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Old 10-07-2012, 07:23   #16
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Re: The death of the ketch?

Love the ketch rig and hope to own one someday, but true to this thread she'll likely be an older vintage. Not only are ketch rigs becoming more scarce, but "salty" looking cruisers in general seem out of vogue with the current manufacturers.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:29   #17
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Re: The death of the ketch?

Modern lines & designs do not add safety at sea - rather the contrary. Straight bows and sterns have particular disadvantages regarding to seekeeping and comfort.
Sheer and overhangs of the older designs are still adding to comfort at sea and please the eye as well. Maybe the reason that the real connoisseurs are opting for the more classic designs.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:56   #18
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Re: The death of the ketch?

About the smaller ketches - I sailed my 38 foot wooden 'Atlantic' ketch out from England to New Caledonia back in the early 70's. The spars were in tabernacles and very easy to raise and lower for the French canals, and the mainmast was only a few feet longer than the boat which made canaling reasonable. But,,, as the voyage progressed west, I still remember thinking what a great cutter this would have been. Primarily because the mizzen was just less than 100 ft sq, and was too small and dinky to justify its maintenance and drag. Fitting the wind vane self-steering demanded some compromises too - raising the gooseneck, and shortening the boom slightly.
On the other hand, and just before buying my current little sloop, I really fell for the Dreadnaught ketch, the exended fiberglass Tahiti. She was so salty! But the condition was poor, and the unguarded seven foot bowsprit really gave me the shakes. So I just recently bought my little 'Pacific 30' sloop which is a snap to sail. I do believe the sloop in the 30 to 35 foot range is really superior for ease of handling, cost, and performance. I plan to alter the rig this winter by adding a solent stay, and putting roller furling onto the head stay. This will be new for me, but I have hopes it could approach the ideal rig for small cruisers.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:10   #19
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Re: The death of the ketch?

ketches may not be popular with the dock queen set, but there are plenty of 'em out CRUISING..funny how that is, as the sloop is not as easy to handle, size for size, as is a ketch. btdt and i know ......i will not return to a sloop for cruising--btdt.

i LOVE the ease of handling my ketch offers, with her long full keel and tracking capabilities, and her split rig, to handle BIG winds found in cruising areas easily. cannot beat the handling of a ketch.

i have yet to try schooner--is another of the scarcer to find rigs, yet they do cruise well.

i learned to sail on a 36ft gaff rigged sloop and i cruised gom in a 37 ft sloop---was a lot of physical work and too much weather hem--we were always exhausted after a short passage. we pulled 4 hour watches.

with my ketch we have done 12 hour watches easily and without exhaustion. go figger.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:30   #20
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Single-masted Ketch-Cutter & Classic Yacht Lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by europaflyer View Post
Today, I had a think. How many yachtbuilders build ketches any more?

There was a time, only a few decades ago, when many of the biggest yards had ketch options for their hulls. Even Jeanneau started out by building a ketch, the Gin Fizz.

Now, it's hard to think of even a handful. Shannon have a fair lineup of ketches and Gozzard (who!?) have plans for a 50'er - but they are are the only names I could find. Maybe there are a few more builders out there I haven't heard of. If so, they aren't easy to find. Neither are exactly budget yachtbuilders. The only other option is a fully custom build - $750,000, minimum. Captain Average can no longer buy a ketch. The rig is, in effect, dead.

Looking at the rows of identikit sloops and fractional sloops lining the moorings and marinas, it seems even the ever-popular cutter is on its last legs. Consider just how many rigs there are. Ketch, cutter, yawl, schooner, staysail schooner, gaff, cat, lateen, square and more besides and dozens of varieties of each. Am I alone in being a little bit sad about this? Or is the sail handling convenience of the plain old sloop worth the loss of the dozens rigs and hundreds of types of sail which have been developed over the centuries?

As William Cowper said, "Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour." Does anyone else feel yachts have become a little bland?
So I thought I might as well throw out my 'bizzar' thoughts on this subject.

How about this single-masted ketch,.... with cutter overtones:
Monohull Sailboat Design

Sail Propulsion - Revisiting a Mast-Aft Sailing Rig


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

As far as looks go, let me excerpt a portion of a posting I'm preparing for a discussion on an Alden design:


Finally I just have to say it's tough not to like the beautiful lines of that Alden design....one should be proud of the looks of their vessel, particularly when there are so many 'floating clorox bottles' (as I refer to many of those fiberglass production boats) out there.


Beauty of Form & Function, the PROPER Yacht
I'm sure I have offended some persons with my 'clorox bottle' reference above. But without the graceful sheer lines of yesteryear, and the bows, and the overhangs,.... that is what many of the modern fiberglass production boats remind me of.


Let me take you back ever so briefly to another era and a book called “The Proper Yacht”. In 1960 a young New York University physics professor named Arthur Beiser bought a 58' ketch which was well beyond his budget. She was Minots Light, well know as one of John Alden's most beautiful creations. To say it was an impulse buy would be to deny that Arthur had coveted her from the day he first saw her, but his tale of her purchase well illustrates his philosophy on matters of choosing a 'partner' that are worth repeating here:

In looking for a yacht, intangible feelings are as important as tangible facts. I'm a believer in love at first sight as as essential an element in choosing a yacht as in life generally. Five minutes after meeting my wife, I knew our lives would become intertwined; we have now been married for 50 years. Five minutes after seeing Minots Light in 1957, I knew our destinies were to mesh too. ….Minots Light sat there a few boats away, a swan among mere ducks”


Subsequently this college professor resigned from his teacher post to go off cruising and writing. In 1966 he published The Proper Yacht, a classic in the study of requirements for the ideal long term liveaboard cruising boat. A second addition was published in !978, and although now out of print, it is timeless in its sound commonsense advice on choosing the yacht to meet your requirements.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:48   #21
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Re: The death of the ketch?

