Ketch vs Sloop? - Page 3 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #21  
Old 03-17-2008
Davidrogerson's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 104
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Davidrogerson is an unknown quantity at this point
i agree with John also there's really no point with ketch or yawl rigged boats until you get up to the 50 foot mark.
I don't know if this was previously mentioned but for those new to sailing a Ketch has its mizzen (secondary) mast forward of the rudder post wheras a yawl has it aft. I hope someone found that helpfull.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #22  
Old 03-17-2008
CharlieCobra's Avatar
On the hard
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bellingham, WA.
Posts: 3,503
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
CharlieCobra has a spectacular aura about CharlieCobra has a spectacular aura about
I think that may be the difference between the pointing ability of my boat as opposed to a Ketch. Other than the addition of the Mizzen aft of the cockpit and rudder, the only difference between it and the sloop version is the E measurement is 2 feet shorter. So, with a 2' shorter boom and the added SA of the Mizzen, there's no real change in pointing ability.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #23  
Old 05-11-2010
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
oaklandsailor is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
Very nice write-up thanks for sharing it....

Jeff, if you're out there somewhere, "thanks" for the lesson above. I've never sailed a yawl or ketch and so have no opinion other than hundreds of hours on sloops whose behaviors are predictable to me. Recently, a yacht broker took pains to convince me that a ketch was a better idea to cruise singlehanded than a sloop. Fortunately, the argument was friendly. Perhaps there was a ketch in a slip that needed a new owner right away.

OS
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #24  
Old 05-11-2010
SoulVoyage's Avatar
seeker of wonder
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Where the oceans have no address.
Posts: 84
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 5
SoulVoyage is on a distinguished road
Well, the old ketch vs. Sloop or cutter thing is like any other partisan bickering. People who love ketches swear by them, people who don't swear AT them.

I happen to fall into the group of people that LOVE them, and I have a 30 foot ketch - an early sixties Allied Seawind...her hull is my sig picture to the left. Here's my argument for a ketch-rig on a small boat:

Please note, though, that I have set up my rig in a very tradional manner: I.E- I've got two forestays side-by-side, genoa is hanked on the port forestay, the working jib is hanked on the starboard forestay. I use no roller furler. My halyards are on shroud belaying pin racks, except when in use, then they're cleated to the mast. Oh, and I row instead of motor; and I climb the ratlines and mast-steps instead of having someone haul me up, when I wanna get up the mast, not that that has to do with ketch v sloop, but it kinda shows where I'm coming from.

Okay...here goes:

1)Ketches allow you more sail hanging options. In moderate to heavy weather, I am often running just working jib and mizzen. I get 6 knots out of this on a decent wind, and the boat is extremely well-balanced. Or I could go with a mule sail and jib and jigger, or put up all sails, whatever.

2)The mizzen is indispensible for manuevering the boat in tight corners! I usually leave and come back to the slip under sail. Depending on wind direction,I'll either have the mizzen or jib ready to raise depending on which way i want to swing. Sometimes if the wind is blowing skunk from the port, I'll have the mizzen raised to keep the bow from blowing to stbd too much while I back out.

Raising and lowering the mizzen and working jib up far and down in sequence, allows you to basically spin the boat in her own circumference. You can't do that with your fancy roller-furled sloops and cutters. Spinning in your own circumference REALLY comes in handy when your sailing in in a tight area with docks and boats and moorings all around. To do this I walk the jib halyard back to the cockpit, and raise and lower the sails as needed as I turn.

3) the mizzen comes in really handy when your raising and lowering your other sails. The mizzen is always the first sail I raise and the last sail I douse. The mizzen will allow the boat to keep herself nicely pointed into the wind, while I go forward and raise the jib and then the main.

4) mizzen makes a great riding sail at anchor if you have some minor currents that are screwing with your set.

