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Old 16-11-2011, 09:20   #76
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

Well I don't want to engage in an argument with Zee either. I guess the "correct" way to do things is what works best for you on your own particular boat. I've been sailing split rigs for over 40 years. What I recommended is what has worked best for me over the years. The general principle is a balanced rig: all three sails (jib, main, mizzen), jib and mizzen, main alone; depending on wind conditions. (singlehanded, I once went through a 70K tropical depression off the Florida keys on a 48' Marconi Main, Gaff fores'l schooner with only a double reefed gaff foresail - in the same position, more or less, as the main on a ketch- the rig was balanced and we flew!). Jib and mizzen is not a bad sail combination in a lot of wind and in this situation I would definitely get rid of the main. On my present boat a 50' yawl, the mizzen is basically useless beating to windward and I usually douse that, unless there's a whole lot of wind, then it's jib and mizzen. On ketches, it is much easier to handle the mizzen where the mast is in the cockpit forward of the helm which beats having to go up on the coach roof or foredeck to drop and furl the main when the wind pipes up - especially when you're alone. On these points Zeehag and I are not far off. My comments to you were directed at how to get the sails up and how to get them down in a way that leaves you in control of the vessel (not the other way around). If you want to set the jib first then raise the mizzen from the cockpit (with the mizzen sheet slack). That should work also. Setting the main may prove a little more difficult and even hazardous for a single-hander. I recommend that you get a lot of practice and see what works best for you on your own boat.

BTW is your boat a Garden design with bowsprit and high riding clipper bow? If so the windage forward tends to result in the bow being blown off to leeward and in this case, I would not set the jib first - I'd do what I recommended: set the mizzen and sheet her in. The boat won't go anywhere, you're in control and you can set the other sails at your leisure.
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Old 16-11-2011, 09:27   #77
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

i watched as a neighbor with full keel cutter tried to pick up his mooring under sail alone--he first dropped jib and was sailing under main alone. he wondered why he could NOT steer or maneuver his boat----he took sailing lessons from a racing instructor. was funny to watch difference in handling of boat -- was much much more responsive with jib and no main than with main and no jib.. practice, if you do not believe me. you can feel the jib take over. this is something you can NOT learn in dinghy.
i am lucky to have been instructed by an ancient mariner-- we learned function of each sail we had to use. we had a wonderfully patient teacher who taught us in his historic wood gaff rigged loop. ye just dont find teachers like that any more.
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Old 16-11-2011, 11:11   #78
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

Just shorten up before you need to - if you can - that should keep you out of trouble!
I should practice what I preach - I had everything up the other day and got caught with my pants down when a squal hit me as I rounded the corner of an island - knocked me on my ass! I got so excited I dropped everything, drug the genny in the water while I was dealing with the main, pulled the track loose from the mizzen!
All because I wasnt watching out for wind changes coming around the corner into a new channel. And I know better! I got lucky and didnt lose any sails - just pulled a few screws loose and got wet!
Have fun!
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Old 17-11-2011, 04:47   #79
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

PJ & Geoduck:
Just out of interest, how do you have your jacklines set up?
What are your SOP's for going forward in even 'normal' weather?

Regarding the bowsprit etc. No, no bowsprit, however the bow is quite high and windage will be a problem. This is probably the main concern that I have with docking, as it blows here 15-20kt 6 days out of 7.

Zee:
Interesting story. All my experience so far is on fin keel type sloops. I am now letting my slow brain mull over the physics of why the long keel behaves differently.

I do look forward to getting my old girl out, and learning all this first hand.

Cheers
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Old 17-11-2011, 08:48   #80
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

fin keeled boats can spin in their own length--pivot. the looong deep keel is not able to do so....takes a long way to make a full keeled boat turn and much breezes. mine doesnt like anything under 10 kts much... will only go 2-3 kts under "normal" conditions, whereas my fin/spade ericson will haul at 8 kts in a 15 kt breeze under jib alone.
as for docking--when one calls ahead and requests assistance at the dock, there is usually someone there to grab a line for docking. with my huge brick i toss the midships line, as the ends are easier to control when the center is taken car of. other than fuel docks i try not to do docks. so far i have been fortunate enough to get side ties.
currents and flowing water make great difference in handling with full keeled boats as opposed to fin/spade...
my added freeboard may be pain in marinas, but is great at sea, as is more difficult for a sea to find its way into my boat.
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Old 17-11-2011, 13:46   #81
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrohr View Post
Wow, singlehanding a large ketch in big water, what is your experience to date? How old are you? Do you really need this much boat? Details please.
Your question's are telling me that your experience may not be for a KETCH? What are you sailing now? I suggest working as a crew hand on both a ketch and a sloop rig, see the differences yourself.. As for the companion (hopeful) I've a friend who stated,'38 feet wasn't enough room for her to get away from me when she needed to", I believe there are sailing singles clubs and online dating for sailors, OR once you get your boat perhaps you'll find the perfect mate...

