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Old 30-09-2010, 16:20   #16
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
But please, argue away. Why would I take it offensively? I have not owned a ketch and so of course I defer to your knowledge, and it's good to hear, as I kind of have in mind a ketch for my next boat some day.
Good morning “My learned friend” –I went and got another bottle, but only had one glass so I am feeling well enough to make a post. I have to admire your experimental approach. It might go like the clappers or turn out to be totally unmanageable; who knows? I don’t really have the sailing knowledge to make an expert assessment.

Nevertheless, I can make an analogy to my indepth knowledge of surfboard design. 80% plus of the stand-up surfing population ride three fined boards of very similar dimensions. I avoid the same. For me it is either four fins or single fins of slightly more classical dimensions especially in the nose (bow). Some of this choice has to do with my style and a bit to do with the fact I am not as influenced by marketing as many of the “clones”. I also own a huge range of boards including a few tri fins so have really put in the ground work.

That is, I really can’t understand why the majority of that 80% of the surfing population just buy those similar boards without questioning there are other options that excel. A lot also had to do with the fact I enjoyed experimenting with different designs till I discovered exactly what suited me. I am now discovering I can have the same fun experimenting with different sails on my boat. The ketch gives me heaps of options and the smaller sails reduce the cost of errors. One day I might even design a yacht from scratch. It is just a pity that boats cost a lot more and you really can’t afford to make as many mistakes; kind of why a bit of "arguing" - probably better termed "brainstorming" - can be valuable fun?
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Old 30-09-2010, 16:37   #17
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ketch, sloop, cutter--are all good rigs. is like comparing avocados, oranges and bananas. depends on what you look for in a sailing boat--i suggest you sail with others for a while in their boats do you get the feel of all of them. after you get the feel of how each one performs, then you can decide what you like best.
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Old 30-09-2010, 16:50   #18
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Much talk of Sloops, Cutters & Ketches ... don't forget the humble Yawl ... & howabout a Catboat ( Nonsuch & others ) or a Schooner rig ? ... there are Junk-rigged & Lateen-rigged boats out there too ...
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Old 30-09-2010, 17:14   #19
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Much talk of Sloops, Cutters & Ketches ... don't forget the humble Yawl ... & howabout a Catboat ( Nonsuch & others ) or a Schooner rig ? ... there are Junk-rigged & Lateen-rigged boats out there too ...
In the days before autopilots & mass manufactured windvane self-steering, yawls were a popular rig. The modern ones are rigged the same as a sloop, the mainsail area being reduced slightly by shortening the boom. Pretty easy to balance the sails. With 9 knots of wind or more I often sail mine under the genny & mizzen & don't even bother with the main. Plus, if you decide the mizzen mast is in the way, you can take it off- it's light enough that 2 or 3 guys can take it down, & the boat behaves like a sloop.
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Old 30-09-2010, 18:03   #20
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Old 30-09-2010, 18:32   #21
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In the days before autopilots & mass manufactured windvane self-steering, yawls were a popular rig. The modern ones are rigged the same as a sloop, the mainsail area being reduced slightly by shortening the boom. Pretty easy to balance the sails. With 9 knots of wind or more I often sail mine under the genny & mizzen & don't even bother with the main. Plus, if you decide the mizzen mast is in the way, you can take it off- it's light enough that 2 or 3 guys can take it down, & the boat behaves like a sloop.
A lot of the boats I would eventually like to upgrade to are classic looking sloops a bit over 30’. I have always thought that it would not be too hard to convert the same to a yawl? Your post confirms this might not be an impractical option?
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Old 30-09-2010, 22:42   #22
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I have a ketch now..have had a mast head sloop and a 3/4 sloop...truth be told, I have not had either of them in a real blow, so it has been an issue of expectation...I'll go with the ketch for many of the reasons stated.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:41   #23
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ketch, sloop, cutter--are all good rigs. is like comparing avocados, oranges and bananas. depends on what you look for in a sailing boat--i suggest you sail with others for a while in their boats do you get the feel of all of them. after you get the feel of how each one performs, then you can decide what you like best.
Yes, well, they're all fairly different in the way they perform. This is one of the best things I've read about it:

diffrent rigs? (schooner, ketch, cutter, sloop) - SailNet Community

I think that sums up the theory pretty well. One thing which it doesn't emphasis enough, however, in my opinion, is how extremely valuable it is in practice to be able to vary the sail plan. If the wind blew all the time at a steady 18 knots, we wouldn't need ketches or even cutters. But the wind doesn't blow like that where I sail.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:44   #24
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I am now discovering I can have the same fun experimenting with different sails on my boat. The ketch gives me heaps of options and the smaller sails reduce the cost of errors. One day I might even design a yacht from scratch. It is just a pity that boats cost a lot more and you really can’t afford to make as many mistakes; kind of why a bit of "arguing" - probably better termed "brainstorming" - can be valuable fun?
Absolutely. What would be the point of participating in this if everyone agreed with you all the time? I like to be challenged. It's valuable (I discover my own mistakes all the time when people call me on them), and fun. Strange that some people are offended just because other people have different opinions from them.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:53   #25
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I own a cutter and the staysail is useful, although a PITA if you are tacking.

Really, I think the best rig is a sloop with a self tending jib and a light air sail on a furler ahead of the jib ('solent rig"). You would want the ability to pole the headsails out on opposite sides and douse the main for downwind cruising.

For heavy weather I would want a removable inner forestay and a rig with swept back spreaders to avoid the necessity of running backstays.

My boat points fairly well for a traditional full keeled design (it will tack through 90 degrees) but a boat that points really well saves time and fuel.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:50   #26
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Cutter. This rig allows keeping the boat balanced over the keel as reefs are put in. On mine I reef the main then the genoa, then the main again, then take in the genoa and sail with the staysail and double reefed main. the center of effort of the sail area remaines cenetered over the keel and the boat stays balanced.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:01   #27
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I personally like a cutter ketch or schooner with a cutter staysail...I'm not big into performance as I am not usually in a hurry, but I love playing with the rig...
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:24   #28
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As any individual sail gets larger, it requires more assistance, either crew or mechanical, to control it as wind increases. If you are a weight lifter, buff and strong, you can handle a bit larger sail alone. All of the fair weather sailing you do, for years and years, can be undone by one full gale if you cannot handle the size of the sails. Multiple masts and therefore smaller individual sails help in this. Sailboats ain't like cars. You can't just park one and walk away. Do lots of research, sail with lots of friends, and learn, learn, learn. Get a little boat - cheap and virtually disposable. You will save the cost of that little boat when you go to buy the larger one. Two masts make no sense under about 32 to 35 feet length on deck. Once you go to two masts, the major choices are ketch and schooner. I owned and sailed a 35' gaff schooner for ten years, and I absolutely love the rig. As most have said here, it depends on what you want, who you are, what you will do with the boat. Buying an ocean going voyager might be great for fantasy, but makes no sense if you can only sail on weekends. Always buy the smallest boat you can live with. It is cheaper. Of course there are those on this site with more bucks than god, so they don't worry about it. The rest of us ....
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:31   #29
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variation on sloop

Our new to us masthead sloop has an interesting way of dealing with windy conditions. It has a hard attachment point just behind the forward hatch. A storm sail is made up with a low stretch line sewn into the luff, which attaches to the spare jib halyard, and the hard point. Something of a removable staysail.

I look forward to trying this after we get her in the water in a few weeks.

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Old 01-10-2010, 09:57   #30
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I believe that the original reason for multiple masts was due to limitations of technology at the time.

Mirabella V a sloop with a 292 foot mast height could not have been built 100, 50, even 25 years ago.
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