5) mizzen and jib is a GREAT combo for heaving-to. Heaving-to in heavier winds, I'll reef the mizzen and set to a stormsail on the forestay. I prefer the addition of the mizzen while hove-to. In very heavy-weather, I douse the mizzen and just heave-to under stormsail.

6)FAR from being a hinderance in the cockpit, in heavy-weather I am ALWAYS glad that mast is there. It's a great support, I have 4 extra shrouds to hang to. I lean against the mast. I can lash myself to it if I had to during heavy conditions, ha ha, except I'd be down below instead, if I was at bare-poles state!!

7)With a mizzen, you can have lower masts with the same sail area, and thus a lower center of effort...important in ocean storms

8) Your sails will be smaller and easier to handle, for those that still handle their sails.

Sure there are a couple drawbacks to a mizzen mast in the cockpit: You can't really have a bimini top under sail, although I DO have a sweet custom-made cockpit awning that fits around the mast for at anchor or at dock. And when VERY close-hauled, the mizzen doesn't add oodles of power. And the mizzen complicates the wind effect when running. I find the mizzen doesn't dirty the air of the jib way up forward as much as it would the main, so I wing and wing the mizzen and main. So it's like wing and wing and wing.

I am sorry....but ketches are a WIN, no matter what size boat. The argument that a ketch-rig only is good on a larger boat is myopic. The attributes that make a ketch-rig attractive on a larger boat are the SAME attributes that make a ketch-rig attractive on a smaller boat. I don't buy that arguement at all. My ketch-rig doesn't really hinder my movements really, or certainly not enough to not have a ketch rig. The argument against a ketch rig is based upon two factors: Strict performance and the the convenience of bimini covered cockpit. Sure, a sloop with full batten sails, is probably going to outperform to windward the same length ketch, but if performance was my only goal, I'd spend ALL my time sailing a Tornado 20. I'm often up to my hull speed with my ketch as it is, with all rags flying. I REALLY would not want to sail anything BUT a ketch, for the above reasons, especially not in a 4 day blow. Ketches made sense decades ago...they still make sense now. The seas and winds and storms haven't changed.

I think these days sailors are TOO reliant on their gizmos and conveniences...but often those presumed conveniences will let you down when the sheet hits the fan. Roller furling; all lines lead aft; cockpits surrounded by plastic-windowed biminis; electric mast furling; elecric windlasses; electric winches even!!! Sheeeezh...is sailing becoming like TV??
Naahh. No thank you. I'll have none of that. Okay. My rant's up.
sail123 likes this.
__________________
"...and a star to steer her by."

Last edited by SoulVoyage; 05-11-2010 at 04:57 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #25  
Old 05-11-2010
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 47
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
oaklandsailor is on a distinguished road
Makes perfect sense, at least to someone like myself. Still, it seems very likely that short handed/solo sailing will be simpler, require less expensive maintenance and in all ways be easier to live with on a sloop. First chance I get I'll spend a few days on a ketch and with luck that will happen before I own my next boat.

OK, who's out there on San Francisco bay that wants to demo his/her ketch?

OS
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #26  
Old 07-20-2012
sail123's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 24
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
sail123 is on a distinguished road
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

wOw! Bringing this forward mainly because of this post, and the post that supports the ketch. Wonderful post. Rich in history and sailing knowledge.


I own a 32 ketch, and I would not trade mine for any other 32 foot sailboat that I know of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Neither are especially good sailing boats, nor would either be a boat that I would consider for the changeable conditions that are typically found cruising on San Francisco Bay. I also agree with the above posts which indicate that a ketch rig makes very little sense on a boat under about 40 feet.

The following is a taken from a draft that I had written for another venue, but it does discuss the basics of various rigs.

The next topic in our ongoing discussion on selecting the ideal boat is rigs. Like most of the topics to date, there is no single universally ‘right answer’ when it comes to the topic of rigs. Boats are designed as systems and each of the various rig types have their purpose and are best suited to particular hull types, and applications. The quality of the design is also important as a poorly designed rig of any type can make for a miserable sailing vessel that is hard on the crew and the boat alike.


