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Old 10-06-2024, 13:37   #91
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I always thought that cutters necessarily flew yankees.

Well, traditional cutters had "jib" and "foresail". And a gaff-topsail. Besides the main.


Modern cutters (or double-headed sloop or slutter or whatever you want to call it) typically have yankees because the higher cut clew makes it easier to tack around the inner forestay, and because the staysail will catch the bit of air the higher cut clew lets past.


I like yankee jibs. I find the sheeting angle is better making them easier to trim. Plus you can see better under them.
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Old 10-06-2024, 13:42   #92
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Almost as much as a yawl.
Haha, there are probably millions of people here in the U.S. that don't know the differences between any of the rigs.
But they must know about a "yawl", they use that word all the time.
"What yawl doing" is a common phrase.
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Old 10-06-2024, 13:42   #93
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Originally Posted by jen1722terry View Post
. . . We have a cutter. We're also lazy. So we like the cutter rig as we can put a single reef in the main and fly just the staysail forward. This makes the boat at self-tacking and fairly well balanced (if a bit slower but if you're a cruising sailor in a hurry get a catamaran) which really appeals to our abject laziness. . .

Big advantage of double headed rigs is that the staysail can be set up to double as a storm jib. Staysails on these rigs are often self-tacking which really reduces the work load in a blow.


Staysail without the yankee and deeply reefed main is a super compact, perfectly balanced sail plan, just what you want in a big blow.


Downside is running backstays. But at least once they're set, you can generally leave them.
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Old 10-06-2024, 14:02   #94
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Our experience with our cutter is similar.


I have alternate principle headsails -- a 120% yankee and a 95% blade, both in carbon laminate.


The yankee is a little harder to tack than the blade, but it's not a problem, even short tacking while racing. It helps to have a sail with dyneema taffeta -- it's slippery and scoots right through the slot.


The 95% blade is an incredibly versatile sail -- a demon upwind, obviously, but effective in a remarkably wide range of conditions and points of sail. The larger yankee is noticeably better only in really light conditions and when off the wind.


The blade plays nicely with the staysail, which does not obviously add any power when hard on the wind, but does already when cracked off a bit.


If it could have only one headsail it would certainly be the blade.


The other game changer is sailcloth. I'll never buy another woven sail again. The carbon laminate has the same shape today that it had 9 years and 50,000 miles ago when I bought it, and still shows no apparent signs of wear. I bought it expecting it to have a shorter lifespan than Dacron but willing to take that on board for better shape, and as it turns out it is much more durable than Dacron. So in the end it's not even really more expensive, counted by mile.


Sadly I lost my carbon lam mainsail due to UV coming through the mast slot, so I had to invest in a new one this year. Sad because other than the UV damage, that sail was practically like new.

FYI. The North 3DI is not laminated. It is a monolithic cast epoxy and fiber composite. It has no seams and is not made from cloth. Most perfect sail shape I have ever seen on any sail. Most of the super yachts are now using them.

Photo: jib and main 3DI. Staysail Dacron storm and all around contributor
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Old 10-06-2024, 15:02   #95
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
FYI. The North 3DI is not laminated. It is a monolithic cast epoxy and fiber composite. It has no seams and is not made from cloth. Most perfect sail shape I have ever seen on any sail. Most of the super yachts are now using them.

Photo: jib and main 3DI. Staysail Dacron storm and all around contributor
Things of beauty! Nice photo too! Can I ask how much? And I am not being sarcastic, I am honestly curious. I am nowhere near a super yacht but I wouldn't mind going a little faster and pointing a little higher.
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Old 10-06-2024, 15:25   #96
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

All the comments so far are pretty much my opinion. I have a Pearson 365, and at 81 years old really like the flexibility and relatively small sails. The trade for this is performance - the ketch is less weatherly, mostly because (I think) if I trim the main in really tight the wash from the main luffs the mizzen. So, going hard upwind I typically run the mizzen very flat, and crack the main off until the mizzen has a good shape. This, of course, means I canít point as high. If I drop the mizzen, I can point higher, but Iíve lost the sail area. The other performance loss is that the main mast is not as high (compared to a sloop), and wind is stronger up there. All of this matters in light wind - if itís blowing, everybody is going hull speed.
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Old 10-06-2024, 15:45   #97
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

Cutter baby
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Old 10-06-2024, 15:56   #98
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

I'm with Dockhead on the desirability of yankees. Great sail. Much easier to handle and great visibility.

Our boat came with a big, heavy 150 genoa. Too heavy and powerful for this 75 year-old captain.

Love them Yankees (unless they're playing the Phillies).
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Old 10-06-2024, 16:38   #99
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