Best of luck..
most importantly get a boat for your experience level to start
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Old 18-11-2011, 03:28   #82
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

Don't have Jacklines on my present boat. Had them on Gaff Schooner and on the main on a Bermuda 40 yawl. They were helpful on the schooner but on the B-40 they were a pain (until I really learned how to use them on a Marconi rig ). The secret was to keep them gathered forward, held with a line at about the gooseneck until you're ready to drop sail. Set the jacklines then, drop the sail then and it falls into a "basket" made by the jacklines. If you have full batten sails this works really great because the sail almost automatically self flakes and all you have to do secure it with sailties or bungee cord. It works OK with shorter battens but the flaking is not as neat and you may have to fiddle with it a bit before placing the sail ties.

Now here's the secret: re-stow the Jacklines then(loosen the line, gather them up, bring them forward to the gooseneck and secure them. Don't set them again until you're ready to drop sail the next time you go out. Otherwise, if you try to raise a marconi sail with the jacklines up, the battens get caught in the after jacklines which makes you lower the sail again to straighten out the mess. It took me a little while to learn this because on my gaff-rigged schooner I didn't have to worry about them - the gaff kept them out of the way and the Jacklines stayed set all the time. On the yawl, I'd forget about them and try to raise sail. So I found the best solution was to secure them forward as soon as I got the sail secured and only set them when I was ready to drop sail.

You ask about docking in a lot of wind. Secure about 4 stout fenders. The secret is: long bow and stern lines and a long stout after spring line (that goes from forward of midships (on the boat) to a cleat/post on the dock). If you can get that line to a cleat or post on the dock you are now in total control. Simply go forward with the diesel, turning the helm any way necessary to keep the boat parallel to the dock as you increase RPMs and eventually the boat should work her way alongside the dock. With wind coming off the dock sometimes it may take more RPMs than your comfortable with this close to a dock, but trust me, the boat will eventually line herself up to the dock as long as you are using the helm correctly. Once you're alongside, keep the engine going ahead (assuming that your after line spring is secured to a stout cleat/post on boat and dock). You can then leisurely set bow, stern and forward spring line (going from forward on the dock to aft on the boat).
That's it! Shut down the diesel and have a beer!
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Old 18-11-2011, 16:36   #83
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

I have followed the thread with great interest and enjoyed the debate. I singlehand about 50% of the time and tend to parallel Zeehag’s Genoa and mizzen format (I have a long fin) . The offshore islands of Venezuela and the Dutch Antilles tend to have reasonable 20kts winds. I have learned to do things slowly and generally conservatively. I rarely sail singlehanded with a full main and very occasionally with only a single reef. However as stated in earlier threads it depends on the specific traits of the boat and the mindset/experience/decision process of the driver.

Regards

Alan
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Old 18-11-2011, 18:51   #84
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

Not to belabor this but I happened to look at your profile and saw a pic of a Transpac 49 and I assume that this is your boat. I know that boat - a George Duke design, heavy displacement (about 45K) built in Taiwan with an expansive uncluttered teak deck and easy access to the main mast thanks to small cabin trunk well aft. This makes working with the main easier and much safer than boats on which you have to stand on a coach roof. Your boat is not anything like the Garden designed ketches. In fact she's very much like mine ( a Hinckley Sou'wester 50 yawl and very much like the Hinckley 49 ketch) right down to the 120HP Ford Lehman (a great engine) and probably a Paragon transmission. However, your boat has a fin keel (if memory serves - makes her maneuverable) and a lot of freeboard. You've got a lot of boat there. Realizing the above I stand by what I've told you. Sure, you can go on jib and mizzen until you feel comfortable, but to really appreciate any performance, you'll find that you need the main.
PJ Kelly
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Old 18-11-2011, 18:59   #85
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

I guess one ketch can differ a lot from the next one. I find that there are 3 main balanced sail plans:

1. Mizzen, Main & Jib
2. Mizzen & Jib
3. Main

For each of those three you can add reefing for unlimited possibilities.