Cutter and Sloop rig

These are the most common rigs being produced today. In current usage these terms are applied quite loosely as compared to their more traditional definitions. Traditionally the sloop rig was a rig with a single mast located forward of 50% of the length of the sailplan. In this traditional definition a sloop could have multiple jibs.

Cutters had a rig with a single mast located 50% of the length of the sailplan or further aft, multiple headsails and in older definitions, a reefing bowsprit (a bowsprit that could be withdrawn in heavy going). Somewhere in the 1950's or 1960's there was a shift in these definitions such that a sloop only flew one headsail and a cutter had multiple headsails and mast position became irrelevant. For the sake of this discussion I assume we are discussing the modern definition of a sloop and a cutter.

Historically, when sail handling hardware was primitive and sails were far more stretchy than they are today, the smaller headsails and mainsail of a traditional cutter were easier to handle and with less sail stretch, allowed earlier cutters to be more weatherly (sail closer to the wind) than the sloops of the day. With the invention of lower stretch sailcloth and geared winches, cutters quickly lost their earlier advantage.

Today sloops are generally closer winded and easier to handle. Their smaller jibs and larger mainsail sailplan are easier to power up and down. Without a jibstay to drag the Genoa across, sloops are generally easier to tack. With less hardware sloops are less expensive to build.

Sloops come in a couple varieties, masthead and fractional. In a masthead rig the forestay and jib originates at the masthead. In a fractional rig, the forestay originates some fraction of the mast height down from the masthead. Historically, sloops were traditionally fractionally rigged. Fractional rigs tend to give the most drive per square foot of sail area. Their smaller jibs are easier to tack and they reef down to a snug masthead rig. Fractional rigs place a lower stress on their hulls and often get by with lighter rigging and hardware for an equal structural safety margin. Today, fractional rigs are often proportioned so that they do not need headsails that overlap the shrouds making them even easier to sail. One of the major advantages of a fractional rig is the ability, especially when combined with a flexible mast, to use the backstay to control mast bend and sail shape. Increasing backstay tension does a lot of things on a fractional rig: it tensions the forestay which in turn flattens the jib. Increasing backstay tension induces controlled mast bend, which flattens the mainsail and opens the leech of the sail. This allows quick depowering as the wind increases and so allows a fractional rig to sail in a wider wind speed range without reefing, or making a headsail change than a masthead rig, although arguably requiring a bit more sail trimming skills.

While fractional rigs used to require running backstays, better materials and design approaches have pretty much eliminated the need for running backstays. That said, fractional rigs intended for offshore use, will often have running backstays that are only rigged in heavy weather once the mainsail has been reefed. The geometry of these running backstays typically allows the boat to be tacked without tacking the running backstays.

Masthead rigs came into popularity in the 1950's primarily in response to racing rating rules that under-penalized overlapping jibs (genoas) and spinnakers and so promoted bigger headsails. Masthead sloops tend to be simpler rigs to build and adjust. They tend to be more dependent on large headsails and so are harder to tack and also require a larger headsail inventory if performance is important. Mast bend is harder to control and so bigger masthead rigs will often have a babystay that can be tensioned to prevent pumping and induce mast bend in the same way as a fractional rig does. Dragging a Genoa over the babystay makes tacking a bit more difficult and slower. While roller furling allows a wider wind range for a given Genoa, there is a real limit (typically cited 10% to 15%) to how much a Genoa can be roller furled and still maintain a safely flat shape. As a result, masthead rigged boats generally require larger sail inventories.

