Ketch vs Sloop? - Page 5 - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #41 of 46 Old 09-21-2012
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: jax
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Lot of good points on both sides.
Being a bit biased, my ketch offers numerous advantages some disadvantages- some of what haven't been discussed.
Sailing notes:
1. tremendous amount of sail configurations
2. add a inner forestay - i.e. cutter rig -makes for a "klutter" term borrowed from Fuji site, great for storm jib
3. Mule sail easily induces lean - greater water line -a smidgen faster, upwind
4. Staysail - makes beam reach a 'blast' literally
5. Extra Sail area combined with the heavy weight enables decent to good light air performance
6. Beating hard up wind in anything under 25 knots loses against most sloops
7. Going from a racing sloop to a cruising slug (ketch) made be a much better sailor, more attuned to perfect sail trim, getting the slots right, proper draft ect.
Cruising notes:
1. relatively long keel and 3-4 sails to trim can easily balance for self steering
2. Shallow long keel offers less area for cross seas to plummet
3. Shallow draft and higher center of gravity in light air makes for uncomfortable motion
4. Mizzen boom makes a great awning support
5. Reefed Mizzen acts as stabilizer at anchor
Day sailing Notes:
1. New people to sailing have 50% more things to help with on a ketch - many like being part of the action
2. Single handed handling is tougher
3. Shallow draft allows getting much closer to shoreline
The Fuji 32 is not a Alden design, but the hull originates from the desk of Clair Oberly designer of the Mariner 31 36 & 40. The superstructure design was appropriated (& compensated?) from the Fuji 35 which Alden did design. The full cut away keel with relatively shallow draft opens up shallow water cruising grounds while the 41' mast slips under many fixed bridges further expanding the cruising grounds. Nearly as many arguments can be made on shallow vs. deep draft boats as sloop versus ketch.
In comparing two very different types of designs from the original question and the intended sailing area of San Francisco bay with some coastal hops either boat should be fine, but not discussed:
1. skill level,
2. normal amount of crew available
3. preferred weather conditions.
San Francisco Bay has 6 ft tide with plenty of depth in 80% of region, the heavier sloop is a better fit for a single hander who wants more coastal hops, ketch may be better for bay explorer with friends.
fujijohn is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #42 of 46 Old 09-25-2012
RandyonR3's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: crusing
Posts: 157
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 12
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Gota bring up something in thought..
Many many years ago when learning to sail, (boy scouts) and I'm now in my 60s, our main concern was to trim the sloop to the point where you didnt touch the tiller so underwater drag on the rudder was limited to almost nill. and I've always kept that issue in mind throu many years of racing and now crusing our FIRST 42..
But awhile back I went out with a friend with a ketch and his major concern while using the mizzen was to balance the boat and keep it tracking forward in line..
Now tell me I'm wrong here, but it seemed his actions with the mizzen was counter productive.. and even to the point that a ketch is forced into a straight line and could possably be in a crabbing attitude..
Sort of like a car that would pull to the right so you would adjust the left front brake to keep it tracking straight..
Am I thinking wrong here or is this a concern with adjusting the sails on a ketch..

Last edited by RandyonR3; 09-25-2012 at 09:38 AM.
RandyonR3 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #43 of 46 Old 09-25-2012
grumpy old man
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5,901
Thanks: 4
Thanked 175 Times in 165 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Any healthy ketch, like any healthy sloop will have a balanced helm with some weather helm when reaching or on the wind. A small amount of weather helm, say 3 degrees is good for boat speed and helps the boat stay in the groove while making it easier to steer.

If you are dragging in excess of 4 degrees of weather helm then you are sailing with your parking brake on and that is unhealthy. Given the aft center pf pressure of the typical mizzen it's not unusual for the mizzen to need reefing when the wind exceeds, say 20 apparent, maybe 18 aws for a smaller ketch, just to keep the ketch well balanced. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It's just a function of having that sail area so far aft.

I know I keep repeating this but once again I'll say, it's dangerous to generalize too much. There are great ketches and poor ketches. The Tayana 37 ketch was a far better sailing boat than the cutter version. Much better balanced and better boat speed a s a result. Surprised th hell out of me. But they sold 570 cutters and only 30 ketches ( approx) so go figure.
fujijohn and WanderingStar like this.

Please visit my blog. It's fun to read.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Bob's Blog ....

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Please also visit my new web site
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bobperry is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #44 of 46 Old 09-25-2012
Senior Member
mikehoyt's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 687
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 17
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Increasing backstay tension induces controlled mast bend, which flattens the mainsail and opens the leech of the sail.

Was reading thru this old thread and noted the above comment that was discussing Fractional rigged vessels. I have always wondered how bending the mast can both flatten the sail and open the leech at the same time. Does not opening the leech imply twisting the sail somewhat?

Thanks for the great explanation but this question has always nagged at me



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
mikehoyt is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #45 of 46 Old 09-27-2012
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 2,174
Thanks: 8
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Randy, I'm not sure what your friend did. I also adjust the mizzen for balance. I think as long as it is drawing it adds speed. Certainly she is slower without it, and under certain conditions she will sail under mizzen alone. When I sail to anchor, I free the main and staysail. In a light breeze she'll continue to close reach under the mizzen. At times she'll sail up if anchored with the mizzen set. I like the flexibility of my ketch.
WanderingStar is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #46 of 46 Old 04-25-2017
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 28
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Re: Jeff

Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
Good read thanks...
As evidenced by your avatar, both sailboats and ladies' swimwear should both be "ketch rigged" and for the same reason.

In all seriousness though... with an n of about 3 it appears as if some of production boats available as both ketch and sloop rigs have identically sized main masts...which seems to eliminate the "lower center of force"/"smaller sails"/"bridge" clearance argument?

Last edited by Movingrightalong...; 04-25-2017 at 01:43 PM.
Movingrightalong... is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

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:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


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
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New to Sailing, please Help =) xyris Learning to Sail 19 11-17-2008 08:30 AM
My First Boat...Boat Term Question... Kacper General Discussion (sailing related) 38 09-23-2008 06:52 PM
Ketch/Yawl Handling svsymphony Seamanship & Navigation 19 07-05-2008 01:19 AM
Ketch vs. Sloop for 1st Boat chappyonice Boat Review and Purchase Forum 15 01-12-2007 11:43 AM
Yawl Info Needed sailortonyb1 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 5 01-18-2006 04:51 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome