Originally Posted by beiland
After this extended clarification of what distinguishes a ketch
from a yawl, I suggest it would be interesting to explore the use of a staysail rigged between the 2 mast
of either of these rigs.
There use to be a number of instances where an aux staysail could be rigged on a stay between the top of the aft mast
and the base of the mainmast. If you google images
'staysail ketch' you would find a great number of such photos.
What I began to explore a number of years ago was instances where the mainsail
was ditched in favor of this 'between the mast' staysail. This early example on a Morgan Out Island ketch
was an eye-opener for me. Regrettably that article is long ago lost
to my knowledge.
Conventional booms excessively flatten the foot of the mainsail, and are often oversheeted, contributing significantly to the leeway forces. I once had a copy of a test on a Morgan 41' Out Island ketch , where upon removing the mainsail, the boat lost only 1/2 knot of speed, but cut its leeway in half (from 11 to 6 degrees). A staysail was then rigged between the masts in place of the mainsail, and the boat regained 1 knot of speed while retaining its decreased leeway.Sail Propulsion - Revisiting a Mast-Aft Sailing Rig
I also remember seeing a 50+ Tayana yacht that had done the same.
Are there other examples?
Your inquiry and mention of googling images
of a staysail ketch jogged my memory and I found an old photo
of my old boat and two friends at anchor
in Loyds Harbor, NY back in, I think, 1987.
From left to right is a 60' gaff rigged English
ketch, a 74' on deck
, converted Swedish river ferry
rigged as a staysail schooner, and my old boat, another 60' English
ketch converted to Marconi rig in the early 60's.
I loved sailing on the staysail rigged schooner and she was very fast and weatherly. The gaff headed ketch was not as fast as mine, but would pretty much sail with very little heel and was consequently very comfortable.
I benefited by putting up a mizzen staysail whenever I could get it to set without being back winded by the main. I did try flying it without the main but on my boat my mizzen wasn't tall enough to overcome the loss of area and in the end I only used it broad and sometimes close reaching. The biggest drawback to flying the mizzen staysail was that it usually meant I had to set two sets of running backstays
on a tack.
I was enamored of the staysail schooner rig and I thought that my next boat would be rigged that way. Rarity of staysail rigs and other circumstances didn't work out but fortunately for me I once again own a ketch that can fly a mizzen staysail.