Cutters, which had pretty much dropped out of popularity during a period from right after the end of WWII until the early 1970's, came back into popularity with a vengeance in the early 1970's as an offshore cruising rig. In theory, the presence of multiple jibs allows the forestaysail to be dropped or completely furled, and when combined with a reefed mainsail, and the full staysail, results in a very compact heavy weather rig (similar to the proportions of a fractional rigged sloop with a reef in the mainsail). As a result the cutter rig is often cited as the ideal offshore rig. While that is the theory, it rarely works out that the staysail is properly proportioned, (either too small for normal sailing needs and for the lower end of the high wind range (say 20-30 knots) or too large for higher windspeeds) and made of a sail cloth that makes sense as a heavy weather sail but which is too heavy for day to day sailing in more moderate conditions or out of a sail cloth too light for heavy going. Also when these sails are proportioned small enough to be used as heavy weather sails, these rigs will often develop a lot of weather helm when being sailed in winds that are too slow to use a double reefed mainsail. Like fractional rigs, cutter rigs intended for offshore use, will often have running backstays that are only rigged in heavy weather once the mainsail has been reefed. Unlike the fractional rig, when the running backstays are deployed, the geometry of these running backstays typically require that the running backstays be tacked whenever the boat is tacked.

Cutters make a less successful rig for coastal sailing. Generally, because of their offshore intent, cutters tend to have snug rigs that depend on larger Genoas for light air performance. Tacking these large Genoas through the narrow slot between the jibstay and forestay is a much harder operation than tacking a sloop. As a result many of today's cutters have a removable jibstay that can be rigged in heavier winds. This somewhat reduces the advantage of a cutter rig (i.e. having a permanently rigged and ready to fly small, heavy weather jib).

Cutters these days generally do not point as close to the wind as similar sized sloops. Because of the need to keep the slots of both headsails open enough to permit good airflow, the headsails on a cutter cannot be sheeted as tightly as the jib on a sloop without choking off the airflow in the slot. Since cutters are generally associated with the less efficient underbodies that are typical of offshore boats this is less of a problem that it might sound. Cutters also give away some performance on deep broad reaches and when heading downwind because the Genoa acts in the bad air of the staysail.

Yawls and Ketches:

As I said at the start of this discussion, boats are systems and when it comes to one size fits all answers, there is no single right answer when it comes to yawls and ketches either. A Yawl is a rig with two masts and the after mast (the mast that is further aft or further back in the boat) is aft of the rudder. A ketch is a rig with two masts, the after mast is forward of the rudder. Either rig can have either a single jib or multiple jibs. When a Yawl or a Ketch has multiple jibs it is referred to a Yawl or a Ketch with multiple headsails. It is considered lubberly to refer to that rig as a 'cutter ketch' or 'cutter Yawl'.

I lump yawls and ketches together here because the share many similar characteristics. Ketches, in one form or another, have been around for a very long time. In the days before winches, light weight- low stretch sail cloth, high strength- low stretch line, and low friction blocks, breaking a rig into a lot of smaller sails made sense. It made it easier to manhandle the sails and make adjustments. Stretch was minimized so the sails powered up less in a gust and although multiple small sails are less efficient, the hulls were so inefficient that the loss of sail efficiency did not hurt much. Multiple masts, along with bowsprits and boomkins, allowed boats to have more sail area that would be spread out closer to the water. In a time of stone internal ballasting, and high drag in relatinship to stability, this was important as it maximized the amount of drive while minimizing heeling. In theory, multiple masts meant more luff length and more luff length meant more drive forces to windward. But multiple masts also meant more weight and much more drag. There are also issues of down draft interference, meaning that one sail is operating in the disturbed and turbulent air of the sails in front of it, which also greatly reduces the efficiency of multi mast rigs.

Yawls really came into being as race rule beaters. They are first seen in the 1920's as a rule beater under the Universal and International rules. They continued to be popular under the CCA rule as well. Under these rules, the sail area of jibs and mizzens were pretty much ignored in the rating. This popularized the masthead rig and the yawl.

There was a basis for not measuring the sail area of a yawl under these rules. On a yawl going to windward, the mizzenmast and sail generally actually produce more drag than they do drive. This is because the mizzen is sailing in really turbulent air and has to be over trimmed to keep from luffing which can effectively act as an airbrake. This is slightly less of the case on a ketch where the size of the mizzen is large enough to provide a larger percentage of the drive.

