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post #4 of Old 06-12-2009
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I own a long J-measurement fin-keel sloop and a full keel cutter, and the cutter is definitely easier in this regard, because the staysail put the center of effort closer to the mast. This means that if you get the forces of waves and wind acting on the hull out of sync, it's along a shorter length, if you follow.

There's so much else to consider beyond heaving ability, however. The pointing is inferior on the cutter, but I find I can effectively sail longer thanks to the staysail, and having more sail up in a reaching situation keeps the boat going nicely. Another consideration is sailing alone...more sails are more work, but also more flexibility...if you are going from ketch to cutter this isn't likely an issue. Also, you are probably used to the "lazy skipper" tactic of just using the mizzen and the jib for tooling around in light's enough to make three or four knots and saves a lot of flaking down later!

I agree with Lshick that partially furled genoas are poor performers after a certain point and I would rather roll it all in and sail with staysail and full main a little longer and just not expect to point well, but still have a lot of speed.

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