormy conditions will give equal performance.

I read that when the hull is 50' long or more, a ketch can outperform a sloop in all but upwind angles. Beowulf (Dashew's last ketch) is 78' long and seriously humiliated racing sloops both mono and catamaran. especially because Beowulf is a cruiser, not a racer.

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Old 02-03-2010, 14:45   #37
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A little off topic, but the nice thing about a yawl is that it has most of the advantages of ketches (balance, mizzen stays's, jib and mizzen sailing etc) and most of the advantages of sloops (still points high, cockpit is mast free etc.)

Been a very workable rig for us.
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Old 02-03-2010, 14:49   #38
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Stienlager

Ok if you want a ketch that goes fast here you go



I don't think you will get a right answer out of this question but Steinlager II under the direction of Sir Peter Blake was a fractional rigged ketch and she did pretty well in the Whitbread Race. First to finish and first overall. Problem is that there is a lot more choice in Cutter and sloop rigs or the Slutter rig (I like the name) A slutter is a sloop rigged boat with an inner forestay added for a staysail.
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Old 02-03-2010, 16:28   #39
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Oh yes Steinlager II did good. But don't forget the Dutch ketch Flyer with Conny van Rietschoten winning the Whitbread and how about the ketch Kialoa III, braking the Sydney to Hobart Race record in 1975 and holding that mark for 21 years.
Ketches can go fast ;-)

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Old 02-03-2010, 17:36   #40
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Mari Cha is a cool boat too, what is she? Ketch? Schooner? But both Maris and Steinlager were hours of very careful design. Not much indication in the cruising aspect.

How big would a boat have to be to make a reasonable ketch?

Pearson 365 is well 36?, Endurance 35 is about 38.

Any smaller, good ketches around?

PS Just hit me - the Skye 51 is one cream piece of a ketch!

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Old 02-03-2010, 18:20   #41
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I spend too much time in the cockpit to want to share it with a mizzen mast.
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Old 02-03-2010, 19:06   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
P.S. On terminology: a purist will say that the phrase "cutter-rigged ketch" is lubberly nonsense. Having two headsails doesn't make a boat a cutter, by itself -- a cutter is a single-masted vessel with the mast further aft, than a sloop. Our "cutters" are actually, by classical definition, probably double-headed sloops, and not cutters at all, and certainly ketch and cutter are mutually exclusive. FWIW.
How 'bout "Double headed Ketch"? or "Staysail Ketch" then?
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Old 02-03-2010, 19:09   #43
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But don't forget the Dutch ketch Flyer with Conny van Rietschoten winning the Whitbread
Wait...Dutch people sail?
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Old 02-03-2010, 20:22   #44
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Okay, most sailing topics have been covered in this thread so I'll offer a different view: I've been a ketch fan for 15 years with a Pearson 365 an now an Amel 52 so, along with the sailing features already covered, I LOVE the rigging! Having the ability to use the mizzen boom as a crane for your dinghy, outboard, moving stores aboard, rigging a Seattle lift, ect... what a great asset! Iv'e never been a big fan of davits hanging over the stern and my best option in avoidance is the mizzen.

The Mizzen can be easily used for roller stoppers, hammocks, radar, horn, deck lights, and weather stations. For the minimal added cost and all the advantages, I've always chosen the ketch. Plus - they just look so much cooler! Also, I'm planning on going to main & mizzen spinnakers in the near future per Dashew's Sundeer sail plans which can't be done without a second stick!

That said, I also hold cutters in high regard.
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Old 02-03-2010, 21:30   #45
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Here's some eye candy to tide ya over Bob.
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