Downwind mizzens also are a problem. In this case the mizzen is forcing the main or foresail to operate in their bad air and so again the mizzen is not adding as much to the speed of the boat as they are taking away. BUT in the predominantly reaching races that were typical of offshore races of that era they offered a number of advantages. First of all on a reach the sails are not acting in the slipstream of each other and so each contributes a fair amount of drive for the drag produced. Also with the advent of lightweight low stretch sailcloths, mizzen staysails, which are great reaching sails, came into widespread usage in racing. Here again a ketch has the advantage of having a taller mizzen and so can fly a bigger mizzen staysail.

It might be helpful to compare yawl and ketch rigs to sloops. The broad generalities are that for a given sail area a sloop rig will generate a greater drive for the amount of drag generated pretty much on all points of sail. That means that a sloop will be faster or will require less sail area to go the same speed. Sloops are particularly better than Multi spar rigs such as Yawls and Ketches on a beat or on a run. A sloop rig would tend to be taller for a given sail area. This means it would be better in lighter air but it potentially might heel more, or need to be depowered or reefed sooner as the breeze picks up.

Sloops work best on boats with reasonably modern underbodies. Both are more efficient and so can point higher and make less leeway.

Ketch and Yawl rigs work best with heavier boats with less efficient underbodies such as full keels and deeply Vee'd hull forms. These hull forms often need a lot more drive and the hull is the limiting factor in how fast or how close-winded the boat will be. The yawl or ketch rig's lack of windward ability is less of a liability when placed on a hull that similarly lacks windward ability. Also, the ability of a ketch or yawl to carry more sail with less heeling moment also makes it a natural for a heavier hull form which often has comparatively little stability when compared to the amount of drive required to make a heavy boat move.

Much is made of the ketch or yawl's ability to be balanced to help with self-steering, to hove to, or the ability to simply sail under Jib and mizzen in a blow. This is one aspect that a traditional ketch or yawl has over a traditional sloop. It is not so true of modern sloops. Modern (especially fractional) sloops can be easily depowered and that reduces the need to reef. With modern slab reefing gear, reefing is far more easily accomplished than dropping the mainsail to the deck on a yawl or ketch. In a properly designed sloop balance is just not all that hard to achieve.

The performance of all three rigs, both on broad reaches and in lighter air, can be improved by the ability to carry kites of different types.

In terms of comfort at sea, ketch and yawl rigs push the weight of the spars closer to the ends of the boat which can increase pitch angles, albeit, while perhaps slowing pitching rates. The taller rigs of a sloop tend to increase roll angles while slowing roll rates.

Then there are structural issues. It is often difficult to properly stay a ketch or yawl rig as the mainmast backstay often need to be routed around the mizzen and the forward load component of the mizzen if often taken by the top of the mainmast. It is also often difficult to get proper aft staying on the mizzen of a ketch or yawl as well. These structural issues are particularly pronounced on Yawls where the mast is so far aft in the boat that on a traditional boat it is hard to get adequate staying base widths.

Many of the early fiberglass yawls were very poorly engineered. I heard the story of how the Bristol 40 became a yawl. It seems that Clint Pearson (who owned Bristol) had started to build a Bristol 40 sloop on order for a particular customer. As the boat was nearing completion the prospective owner bailed out leaving Mr. Pearson with bit of a problem. Almost at the same time came an enquiry about the availability of a Bristol 40 yawl for prompt delivery for a different person. Without hesitation the potential buyer was told that they happened to have a yawl that was almost finished and would be available in a few weeks. Bristol was building a 24 foot Corsair and they took a mast and rigging from a Corsair and used that for the mizzen. A block of wood was glassed onto the hull for a mast step and a hole cut in the deck for the mast to go through and Voila- the Bristol 40 yawl. Several more were built like that and they quickly proved problematic. Eventually the design was engineered to solve the problems that occurred on the first few yawls.