The Main-only plan is very nice in tough upwind conditions where you want to motorsail. When you can get the boom midships, with a little help from the engine you can sail at very tight angles to the wind; 20 degrees should be possible for most ketches, we can do 14 degrees!

Main-only is also nice in downwind. Most ketches will reach hull speed with just the main up in 35-40 knots of wind and provide a smooth ride.

Mizzen & Jib is our standard night-time setup. This makes it easy to cook dinner etc. and also provides a sail plan that works for squalls while being fast enough in between squalls.

ciao!
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Old 18-11-2011, 20:03   #86
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Nice thread- good discussion and debate.

On our hinckley 49 ketch, we also go jib and mizzen most of the time, except in light air. We are like zee. The best sailing is over 20 knots.

We also put the mizzen up first and down last. But I'll experiment based on these suggestions

We Don't singlehand. But good to plan for it in emergencies.

One things for sure, a ketch rig is a great rig, particularly for short handed sailing on larger boats. I love that any of the crew can carry any of our sails. You can't do that on a 50 foot sloop, and when the wind picks up, it's nice to have all the flexibility of 3 sails
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Old 21-11-2011, 02:47   #87
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
fin keeled boats can spin in their own length--pivot. the looong deep keel is not able to do so....takes a long way to make a full keeled boat turn and much breezes. mine doesnt like anything under 10 kts much... will only go 2-3 kts under "normal" conditions, whereas my fin/spade ericson will haul at 8 kts in a 15 kt breeze under jib alone.
as for docking--when one calls ahead and requests assistance at the dock, there is usually someone there to grab a line for docking. with my huge brick i toss the midships line, as the ends are easier to control when the center is taken car of. other than fuel docks i try not to do docks. so far i have been fortunate enough to get side ties.
currents and flowing water make great difference in handling with full keeled boats as opposed to fin/spade...
my added freeboard may be pain in marinas, but is great at sea, as is more difficult for a sea to find its way into my boat.
Zee: Finally got my head around what you are trying to say. It was simply a matter of vectoring of the forces, and then I understood why you say the jib is the steering sail. Oh yes, the fin keels can turn on a dime, and with a longer keel, things happen oh so more placidly


Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyp08 View Post
Not to belabor this but I happened to look at your profile and saw a pic of a Transpac 49 and I assume that this is your boat. I know that boat - a George Duke design, heavy displacement (about 45K) built in Taiwan with an expansive uncluttered teak deck and easy access to the main mast thanks to small cabin trunk well aft. This makes working with the main easier and much safer than boats on which you have to stand on a coach roof. Your boat is not anything like the Garden designed ketches. In fact she's very much like mine ( a Hinckley Sou'wester 50 yawl and very much like the Hinckley 49 ketch) right down to the 120HP Ford Lehman (a great engine) and probably a Paragon transmission. However, your boat has a fin keel (if memory serves - makes her maneuverable) and a lot of freeboard. You've got a lot of boat there. Realizing the above I stand by what I've told you. Sure, you can go on jib and mizzen until you feel comfortable, but to really appreciate any performance, you'll find that you need the main.
PJ Kelly
PJ: Yes, the photo of the Transpac is my boat. The deck space and the access for'ard was one of the main attractions for me. She has a long fin keel with a modified forefoot & a skeg rudder.

Not sure what you were meant with 'you've got a lot of boat there', but I guess that's why I started this thread and I have no intention of taking her out into the Bass Strait just yet.

@ Nick: That seems to be the common thread here, mizzen & jib for a more relaxed & controllable ride.

@ V49: That was another point that convinced me...being able to carry the sails without herniating another disc...
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:42   #88
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

I single hand a 48ft sloop since 2005 in the Caribbean and I have installed a second auto pilot. I can use one or the other just turning a switch. All the autopilots sooner or later brake down and it happens while you are on a passage and alone.....not so good.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:29   #89
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

Amandla, welcome to CF, please post more on your exploits.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:41   #90
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Re: Singlehanded on a 49' Ketch

Mexdon...Sir, I'll tell you why I love the natural beauty of teak. For over 50 years I have sponged down my teak with a concentrate of salted water. The results are a beautuful silver patina. Teak loves to be pickled in salt. Teak hates fresh water and varnish is a full time job (I'd rather be sailing ). For about $5 one can purchase a 50# sack of water softener salt. Keep a covered bucket pre-prepared for use after a rain or now and then to keep it salty.
Happy days,
Capt.Fred
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