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Old 18-05-2022, 19:28   #1
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Ketch changed to single mast

We have a Ted Brewer Cape North 43 that we purchased last November. She has a single mast but when going through the lockers we found an old photo showing that she was once a two mast ketch. Any ideas on why a mast would have been removed?
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Old 18-05-2022, 19:40   #2
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Yes, the people who owned her found that they did not use the mizzen sails, so they turned her into an under-performing "sloop", sacrificing the mizzen staysail, and whatever other mizzen sail they had. The boat lost sail area she was designed to have. It is not uncommon to see.

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Old 18-05-2022, 19:42   #3
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Such a shame !
Thanks for your reply
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Old 19-05-2022, 06:49   #4
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Some people find that removing the mizzen actually improves upwind performance because of the reduced weight and windage. Reducing costs by not having to rig and maintain a second mast, along with not having to buy sails for it, can be another factor. Removing the mizzen often frees up space in the cockpit as well. Some ketches (not necessarily this one) and many yawls were designed with two masts simply because the racing rules favored that route.
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Old 19-05-2022, 07:45   #5
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Does she still have the original mainmast and boom? They may have replaced them at the same time to maintain sail area.
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Old 19-05-2022, 15:15   #6
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

As far as we know the mast and boom are original. She looks like been converted to cutter rig, with two furlers forward, genoa and staysail.
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Old 19-05-2022, 15:54   #7
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Are the mizzen chain plates still there? I love my ketch so I would try to bring her back to her original glory.
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Old 19-05-2022, 16:05   #8
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Yes chain plates are still there. Would be good to restore but beyond our budget. She has done many ocean crossings with previous owners with current sail configuration, we are the 4th owners so not sure when the mast was removed. Being a 1976 yacht we need to spend the money on updated electronics, so unfortunately new mast, rigging, sails etc is not really financially possible atm.
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Old 19-05-2022, 16:20   #9
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by jo23 View Post
We have a Ted Brewer Cape North 43 that we purchased last November. She has a single mast but when going through the lockers we found an old photo showing that she was once a two mast ketch. Any ideas on why a mast would have been removed?
Oh, that is unfortunate indeed.
324 sq ft mainsail on a 43 ft. Seems kind of small.
https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/cape-north-43
25,000 lbs.
Kind of depends on the furling, and spinnakers.
Probably sail fine.
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Old 19-05-2022, 16:21   #10
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

A well designed single mast rigg will always sail better, speccially to windward, than a ketch-rigg. The downwash of the main into the mizzen sail will reduce the efficiency of the latter. The reason to devide a sail area into a main and mizzen sail was to reduce the workload of handling one larger sail area with a small crew. This has been solved with better reefing and furling equipment. Owners of yawls and ketches soon find out that they use the mizzen quite seldom. And the disadvantage of not beeing able to set a staysail in light winds can be better overcome with spin -or gennakers.

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Old 19-05-2022, 16:27   #11
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

"Owners of yawls and ketches soon find out that they use the mizzen quite seldom. "

Says who ?? Not this ketch owner. The mizzen is always the first sail up & the last one down - unless running in strong winds.
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Old 19-05-2022, 16:31   #12
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Thank you for you reply. The last owner lived aboard for 8 years and did extensive blue water cruising. I have to think then that you are correct and there was perhaps good reasons for the mast to be removed.
We are pretty new to all of this, and Just Jane is our first yacht. We have a lot to learn!
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Old 19-05-2022, 16:53   #13
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Unfortunately changing a Ketch rig to Sloop rig requires allot of structural changes.
Remember a sailboat needs to be sailed against the wind as well as with it.
Firstly the sloop mast should be moved aft to regain balance, as removing the missen sail moves the centre of effort from the sails forward, which would have to be countered.
Secondly with a larger sloop mast ,you are lifting the sails moment of effort higher, which you would have to counter with increased ballast.

Thirdly, new mast step would need new bulkhead for structural support together with reinforcing new chainplate attachments.

All of these measures really require the efforts of a Qualified designer or experienced Shipwright and then it is still a gamble whether you would be able to steer it. My best advice would be to change it back to a ketch, that is what the boat is designed to be...either that or buy another boat.
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Old 19-05-2022, 16:58   #14
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

Friend of mine did it . Just made the boom longer using a piece of the mizzen mast and bought a new sail .... Not something I would do though.
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Old 19-05-2022, 17:13   #15
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Re: Ketch changed to single mast

I sailed a ketch for nigh on 15 years. I learned to love that rig. It's versatile in so many ways. Sail area is easily managed by hand. The ketch also has the advantage, that should the main come down for any reason, the mizzen can be made to serve as a jury rig.
I never had an issue going to weather, with or without the mizzen in use. I often used the mizzen and jib, and left the main on the boom. The mizzen staysail was an usually good sail to have.
I can go and on. It's a great rig !!
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