You often hear people say that yawls and ketches are simpler rigs to handle. I am not clear why that is assumed to be so as there are more sails to trim and more interaction between the individual sails. As on a sloop, you start trimming from the forward most sail moving aft. Also as on a sloop, fine tuning, small adjustments are made moving forward again to reduce downdraft interference between the sails. Sailed with the same degree of precision, a ketches and yawls require more fine tunning than a sloop but on the whole about the same amount of fine tuning as a cutter.

Anyway, in conclusion, if you are interested in sailing performance or ease of handling, a sloop rig makes more sense. To me the only justification for the yawl rig today is solely romantic charm, or a sense of history. I do not mean this to be a put down to those who love historic rigs, but for sheer sailing ability a yawl or ketch is a relic of another time, or an obsolete racing rule. Still, if you live in an area that is typically windier and you like traditional boats, then a ketch or yawl is an interesting albeit complicated rig.

Schooners

Schooners, more than any of the other fore and aft rigs, are really a series of rigs. They vary from the modern unstayed cat schooners (like the Freedom 39), to Fenger's experiments with wishbone schooners, to the traditional two-masted gaff schooners, to the early 19th century square topsail schooners, to the knockabout and the staysail schooners of the late 1930's, to the 4, 5 and 6 masted cargo schooners of the early 20th century. Each of these has distinct advantages and disadvantages.

By definition a schooner is a rig with two or more masts with the after mast(s) equal or taller than the forward mast(s).

Schooners, in one form or another, have been around for a very long time. Like most multi-masted rigs, they evolved in the days when breaking a rig into a lot of smaller sails made sense. Multi-masted rigs resulted in a rig with a greater number of smaller low aspect ratio sails. These proportionately smaller sails reduced stretch within the individual sails, made it easier to manhandle the sails and make sail shape adjustments. This was a time before winches, light weight- low stretch sailcloth, high strength- low stretch line, and low friction blocks. These proportionately smaller sails powered up less in a gust. While multiple small sails are less efficient, the hulls of the era were so inefficient that this loss of sail efficiency did not hurt much.

Multiple masts, along with bowsprits and boomkins, allowed boats to have more sail area that could be spread out closer to the water. In a time when stone internal ballasting was the norm, this was important as it maximized the amount of drive while minimizing heeling moments. Multiple masts meant more a little more luff length and more luff length meant greater drive force on a reach or beat. But multiple masts also meant more weight aloft and much more aerodynamic drag increasing heel some and greatly reducing the relative efficiency of the sails. Multi mast rigs also have the issue of downdraft interference, meaning that each sail is operating in the disturbed and turbulent air of the sails upwind of it, which also greatly reduces the efficiency of multi mast rigs. .

Schooners are best suited for burdensome vessels with comparatively little stability. They are best used in sailing venues where they predominantly will be reaching between 30 degrees above a beam reach to approximately 50 degrees below a beam reach. Because of the geometry and inherently high drag of the schooner rig they are not very good rigs upwind or down. Upwind, the large amount of aerodynamic drag from the spars and, in stayed rigs, rigging, coupled with the typically low aspect ratio sails typical of a schooner rig, and the down-drafting problems of a multi-masted rig, results in very poor windward performance. When compared with Yawls, which can drop their mizzen when beating without much consequence, a Schooners primary drive sail(s) are acting in the wind shadow of the entire rig.

Probably the highest upwind efficiency is achieved in schooners with lug foresails. On a schooner, lug foresails are not actually 'lug rigged'. In the case or a schooner, the term 'lug foresail' means a gaff foresail (not a jib) that foresail that over laps the mainsail in much the same manner as a Genoa over laps the mast on a modern rig. This rig was common in American working craft in the 19th century partially because there was no boom to deal with on the working deck. It was used on such boats as the yacht America's original rig, Tancook Whalers and on many Atlantic coast pilot boats. Lug foresails need to be tacked around the mast in much the same manner as a Genoa is today.

