OP is on the right track, i.e. a good ketch is 50'+
Yes there are many smaller ketches, and many of those make sense for cruiser couples or single
handers... but they will not sail better than a sloop or cutter and the cutter also offers a range of sail combinations. I would choose a cutter when under 50'
From 50' on, a ketch is the way to go. Is has lower air drought and smaller sails
so easier to handle. It can be a broad reaching sledge that beats any single
sticker when flying two spinnakers. You can balance the sail plan by using just the main, or using the mizzen and jib
. When darkness falls, we often lower the main and it feels like we moored in a marina slip; perfect for cooking
dinner, getting ready for the night watches etc.
up to 45kts winds, we tend to use just the (unreefed) main. If it hits 50kts we take it down and switch to jib
We have a cutter stay but never needed it for the storm sail. But for upwind in 50kts it is good so consider the cutter rigged ketch!