Depends on where your sailing.
I too have sailed New England waters, The Eastern seabord, Bahamas, the Caribbean Islands.
In New England my favorite boat was a C&C 38 with a Chance keel. That boat could sail very close upwind, had a removable forestay used for ocean races, and was a headsail boat ( big headsails, moderate main). The inner forestay that made it a cutter rig when offshore was great, but when not offshore on long runs it was a pain in the butt when tacking the 150 headsail. So most times stowed. In a storm at sea I could mount a storm sail on the inner forestay and sail comfortably.
Our cruising boat has a similar setup, the cutter rig has a an inner forestay which can be detached and stored on the mast. Mostly I've used it in light beam sailing on longer crossings in light winds with a Yankee to keep moving. It also has a storm sail I use in sporty conditions, I use it maybe 25% of the time on passages, but usually not at all if just island hopping on 12 or 24 hour passages. And not at all going upwind.
If you were buying a boat with a cutter rig I'd suggest having the inner forestay set with a roller furling if you plan to use it often, but remember it makes tacking the headsail a royal pain, on my boat I have to furl the headsail about 50% of the way in to tack it with the inner forestay mounted. So better for longer passages to have optins in sail configuration.
Ketch?
It allow you to balance the boat better in some conditions, it also reduces the size of the main to a more manageable size and spreads out the sail area to more but smaller sails, which makes handing them easier. Best on a beam reach but the few I've sailed showed no advantage upwind. It depends on the sail and hull configuration. One I sailed had a ketch rig but also an inner forestay on the foredeck with a roller furling sail. It had a fair amount of sail area in that configuration which allowed decent progress on beam reaches in light air and the ability to roll the sails up quickly when squalls approached, but that boat was about 48 feet, which allowed the room for the rig to be effectively applied, in a smaller boat I'm not sure it be as easily applied, but that's just my opinion since I'm not a marine architect.
In the end you'll want to decide where your cruising grounds will be, study the prevailing winds, currents and conditions then see what rig fits your needs best.
Currently we're deciding whether to sell our 47 foot cruising boat to buy a boat better suited to New England/ Eastern seaboard conditions, we wont be going on extended cruises now that we're back in the states and the boys are in high school, mostly local racing and shorter cruises in the summer. Although the boat points ok, it doesn't exactly accelerate out of a tack, 40,000lbs takes a bit to get up to speed, once there though it does have a decent turn of speed, which is great on long passages.
Maybe a nice racer/ cruiser like I had to sell to buy the cruising boat?
So many option, so many decisions.
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Old 10-06-2024, 20:17   #100
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Things of beauty! Nice photo too! Can I ask how much? And I am not being sarcastic, I am honestly curious. I am nowhere near a super yacht but I wouldn't mind going a little faster and pointing a little higher.
Bought in the Caribbean in Antigua from Andrew Dove at the North loft in English Harbor. Timing was everything. As Salty Dawgs, we got their discount. As foreign registry, we avoided GST. We bought during the brokerís show, more discount. Total was about 2-3X what we would pay for Dacron. I expect 1-2 good seasons from Dacron before it bags out. 3DI will stay same shape for 10 years or more. Our mast is 80 feet so high aspect. Another strike against Dacron. With in mast furling, the main must stay flat or it tangles in the mast. About 4-5 years with Dacron.
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Old Yesterday, 05:58   #101
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Things of beauty! Nice photo too! Can I ask how much? And I am not being sarcastic, I am honestly curious. I am nowhere near a super yacht but I wouldn't mind going a little faster and pointing a little higher.
Keep in mind that the limitations of dacron and other materials get much more significant as the sails get larger. So with your smaller sails, you may be able to get good performing sails that will last you quite a few years before starting to lose shape without needing to go quite as fancy on materials as some of the larger boats.
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Old Yesterday, 07:12   #102
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

Fifty years ago, Jerry Milgram at MIT made a boat to race in the SORC. It was a "cat ketch." Virtually no jib, main mast way forward. jibs were heavily penalized in IOR. Great reaching boat. I believe Freedom uses that model today.

On my previous boat I had a removable inner forestay. A sloop that could tack with no interference. Offshore when tacking is less frequent, I rigged the inner forestay for heavy weather. It was wonderful! Far far better than roller-reefing the genoa. And as a plus, with a reefed main it was stable for heaving to -- the center of effort is closer to the center of the boat.

In normal conditions I never got real benefit from the staysail but I didn't have an optimal one for that. Think of it as a "semi-cutter" useful in different conditions.

Nowadays, the trend is to smaller jibs. Self-tacking or 110%. The smaller foretriangle obviates the need for an inner forestay.
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Old Yesterday, 09:34   #103
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
Keep in mind that the limitations of dacron and other materials get much more significant as the sails get larger. So with your smaller sails, you may be able to get good performing sails that will last you quite a few years before starting to lose shape without needing to go quite as fancy on materials as some of the larger boats.

This is true, and a ketch allows smaller sails which might make dacron work where it wouldn't on a cutter or sloop of the same size.


But I STILL would never have a dacron sail again. Big or small, they start stretching the first day you hoist them and the shape is worse the second day and with every passing day; the difference is only in how much.


The last generation of cruising lams are so durable that I don't think they're even more expensive mile for mile than dacron.
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Old Yesterday, 11:27   #104
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
FYI. The North 3DI is not laminated. It is a monolithic cast epoxy and fiber composite. It has no seams and is not made from cloth. Most perfect sail shape I have ever seen on any sail. Most of the super yachts are now using them.

Photo: jib and main 3DI. Staysail Dacron storm and all around contributor
Yes, and they replace them every 5 years.
We expect to get 40,000nm out of our Vectran sails. So far they have 10nm and they look like new. We got 20,000nm our of our good quality dacron sails. The vectran sails set way better
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Old Yesterday, 14:26   #105
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Re: Cutter vs. Ketch rigs

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Yes, and they replace them every 5 years.
We expect to get 40,000nm out of our Vectran sails. So far they have 10nm and they look like new. We got 20,000nm our of our good quality dacron sails. The vectran sails set way better
When your mast is 120 feet, and the sail weighs many hundreds of pounds its life is measured in the number of hoists. Not comparable.
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