Downwind the problem of downdraft interference is a major problem as well. The large mainsail again tends to block the air on the sails forward of it and schooners really do not have a tall forward mast on which to fly a meaningful spinnaker. While there are all kinds of kites that can be flown from a schooner, and early working schooners often carried square sails on their foremasts, most of these patches really come into their own on a reach.

I once had a great conversation with Olin Stephens about schooners. Someone had asked why the schooner rig had died out. In the course of the conversation it was pretty much concluded that as hull forms became increasingly efficient, the schooner rig could not keep up. Great efforts at all kinds of rig improvements were tried but in the end the inherent limitations of the schooner rig was ill matched to the improved hull forms of the early 20th century.

Today, traditional schooners are wonderful to look at relics of a bygone age. Traditional forms of the schooner rig are complicated rigs that are expensive to build and maintain. They generally lack the strength of staying of a more modern rig. They are limited in their ability to beat to windward, hove to, or go dead downwind. They require greater skill to sail well and are pretty labor intensive to sail in shifting conditions. Still there is nothing like the romance of gaff topsail schooner with a bone in her teeth.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #27  
Old 07-20-2012
sail123's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 24
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
sail123 is on a distinguished road
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Sweet post! Reading your post, I now have even more reasons to love my 32 aft cabin ketch.

You row a 30 foot sailboat? I would love a video of that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulVoyage View Post
Well, the old ketch vs. Sloop or cutter thing is like any other partisan bickering. People who love ketches swear by them, people who don't swear AT them.

I happen to fall into the group of people that LOVE them, and I have a 30 foot ketch - an early sixties Allied Seawind...her hull is my sig picture to the left. Here's my argument for a ketch-rig on a small boat:

Please note, though, that I have set up my rig in a very tradional manner: I.E- I've got two forestays side-by-side, genoa is hanked on the port forestay, the working jib is hanked on the starboard forestay. I use no roller furler. My halyards are on shroud belaying pin racks, except when in use, then they're cleated to the mast. Oh, and I row instead of motor; and I climb the ratlines and mast-steps instead of having someone haul me up, when I wanna get up the mast, not that that has to do with ketch v sloop, but it kinda shows where I'm coming from.

Okay...here goes:

1)Ketches allow you more sail hanging options. In moderate to heavy weather, I am often running just working jib and mizzen. I get 6 knots out of this on a decent wind, and the boat is extremely well-balanced. Or I could go with a mule sail and jib and jigger, or put up all sails, whatever.

2)The mizzen is indispensible for manuevering the boat in tight corners! I usually leave and come back to the slip under sail. Depending on wind direction,I'll either have the mizzen or jib ready to raise depending on which way i want to swing. Sometimes if the wind is blowing skunk from the port, I'll have the mizzen raised to keep the bow from blowing to stbd too much while I back out.

Raising and lowering the mizzen and working jib up far and down in sequence, allows you to basically spin the boat in her own circumference. You can't do that with your fancy roller-furled sloops and cutters. Spinning in your own circumference REALLY comes in handy when your sailing in in a tight area with docks and boats and moorings all around. To do this I walk the jib halyard back to the cockpit, and raise and lower the sails as needed as I turn.

3) the mizzen comes in really handy when your raising and lowering your other sails. The mizzen is always the first sail I raise and the last sail I douse. The mizzen will allow the boat to keep herself nicely pointed into the wind, while I go forward and raise the jib and then the main.

4) mizzen makes a great riding sail at anchor if you have some minor currents that are screwing with your set.

5) mizzen and jib is a GREAT combo for heaving-to. Heaving-to in heavier winds, I'll reef the mizzen and set to a stormsail on the forestay. I prefer the addition of the mizzen while hove-to. In very heavy-weather, I douse the mizzen and just heave-to under stormsail.