Ketch rigs are incredibly easy to sail. Generally, once you set your mizzen which is usually only slightly off center, it becomes self tacking. Basically a set it and foirget it thing.
The advantages of a ketch are numerous. If however, you are like the 99% of sailors, you don't intend to go offshore and so a ketch rig would cost more than you would need to pay.
Also most sailors like very one else like speed, relatively speaking, and a sloop with it's taller mast will catch more wind higher up.
The biggest advantage of a ketch rig is in foul weather - just run the jib and mizzen and drop the mainsail completely. much safer and more comfortable ride. Also it's much easier to drop and tie a mainsail than it is to reef it in bad weather.
BTW, after owning a ketch, I would not own any other rig sailboat. Ideal for single handling or for an older couple.
I dont know the actual statistics but I would venture to guess that most serious cruisers own a ketch or a cutter.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:00   #22
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Long overhangs were designed as racing rules cheats it has nothing to do with good sailing characteristics. Witness the Bristol Chanel pilot cutters. ( straight stem )

Dave
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:02   #23
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Re: The death of the ketch?

ketch rigs do not cost more than sloops. get real. price em. re-rigging doesnt have to cost the 10,000usd previous owner of this one paid to re rig her.lol..was a rape of a first boat virgin.
\boats cost that which you are WILLING to pay. and only that which you are wiling to pay.
sails for sloops are larger, thus, pricier. sails are found cheaply--dont have to be brand new. rofl
in many cases, a used jib from a smaller boat is usable as a mizzen or hank on jib.
sticks--dont necessarily have to com from la fiell or wherever the manuacturer is--used ones are everywhere. i just used part of a used aluminum mast from a 20 ft boat as a compression post for my ketch's mizzen mast. cost me 20 dollars. my actual masts are wood, and repairable should that time come. 30+ yrs and no rot--they are spruce.

do get real. is easy to crunch numbers as a desk jock, but reality does have a voice. listen to it. as i see it--for every sloop dock queen, there are 2 ketches sailing actively.
is fun to watch.

actual number comparison--i paid 375 dollars us for repair of a jib that would have cost, by others who had same work done --750 usd in usa. was a north sails repair at a north sails representative site.

shop well and do shop the places at which to repair items--wont cost so much after all... go figger. remember-i did sail sloops most of my life. i refer ketches with deep keels and protected propellers.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:19   #24
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Re: The death of the ketch?

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Also it's much easier to drop and tie a mainsail than it is to reef it in bad weather.
If you have a conventional main I definitely disagree. I would way rather reef than drop.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:28   #25
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Re: The death of the ketch?

with ketch, dont even have to reef--just use jib n mizzen and , in areas known for big winds, is all good--i use my mizzen reefed and adjust my jib accordingly. boat flies just fine sans main--i will use it when i know the winds are fair and low and i have enough crew to handle an 18 ft boom and sail thereon. there are so many sail patterns for ketches without even going to the main sail.
sailing in 60 kts+ of wind yields 8.4+ kts boat speed with my mizzen and jib both reefed--why do i NEED my main????? keep it simple and knockdowns far between...
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:55   #26
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Re: The death of the ketch?

A less romantic view, perhaps:

The ketch rig was a necessary evil before the technology existed to handle large sails. Splitting the rig kept the sails small enough to manage with a short-handed crew. Two things killed the ketch: (1) developments in winch technology, beginning with multi-speed, self-tailing winches and moving through powered winches; (2) better reefing technologies, beginning with single-line reefing and moving through in-mast and in-boom furling systems.

Unless the boat is big enough that the mizzen won't sit in the cockpit, the disadvantages of a ketch far outweigh it's advantages.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:57   #27
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Re: The death of the ketch?

Ketch, ketch ketch me if you cannnn...

Personal choice is a Schooner & Junk rig, but the close runner up was gaff & ketch, or if too small for two sticks, a gaff cutter. Dinghy will have either junk, gunter or lug, once I get my little grey cell down that far on the list. Yawl never appealed, somehow. Why use a dedicated sail for helm balance when you can get that from the hull? The bermudans might get to the anchorage a half day earlier, but I have a much higher chance of getting there at all, and will enjoy the trip more too. The tortoise and the hare.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:30   #28
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Re: The death of the ketch?

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Long overhangs were designed as racing rules cheats it has nothing to do with good sailing characteristics. Witness the Bristol Chanel pilot cutters. ( straight stem )

Dave
Partially, yes. But not entirely; overhangs have a definite influence on seakeeping and comfort.
I will look for the motifs to underline what I am saying.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:33   #29
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Re: The death of the ketch?

Not sure if it's been mentioned but the only real production ketch builder is AMEL. All they build are ketches and build them they do.

I find in brokerage sales that although people like the look of ketches and the versatility of sail options, the performance, ease of use, and lower cost (real / perceived) make them go for a cutter or sloop. I cannot help but agree with regards to simplicity. With roller furling, ketches do not make that much sense unless you have a bridge clearance issue or a superyacht. In terms of romance, forget the ketch. Give me a schooner anyday.

Another design death I proclaim is the canoe stern.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:52   #30
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Re: The death of the ketch?

Back in the old days planes were built with two or even three wings. Sloop rigs are much more efficient and less gear to deal with. But heavy offshore boats, it makes more sense to go with shorter strong rigs due to sea conditions.

I think your just seeing the ratio between the 2 have gone down due to the more demand in local coastal sailers out there.
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