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Old 20-10-2010, 21:50   #1
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Ketch or Sloop ?

We are retired, in our early 60's and in great physical shape. We have lived full time in fifth-wheel trailers and truck campers so small living quarters is not an issue.

We want to purchase a sailboat to live aboard. We have virtually no sailing experience but will take the necessary measures to learn. We want to purchase a boat that will be able to be sailed from the Carribean to Alaska on a routine basis.

I read the ketch is preferred for its' smaller sails, and balance. I also am told it is better in rough weather.

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.

We are thinking of a 35 to 45 foot boat. Will the sail weight of boats this size justify us buying ketch.

Lance835
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Old 20-10-2010, 22:05   #2
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Buy a Sloop ...Ketches suck...
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Old 20-10-2010, 22:11   #3
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Buy a Sloop ...Ketches suck...
Hey!!!!
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Old 20-10-2010, 22:31   #4
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Look at stillraining's profile..
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Old 20-10-2010, 22:34   #5
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Or, some might say buy a cutter, sloops suck. I wouldn't say such a thing, but some would.

Seriously Lance835, seems like you've got the basic idea already. If you're in good shape handling the sails, sloop, ketch or cutter on a typical 35-45' should be no problem. Much over 45' a heavy weight main can be a handful for any rig.
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Old 20-10-2010, 22:48   #6
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Old 20-10-2010, 22:49   #7
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We've only sailed a ketch - no experience when we bought our Morgan 416. Ketch rigs really do offer flexibility. The aspect I like most is sailing off the wind - we rarely (almost never) use our mainsail when the apparent wind is more than 110 or 120 degrees, just mizzen and jib or spinnaker. We try to do mostly beam/downwind sailing, if possible (hey, we're cruisers - if the wind's on the nose, we wait, or we change our destination to one to where we can sail comfortably).

And, we can fly two spinnakers (check out the picture to the left).
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Old 20-10-2010, 22:57   #8
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[ And, we can fly two spinnakers (check out the picture to the left). ]

Whoops, wrong picture - its this one:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture7157.jpg
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Old 20-10-2010, 22:58   #9
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[ And, we can fly two spinnakers (check out the picture to the left). ]

Whoops, wrong picture - its this one:



http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...icture7157.jpg
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Old 20-10-2010, 23:27   #10
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Originally Posted by Lance835 View Post
We want to purchase a boat that will be able to be sailed from the Carribean to Alaska on a routine basis.
Caribean to Alaska on a routine basis?

A reality check might be in order here. The first step is not to decide between sloops and ketches. A better beginning point would be to consult a globe.
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Old 20-10-2010, 23:43   #11
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One more for the cutter.

True cutters are hard to come by so you might have to trade off with a cutter rigged sloop. It should be masthead as the whole business turns into a jumbled mess with a cutter rigged frac. Two furlers on the foredeck makes sail changes a dream.

Ketches have more of everything, more strings and more blocks, more to break and more to buy. Kerchingggg ! On the other hand their sails are smaller and easier to handle.

Come to think of it, there is a certain domestic harmony in his and hers spinnakers.
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Old 20-10-2010, 23:45   #12
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Well, in some years I have gone form the Carribean to Seattle on a regular basis but it was in a jet... and I got treatment, I got better... now I just go to New York or Boston or Portland....this globe stuff.. it's over rated.

On the other hand! A CF burgee could be just the thing...the beginning of a new form of excess hmmmmm......

Todd
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Old 20-10-2010, 23:47   #13
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Caribean to Alaska on a routine basis?

A reality check might be in order here. The first step is not to decide between sloops and ketches. A better beginning point would be to consult a globe.
Well put. Who wants to sail Panama to Alaska more than once ?
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Old 21-10-2010, 00:17   #14
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We have owned both a sloop and a ketch. Would choose a sloop for weekend sailing or fun sailing. But would only cruise in a ketch. A cutter-rigged ketch for those rare times one must sail upwind (I am dreading the northern part of the Red Sea next year when we have no choice but to sail hard on the wind). But cruisers so rarely must sail upwind that it is hard to justify the cost of the additional cutter rigging.

BTW, like S/V Liberty, we absolutely love having 2 spinnakers. Amel calls the mizzen spinnaker a ballooner, but it is the same type sail. Also just noticed he is from Kemah, Texas. We are from Houston. Howdy to a fellow Texan!

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Old 21-10-2010, 00:18   #15
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it's upwind from Panama to Alaska. go to the So Pacific from Panama, then back to Alaska. We just met a couple that spent 249 hours, often motoring, bashing into the wind from So California to Seattle.

We bought a ketch two months ago. I think if you're cruising with sloops, if they're the same size boats, they will leave you behind. But it doesn't matter, at the end of each day you'll probably still be drinking beers at sunset in the same harbor. It just might make your ego smart a bit that they beat you there and took the best mooring bouy. Makes a difference on long passages that the sloops are faster, but shorter runs probably aren't such a bad thing.

One great thing about ketches that noone discusses is that they get under more bridges with their lower mast height. I really like that.
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