Convert Ketch into Sloop? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Convert Ketch into Sloop?

As soon as I sell my house in Australia, I will be doing the same as SimonV and going to the U.S to buy a boat, am looking at buying a Morgan 461, but there are only a couple available, and the brokers keep sending me 462 (ketch) which I am not interested in, the 461 & 462 are the same except one is a ketch.
My question is, as there are a lot of 462's available, and any boat I buy I would be looking to refit or update in readiness for full time cruising, could I buy a 462 ketch and remove the mizzen mast, have an in-boom furler fitted and new mainsail, and also convert to cutter rig.
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-05-2008
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Mjak42,

In many cases, the main mast on a ketch-rigged boat is stepped farther forward than it is on a sloop-rigged version of the same boat. Also, often times the main mast is not as tall. I cannot speak specifically to how it was done on the Morgan O/I's, but you may end up with an under-canvassed, poorly balanced boat. Do your homework, and good luck.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-05-2008
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I'm going to second what John said. If you want a sloop, you're probably best off buying a sloop rigged boat. Re-rigging the boat is very expensive...

BTW, cutters generally have the mast stepped even further aft than a sloop, and by converting a ketch to a cutter rig, you're moving the sailplan forward by quite a bit, and that will probably lead to serious lee helm issues.

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post #4 of 21 Old 01-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks John, I knew the boom would be smaller and the main may not be as tall but was not aware the mast may be stepped further forward, hopefully someone may know, will do my homework, if possible will increase the amount of boats i can look at, as there are only 2 461's in BVI and one in Florida available, but have 9 462's sent to me via broker's.
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-05-2008
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I just glanced at a few on Yachtworld. Hard to tell from the photos, but by rough eyeballing it appears the mainmast is in the same location on both the 461 and 462. If so, the mast and probably boom should be longer on the sloop/cutter variant.

Why not consider the ketch? Particularly if you like the boat in most other respects. It certainly does seem that there are more ketches out there, which often suggests the ketch configuration was considered preferable.

That said, your conversion plan may work fine depending on how you use the boat. I have a friend with a Brewer 44 that the original owner order as a ketch, but told them to leave off the mizzen mast. He wanted a smaller mainsail and better bridge clearance, I guess. The boat doesn't point as well as it should (also due to the original owner having specified the shoal draft keel without the normal centerboard that should be encased within), but my friend happily sails up and down the US east coast. He just motorsails whenever the wind is forward of a close reach.

So maybe you can make it work. Me, I'd keep the mizzen.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-05-2008
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BTW, the mizzen is awfully useful for mounting things like wind generators and radomes.

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post #7 of 21 Old 01-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Nothing against Ketches, but they dont do anything for me, never sailed one so can't say anything bad about them, just like the simplicity of a sloop, plus less maintenance and less sail to play around with, am 45 y.o now buy the time our last kid leaves home I will be 50, I raced for many years in my late teens and early 20's, my wife has no sailing experience, but has loved the times spent on a freinds cutter rigged sloop, just want to kick back relax and enjoy cruising when the time comes.
The cheapest 462 is $79k and 461 is $90k so could possibly spend difference on upgrades.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-05-2008
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You'll like the complexity of a ketch in heavy weather, because you can sail better with mizzen and staysail in 40 knots in a ketch than you can with staysail alone in a cutter or storm jib and deeply reefed main in a sloop.

Ketches don't point well, but due to the partitioned nature of the sail plan, you can have more boat with less effort, as each sail is proportionately smaller than a single-masted boat.

Don't rule out the ketch just yet. Do rule out something called the "triactic stay"...a stupid idea.
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Valiente, what is a "triactic stay", more I think about it, the more I should sail a ketch first, then make my decision, wife says she likes how there is nothing on the aft deck of a sloop, can walk around, put a bimini. Is there still headroom under the aft boom?
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A triatic stay goes from the top of the main mast to the top of the mizzen mast... and is a really dumb idea, since if you lose one mast, the triatic stay pretty much guarantees that you'll lose the other.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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