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Old 25-02-2020, 17:40   #1
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Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

So Iím looking to purchase my first sailboat, and Iíve decided to go with a ketch as I feel it will suit my live aboard needs better than a sloop. Iím currently enlisted and once this contract is up I plan to put what money Iíve saved up towards the boat. Length-wise Iíve been looking around the 35í to 45í range as while I will (most likely) be starting out alone on the vessel, I have no intention of being alone on the boat forever and it would be good to have the space to add a partner down the road as opposed to having to purchase a larger vessel. Price-wise my upper limit is around 50k though depending on the next two years of this contract it could go up or down.

But the big problem Iím running into is a lack of knowledge on who made quality sailing vessels and what vessels I should avoid. Iíve done some research and eliminated some builders due to their poor reputation but I still lack the knowledge and experience. Basically whatever recommendations on ship models to look for and what to avoid while I window shop until I can get back to the ocean would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 26-02-2020, 10:51   #2
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

My ketch did me well for clearing 55' vertical clearance fixed bridges; however, I found no advantage for a ketch in living aboard. ....well, more places to hang a hammock. If not for my vertical clearance needs I would probably have selected a cutter.

Maybe it would be best to tell us what type of use you would want for the boat. My low performance, but huge interior with a shoal draft was perfect for coastal cruising and gunkholing with a family of four, but not for fast passages. How would you want to use the boat?
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Old 26-02-2020, 14:50   #3
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

So my biggest interest in the ketch is in the space they offer over faster boats. Iíll be 25 when I make the purchase on the boat and Iíd like to have the space to take a couple friends along with me from time to time. Iíd be the only permanent member of the crew, up until I find somebody to share this lifestyle with. Mostly Iíd be using it for coastal travels. Iíd like to bounce around the Gulf of Mexico, hitting the Bahamas and other islands in the area but Iíd also like a ship that can make the Atlantic crossing, as Iíd like to hit the Mediterranean at least once. I havení exactly nailed down which coast Iíd like to start on, as the army currently has me land locked. Another reason I like the ketch is because of its sails. Itís just a very pretty ship to me. Iíve also read they are pretty stable on rough seas, which is a plus for me since I want it to be my home. And I want my home to be stable, weíll as stable as a sailboat on the ocean can be.
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Old 26-02-2020, 15:31   #4
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Illium117 View Post
So Iím looking to purchase my first sailboat, and Iíve decided to go with a ketch as I feel it will suit my live aboard needs better than a sloop. Iím currently enlisted and once this contract is up I plan to put what money Iíve saved up towards the boat. Length-wise Iíve been looking around the 35í to 45í range as while I will (most likely) be starting out alone on the vessel, I have no intention of being alone on the boat forever and it would be good to have the space to add a partner down the road as opposed to having to purchase a larger vessel. Price-wise my upper limit is around 50k though depending on the next two years of this contract it could go up or down.

But the big problem Iím running into is a lack of knowledge on who made quality sailing vessels and what vessels I should avoid. Iíve done some research and eliminated some builders due to their poor reputation but I still lack the knowledge and experience. Basically whatever recommendations on ship models to look for and what to avoid while I window shop until I can get back to the ocean would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Ketches are not as popular as they once were. More's the pity. For long range cruising I do love them. That means they are older, and cheaper on average. All my sailboats have been ketches, so I am probably biased

For the price and size range you are looking at or a bit lower, you might look for a Northstar 40 (also branded as a Hughes 40 from the same yard in Canada) It was a Sparkman Stevens design from back when they were one of the best designers in the world. They sail well, if well handled, and have a good interior layout.

They were well built, but it can be very hard to find a 30 to 40 year old boat that has been kept in good shape. All it takes is ONE owner to take a great boat, and turn it into a dump.

I owned one for 15 years as a liveaboard, and sailed it across oceans. She took very good care of me. It was a sad day selling it, but bigger and newer boats called.
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Old 26-02-2020, 15:43   #5
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

Other than thinking they look pretty, thereís nothing in particular about a ketch that makes more room for people.

Weíve got a 32í ketch....t he cutter rigged version of our boat is faster to weather and has just as much accommodation space as our boat.
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Old 26-02-2020, 16:22   #6
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

Ditto Sailmonkey. Ketches are pretty, but dramatically limit your choice in your search as most boats are not ketches. There is nothing that makes a ketch a bigger or better boat. I sailed a yawl once (my father called them "Southern Ketches"). With modern self tailing winches they really don't have much to recommend them relative to a sloop. More flexibility in sail set up with smaller sails to handle offset by complex rigging and, in general, less than optimum performance in most conditions. As you narrow your search look for facebook groups or specific class forums for the boat you are interested in. On the big forums everyone is an expert and it is sometimes difficult to find the wheat from the chaff.
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Old 26-02-2020, 20:22   #7
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

Shannon 38 for sale Charleston SC for $25k but hurry up, a buddy's interested in her too.
He says she has minor blisters on the hull free board, which might entail a new paint job down the road.
She has AC and heat on board...
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Old 26-02-2020, 20:36   #8
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Smile Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

Agreed that most of them are older , so condition is paramount! Pearson 365 is a great old boat , or it's big sister the 424. ( Granted , I'm a little biased )
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Old 26-02-2020, 20:40   #9
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

Thanks for the advice and suggestions, I'll do some research into what yall have provided. Also thanks for the boat ad but I won't be purchasing for another 2 years, even though I have the funds right now to take the dive and start making payments on a boat. I'm currently enlisted and stuck landlocked so until I get out I can't really put money down on a boat right now.

I mean I could but where would I put it...
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Old 27-02-2020, 05:15   #10
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Other than thinking they look pretty, thereís nothing in particular about a ketch that makes more room for people.

Weíve got a 32í ketch....t he cutter rigged version of our boat is faster to weather and has just as much accommodation space as our boat.
We live on a 43 ketch and I agree. Actually, you have less deck space for all the rigging.
We bought her because I like having a more manageable sail plan in a blow. We run job and jigger once it pipes up over 23kts.
The rig has no effect on living space except for the mizzen in the cockpit that you must get around.
I agree with this post and consider a cutter, a real one that is, an easier sailplan.
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Old 27-02-2020, 05:56   #11
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

Hi, Illium117,
Thank you for your service.
I completely understand your attraction to ketches. When I scan an anchorage, those are the boats that catch my eye. From a completely rational perspective, perhaps a modern sloop is better, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

I have been window shopping for a ketch for a couple years now, and started tracking individual listings, reading reviews and owners' commentary on models of interest. This link should let you see my tracker. The Reviews tab shows my key takeaways from reading reviews on the listed models.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

Two years of dreaming and window shopping should be a good amount of time for research, such that you go into your actual shopping much better informed.
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Old 27-02-2020, 06:21   #12
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

We have a ketch and will agree the type of sail rig has nothing to do w/below deck living space. We like our ketch as it is very versatile sail rig and isn't really as slow as many may assume.

Not to discourage your dream and if interior space is your main objective, possibly look at aft vs. center cockpit designs. The CC interior layout comes into its own in larger boats which allows a larger main and aft cabin. Everyone has their view/taste of what they like and if you do a search you can find lots of threads discussing them.
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Old 08-04-2020, 00:56   #13
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Re: Popular Live Aboard Ketch Rigged Sailboats

Hi
I am in similar position overall and have come to the conclusion that first i want a comfortable home, that can travel low cost. The sailing is for going, not as an aim in itself. This makes robust construction and safety the parameters. Now if someone could tell me where the starting handle for the sails is...
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