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Old 21-10-2010, 00:45   #16
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difference between ketches and sloops is when ye get there in a sloop you take anap. when ye sail a ketch, ye sit and visit and have a beer then take a nap.
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Old 21-10-2010, 05:37   #17
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We had lived aboard and cruised our sloops for 14 years and then lived aboard and cruised our ketch for the last 25 years. Each have their advantages and, like most boat choices, the option is a compromise. I do see the advantage of the cutter or cutter ketch. The sail size and the varied configurations of the ketch are significant gains, but one of the other advantages of our ketch is our ability to pass under a number of fixed bridges that would block the passage of a sloop with our length. We regularly pass under the Julia Tuttle in Miami; I-95 in Fort Lauderdale and the Bridges of the Cape May Canal for weather options, hurricane hide-outs or just a short cut.
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Old 21-10-2010, 05:51   #18
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Never owned a ketch but a dutch friend owned a beautiful Cheoy Lee Clipper 42... 'Lady Of Spain'... she sailed very well indeed... as for speed...
NZ ketches kicked the **** out of US sloops quite a few times if memory serves me well... its the man on the boat makes the difference... average hull speeds are theoretical...lol
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Old 21-10-2010, 06:01   #19
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There is time for a nap with a sloop since you get there so much quicker.

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difference between ketches and sloops is when ye get there in a sloop you take anap. when ye sail a ketch, ye sit and visit and have a beer then take a nap.
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Old 21-10-2010, 06:08   #20
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I am just over 40 y.o., 6 ft tall, very fit (but not very strong). A RTW under my belt (a small mono sloop) and some extended voyages in relatively big cats and monos (40-60 footers).

From this perspective, and taking into account that I won't be any younger nor much fitter in my future, I would chose a ketch.

I tried out a Sharki (Amel) and I think this is the max of what I would dare to man single-handedly.

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Old 21-10-2010, 06:46   #21
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Sloop:
Advantages = simple rig, better upwind performance, no mizzen taking up the cockpit (which, as a liveaboard, will be your front door).
Disadvantages = larger main (harder to handle), fewer sail options in heavy weather.

Ketch
Advantages = ease of sail handling; multiple sail options (including "jib and jigger") in heavy weather.
Disadvantages = More complex rig; poorer windward performance; mizzen taking up room in cockpit.

Cutter:
Advantages = Multiple sail options; extra forward stay may provide additional rig stability.
Disadvantages = More complex rig; large headsails do not move through the cutter "slot" without assistance.

My opinion is that the sloop is the most logical choice for coastal cruising. Ketches don't really make sense until you get into larger boats - I'll say arbitrarily (because, I am not a yacht designer), 40' or so. Typically, the main sends the mizzen "dirty air" and degrades performance; that is more acute the closer the main and mizzen are to one another - for larger boats, they are farther apart. So, bigger is better for a ketch (where the sail handling issue really comes into play, in any case). Bob Perry, in his book, suggests that tall mizzens on larger boats make a lot of sense - the main and mizzen are far enough apart to mitigate the "dirty air" problem while the mizzen is big enough to provide real drive. That philosophy would militate for the Sundeer or similar design. Don't know, though, as I've never been on one like that.

Cutters are fine - but really small ones seem a bit of overkill to me. The main disadvatage for coastal cruising is the one I mentioned above - the pain of passing a large foresail through the "cutter" slot. The main advantage (more for offshore) is that the inner forestay is the best place on any rig to throw up a storm jib - safely on deck (for the crew that has to sweat it up) and close to the center of effort.
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Old 21-10-2010, 07:05   #22
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You also have to think that most horid of words... "Resale"! As sloops are more popular in general they are easier to sell. Particularly the brand names. Remember you dont "always" have to use a full main.

Sure there are other issues like Balance, oh and the bank balance too- that extra stick means extra maintainance too (replacing stays every 5/6 years etc). But if youre caught in a serious blow, you might be comforted by the smaller rigs as they are easier to manage.
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Old 21-10-2010, 07:06   #23
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I like my ketch, even for day sailing. I like driving my boat to got all I can, but sometimes my wife would rather just take it easy and go out for a few hours and we spend the afternoon under jib and mizzen. Its very versatile, upwind, downwind, beam.
But, with regards to the original question of this post:
My question is: If we purchase a ketch will we be able to stay up with friends sailing other cruisers or sloops? It is my understanding the ketch is slower.
Would you not need to consider the LWL, the keel design, displacement, sail area...etc before drawing a conclusion to which is faster? Also, if your partner goes down, can you sail your large boat by yourself. I sail my 37' by myself, and even approach and tie to my mooring ball without an engine, because sail handling is easy.
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Old 21-10-2010, 09:17   #24
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My addendum

Ketches - more sailwork; more costly to maintain. reduced cockpit space; possible difficulty installing wind vane. advantage in that it can be more easily balanced; additional mast = emergency backup?.

Sloop - tall rig = difficult sail work; not easy to rig a storm jib unless you modify to solent.

Cutter - bowsprits to worry about; smaller mast = easier sailwork/bridges
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Old 21-10-2010, 09:34   #25
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Cockpit cluttered? Not here:
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Old 21-10-2010, 10:46   #26
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Thanks to all. I know we have a lot to learn and take safety serious and therefore will never "out sail" our abilities. We have several friends who are experienced sailors who will be advising and teaching us.

I think we are leaning toward the Ketch.

Is there more living space aboard a ketch versus other boats. We like some of the older boats with the heavier teak cabinets. They appear to be tough and would take everyday abuse better. I build fine furniture for a hobby and will be taking some yatch interior building course (possibly at the Port Townsend shool of boat building).

Thanks to all again. You have been very helpful.
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Old 21-10-2010, 10:58   #27
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Hey, did I meet you this summer? Are you wintering at Brands?

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Cockpit cluttered? Not here:
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Old 21-10-2010, 11:07   #28
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They're all fine. We have a cutter right now that works out really well for us. The only thing I don't dig about ketches is the extra amount of stays that some of them have, effectively making a trip waking the cockpit dodging head chopping wires.

Sloops are great, ketches are great, cutters are great. Hell I'd even try a junk.
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Old 21-10-2010, 11:16   #29
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my frmosa is a good layout-- the mizzen boom doesnt kill me too often, as it is 5' off the deck. wide decks f or running forward and simrad aoutopilot on the quadrant.
i went gulf coast cruising last year in a sloop-- i live in kali now-- buti am on the move in december, with a goal of canal in panama and carib and more gulf coast--IN MY KETCH.
when we were gulf cruising, we buddied with a pearson ketch --didnt have any trouble keeping up.

anther thing i will be doing is adding a foretaysail(proper term for the sail that makes the boat BE a cutter--that is a forestaysail, not cutter sail.) with a forestaysail, one has many more options as to sail pattern and trim.
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Old 21-10-2010, 11:33   #30
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Ketch cutter makes sense over 40ft.LOD,otherwise it seems like more gear than necessary for simple efficient cruising.
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