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Old 12-07-2012, 14:54   #121
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

I am not sure I understand where this meme comes from. Who else but a sailor buys a sailboat? Some may be coastal cruisers, or day sailors, but if you sail regularly you are a sailor, even if you don't spend a huge amount of time off the beaten path.

Ketches, yawls, and the rest became popular as the boat builders of the day delt with two issue...

In early boats they had to deal with poor quality sail handling gear, and so splitting loads up into manageable chunks was necessary to limit the number of crew on board, and the loads on the line. modern sailing hardware has eliminated this as a problem. If the loads get to high, you just switch to bigger winches, or better line and are done with it.

Primarily in the 60's and 70's racers started to demand ketches and yawls because under IOR rules there was no time penalty made for the sail area on the second mast. It was in effect free. So even if it wasn't as efficient as a single large mast, it still contributed more than it hurt your rating.

As racing rules evolved, and extra masts were treated the same as sloops, the move back to single masts in the cruising fleet was pretty predictable. Since cruising boat designs tend to follow in the tracks of race boat designes (it is debatable if this is a good practice), when racers abandoned ketches, so did the builders.

Since it is just as easy to handle large sails now, and there is no advantage to two smaller sails, cruisers have also ceased demanding them from builders. Sure there are people who like them wether for aesthetic or habitual reasons, but they make up a minority of the market.

And sure if you take a look at places where cruisers congregate you will see a lot of ketches. But take a look at the build date on them, and in my experience they are almost all older boats built during the multi-mast heyday, not modern boats built recently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
You can be looking at whomever you please, Sir ;-) and here comes my attempt at an alternative answer:

99% of boats today are not bought by sailors nor for sailing. They are built accordingly to the mass tastes and so that the profit is maximized by the builder.

I believe that if you deducted the 99% of boats that are purchesed by buyers' spouses and that spend 99% of their lives tied to the dock, you would quickly discover that ketches are still popular among sailors.

Proof: go to any place where cruisers congregate (Las Palmas, Panama, Bay of Islands), count the ketches.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 12-07-2012, 15:41   #122
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

I can understand positive points in design of a ketch rig.. If the boat were of a pilot house design with an aft state room, the mast or post would drop throu the pilot house.. a ketch would allow for the rig to be further forward without the obstruction inside..
because a cruising boat is mostly setting at anchor, the comfort of not having this might be a plus...
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Old 12-07-2012, 16:30   #123
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Subs are Ketch rigged?
That would be much up to The Rigger, wouldn't it?

Re subject at hand: I really appreciated the handling and versatility of my Ketch while I had it. The death of that particular Ketch was due to old age and bad health... severe case of rusty bones..

Yes, it had a lot of standing rigging. Yes, it made moving across the aft deck awkward at times.. Still, the beauty...
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Old 12-07-2012, 16:33   #124
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
You can be looking at whomever you please, Sir ;-) and here comes my attempt at an alternative answer:

99% of boats today are not bought by sailors nor for sailing. They are built accordingly to the mass tastes and so that the profit is maximized by the builder.

I believe that if you deducted the 99% of boats that are purchesed by buyers' spouses and that spend 99% of their lives tied to the dock, you would quickly discover that ketches are still popular among sailors.

Proof: go to any place where cruisers congregate (Las Palmas, Panama, Bay of Islands), count the ketches.

Cheers,
b.
I agree that builders will build whatever the market requests. This means that if the market wanted ketches, builders would build them.

The question remains then, why do the tastes of the masses favor sloops?
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Old 12-07-2012, 16:38   #125
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

Main problem for sloops is mast is well forward making reefing and handling stuff around of the mast in a sea dangerous, many dont carry a second forestay to fly a heavy staysail or a storm jib , here the ketch or the cutter win, also in some cases the use of runing backs is mandatory unless the forestay is just inches from the masthead, the cutter is better in this case , in a true cutter the mast is mid ship or aft making the motion easy , and most of the cutters dont need babystays , ketchs to..

Another fact is , in case of dismasting, a sloop is done , if happen in the midle of nowhere a jury rig probably save the situation , a ketch instead if the mizzen is intact is able to fly a sail or 2 and keep going, lots of combinations to sail in heavy air in a ketch, many brand new sloops are just inadecuate to sail in heavy winds , unless the owner made modifications , like the inerforestay , a separate track in the mast to hoist a trysail, etc...

Be the captain of Angantyr a Abeking&Rasmussen 61 ft steel cutter i just keep going with the cutter rig, for me the most versatile rig ever.and probably a Ketch , but a sloop if is properly rigged for most conditions can be a winer to.
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Old 12-07-2012, 16:59   #126
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post

1) I am not sure I understand where this meme comes from.

2) Who else but a sailor buys a sailboat?

(...)

3) And sure if you take a look at places where cruisers congregate you will see a lot of ketches. But take a look at the build date on them, and in my experience they are almost all older boats built during the multi-mast heyday, not modern boats built recently.
1) Why 'meme'?

2) You are mistaking boat owners for sailors.

3) This is indeed so. One can ask a question why so many ocean going sailors prefer an older boat to a newer one.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 12-07-2012, 18:44   #127
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

OK, it's a nine-page monster, but let me try to sum up.

We agree that ketches aren't really being built any more in the sizes most people would want to sail (50ft and under) or be able to afford - Shannon being a possible exception.

We agree that the number of ketches owned by 'cruising' sailors is disproportionate to the number in the sailing community as a whole. The average age of the fleet is high.