6)FAR from being a hinderance in the cockpit, in heavy-weather I am ALWAYS glad that mast is there. It's a great support, I have 4 extra shrouds to hang to. I lean against the mast. I can lash myself to it if I had to during heavy conditions, ha ha, except I'd be down below instead, if I was at bare-poles state!!

7)With a mizzen, you can have lower masts with the same sail area, and thus a lower center of effort...important in ocean storms

8) Your sails will be smaller and easier to handle, for those that still handle their sails.

Sure there are a couple drawbacks to a mizzen mast in the cockpit: You can't really have a bimini top under sail, although I DO have a sweet custom-made cockpit awning that fits around the mast for at anchor or at dock. And when VERY close-hauled, the mizzen doesn't add oodles of power. And the mizzen complicates the wind effect when running. I find the mizzen doesn't dirty the air of the jib way up forward as much as it would the main, so I wing and wing the mizzen and main. So it's like wing and wing and wing.

I am sorry....but ketches are a WIN, no matter what size boat. The argument that a ketch-rig only is good on a larger boat is myopic. The attributes that make a ketch-rig attractive on a larger boat are the SAME attributes that make a ketch-rig attractive on a smaller boat. I don't buy that arguement at all. My ketch-rig doesn't really hinder my movements really, or certainly not enough to not have a ketch rig. The argument against a ketch rig is based upon two factors: Strict performance and the the convenience of bimini covered cockpit. Sure, a sloop with full batten sails, is probably going to outperform to windward the same length ketch, but if performance was my only goal, I'd spend ALL my time sailing a Tornado 20. I'm often up to my hull speed with my ketch as it is, with all rags flying. I REALLY would not want to sail anything BUT a ketch, for the above reasons, especially not in a 4 day blow. Ketches made sense decades ago...they still make sense now. The seas and winds and storms haven't changed.

I think these days sailors are TOO reliant on their gizmos and conveniences...but often those presumed conveniences will let you down when the sheet hits the fan. Roller furling; all lines lead aft; cockpits surrounded by plastic-windowed biminis; electric mast furling; elecric windlasses; electric winches even!!! Sheeeezh...is sailing becoming like TV??
Naahh. No thank you. I'll have none of that. Okay. My rant's up.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #28  
Old 07-20-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 2,128
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
WanderingStar is on a distinguished road
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

I don't have video, but I used to row a 26', 4 ton yawl. Just not often. I sailed her when there was the least breeze, and with 412 sq ft of sail, she could do it. She had no engine. Once in a while in a dead calm I'd row a ways. Never more than a mile I think. Once you get them moving it's not hard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #29  
Old 07-21-2012
CharlieCobra's Avatar
On the hard
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bellingham, WA.
Posts: 3,503
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
CharlieCobra has a spectacular aura about CharlieCobra has a spectacular aura about
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

I rowed Oh Joy a few times, 35', 7 tons. Not fun IF you really have to get somewhere to windward.... I was wondering why this old thread was back...

Speaking of Jeff, where's he been?
__________________
Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #30  
Old 07-21-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chesapeake
Posts: 140
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Sea Dawg is on a distinguished road
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
.... Still there is nothing like the romance of gaff topsail schooner with a bone in her teeth. [/I]

Very informative old post Jeff, thanks. Many people will select the boat with their eyes first and then compare strength and weaknesses. In SF bay area with the strong currents there will be a lot to consider for the OP. Upwind or upcurrent performance would be pretty important there. But in the final analysis, you give at least some weight to sheer beauty.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New to Sailing, please Help =) xyris Learning to Sail 19 11-17-2008 09:30 AM
My First Boat...Boat Term Question... Kacper General Discussion (sailing related) 38 09-23-2008 07:52 PM
Ketch/Yawl Handling svsymphony Seamanship & Navigation 19 07-05-2008 02:19 AM
Ketch vs. Sloop for 1st Boat chappyonice Boat Review and Purchase Forum 15 01-12-2007 12:43 PM
Yawl Info Needed sailortonyb1 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 5 01-18-2006 05:51 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:36 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.