Those who favour ketches cite the increased sail balancing and reefing options, ease of sailing to windward in heavy weather under jib and mizzen, strength of a shorter rig, and their good looks!

Their detractors claim they are slower than sloops to windward, more expensive, more effort to sail - and that modern sail handling equipment makes sloops just as easy to balance and reef.

Ketch owners then dispute all of the above points.

Sloop owners then dispute the disputation of the ketch owners.

So where does this leave us? My original question wasn't 'are ketches better?'. It was 'are ketches dying out?'. The answer has to be 'Yes'.

If there is a continuing demand from new sailors as well as old for ketches, then we should see a few builders start offering them again, as the age of the fleet increases and the second hand market is reduced to undesirably old hulls.

If demand for ketches is still steadily falling, as older sailors from the 'ketch era' hang up their oilskins, then the rig will die out. There may still be a few sailors who would want new ketches, but the number would be so small most builders wouldn't even realise it existed, or would be unwilling to spend the time on designing a new rig.

My personal view is that as the exposure of new sailors to the rig is so low, few will consider it when buying a boat, and the few that do will be put off by almost non-existent choice. Although the rig may actually suit some of these new sailors better than a sloop, few will even consider it. Any continual demand will have to be satisfied by an increasingly aged second-hand market.

However, we've just seen Laura Dekker become the youngest circumnavigator ever - and interestingly enough her choice of boat was a ketch. Perhaps there is hope that a select few younger sailors will continue to appreciate ketches, and that use of the rig in normally sized yachts (ie. below 50ft) will live on in to the 21st century. Personally, I hope so.
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Old 13-07-2012, 00:32   #128
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I think this thread qualifies us to have a Ketch sub forum........

.....Just sayin'

yEs!!!!
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Old 13-07-2012, 01:16   #129
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
You can be looking at whomever you please, Sir ;-) and here comes my attempt at an alternative answer:

99% of boats today are not bought by sailors nor for sailing. They are built accordingly to the mass tastes and so that the profit is maximized by the builder.

I believe that if you deducted the 99% of boats that are purchesed by buyers' spouses and that spend 99% of their lives tied to the dock, you would quickly discover that ketches are still popular among sailors.

Proof: go to any place where cruisers congregate (Las Palmas, Panama, Bay of Islands), count the ketches.

Cheers,
b.
Maximize profit for the builder-that's what I was saying is the issue from the start. Just look at the newer Hunters for proof, they don't even have a backstay anymore! I think the less rigging there is and the simpler the boat is, the less scary and more appealing it is to the novice buyer, which is most buyers, while also maximizing profit for the builder.
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Old 13-07-2012, 03:50   #130
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

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Originally Posted by europaflyer View Post
Ketch owners then dispute all of the above points.
I have a Ketch and I don't.

Because the reasons (for the Ketch dying out) as stated are pretty obvious.

and even if the Ketch had marginal benefits over a Sloop on everything (rather than arguably only on a few things - and those mostly irrelevant to most) - then the simple cost factor would make them unattractive.....plus the additional complexity (real or perceived).

I am sure the Mods are glad we have discovered another "live" subject - I look forward to future threads
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Old 13-07-2012, 04:04   #131
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

Ketch rigs are for the larger boats - say, the Perini-Navi' s and related constructions.

In that trajectory, nobody will ask you what the benefits of a two mast rig are.

The cost-factor is an absolute reason for omitting the 2nd mast on small constructions, say under 20-30 mtrs.

In the construction of yachts the costfactor plays an immense role, particularly in those premises of the production facilities. In a lesser extend in those of the one-off builders.
Another con is the obstacle of the additional rigging, unpractical unless you have a mid-cockpit.
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Old 13-07-2012, 04:15   #132
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

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The cost-factor is an absolute reason for omitting the 2nd mast on small constructions, say under 20-30 mtrs.
No its a combination that the extra cost of a ketch doesn't not bring any appreciable sailing or performance benefit over a modern enhanced sail handling sloop.
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Old 13-07-2012, 04:38   #133
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

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No its a combination that the extra cost of a ketch doesn't not bring any appreciable sailing or performance benefit over a modern enhanced sail handling sloop.
+/-

OK. But I think when you put the 'cost' on one scale, you must put something to be sold on the other scale.

Your statement is valid for racing: price/performance. Maybe in case of cruising boats it is also adequate to say something like :"it is a combination that the extra cost of a ketch does not bring any appreciable growth in our sales".

I do not feel like buyers today (other than racers) are after, or can discern, sailing and performance benefits - 99% of boats are purchased to spend time in the marina or to motor out and anchor somewhere close-by for the weekend. What counts is how big the cockpit is, how many beds there are, how much everything is a 'push-this-button-and-done', etc..

'Sailing qualities and performance' do pop-up in advertising though ... always illustrated with images of vast, brightly lit interior spaces, or a top models party going on under a bigger than life bimini ... ;-)!

Hugs,
b.
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Old 13-07-2012, 04:40   #134
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

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No its a combination that the extra cost of a ketch doesn't not bring any appreciable sailing or performance benefit over a modern enhanced sail handling sloop.
How you know? Any experience?
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Old 13-07-2012, 04:46   #135
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Re: The Death of the Ketch ?

There's that word "performance" again. Seems to be, for some, that word is THE reason for a yacht's being. For some it is, for other's it is not. This generalisation rubbish is so overdone. ALL ketches are owned by old fogies, ALL Xbrand drivers are ****heads, etc, etc. Individuals make up the sailing world, as well as the world, so let's not expect everyone to think like themselves, and certainly don't expect other's to just believe what you believe just because you say it.

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