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Old 08-11-2010
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Flaking a Mizzen

Hello,

I am currently shopping around for a boat - I am quite a ways off from an actual purchase - and I have been looking at ketch boats because of the advantages a ketch plan affords.

However, I have never sailed a ketch before. I am curious - how do you properly flake and tie a mizzen with half the sail sticking off the stern? I imagine that doing so at sea could be fairly hazardous and present issues with MOB.

Thanks!

zboss
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Old 08-11-2010
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Having never sailed, owned, or been within 2,000 feet of a ketch, I'll go ahead and proffer my dangerously unqualified and amateur opinion ...

Lazy jacks would probably help in this area. In-mast or on-mast roller furling would also make it easier, but that's a whole other can of worms.

But I'll be anxious to hear what others have to say on the matter.
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Old 08-11-2010
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I think you mean a yawl with the mast aft of the rudder post. Most of the ketch that I have seen, do not have their masts hanging over the transom.
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Old 08-11-2010
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Having sailed on quite a few ketches, the mizzen boom generally does overhand the transom but there is often a boomkin (aft facing bowsprit) to balance on while reefing or flaking the sail.

The fact that it is hard to properly stay a mizzen mast, and it is hard to flake or handle or get a proper sheet lead angles on a mizzen sail, is one of the reasons that the Ketch rig is largely a anachronistic sail plan, which retains almost no real advantages in a world where better hardware, materials and methods allow more efficient and easily handled rigs.

Jeff
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Old 08-11-2010
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I do well with my ketch, but I concede that the former advantages of the split rig are no longer applicable with the sail tending opportunities of modern rigs. One advantage, howeverr, is retianed,- I frequently pass under 55' fixed bridges....Cape May, Marco Island, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.....that give me access unavailable for a sloop of my LOA. As for the ending of the mizzen, I have full access to all of my mizzen boom on deck. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-11-2010
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That's actually the reason...

I am looking at ketch rigs. I want the option of a larger over-all boat but want lots of room for a mast to under bridges.

I do understand that cutters and sloops have significant advantages as well.

I was looking at the following boat - which brought my question to light - it says it is a ketch.

37' Endeavour PLAN A KETCH Photo 1 photo
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Old 08-11-2010
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Looks like she has a stack-pack to flake the sail without you having to go any further aft than the stern rail.
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My Mom lived aboard and cruised an Endeavour 37 sloop which I thought had one of the worst motions that I ever experienced in my life. Build quality was not too great either. They sold that boat pretty quickly and moved onto a brand new Endeavour 40, which was a nice boat in most ways but which also had whole range of build-quality issues, some minor some not so. The Endeavour 37 was a good case of a boat which never should have been built as a ketch as the Ketch rig exacerbated almost every issue that we had with the sailing ability and motion comfort of the sloop.

Jeff
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Old 08-11-2010
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Good to know Jeff! Thanks.

I did see that the particular boat had a stack-pack but I have seen quite a few that don't. So, I still have to wonder how safe would it be under adverse conditions. Worrying about TWO sails, one of which is further aft than I would feel comfortable flaking while preparing for a gale.

I guess the trick is to assume you would have a stack-pack, so that would be an item to add to the 'purchase' or built list. I just picked up the latest copy of "this old boat" and they have some instructional material for building your own.
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Old 08-11-2010
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I cruised for 7 years on a 38 foot ketch on the transatlantic circuit. I can not ever remember having to drop the mizzen at sea. It was always the first up and the last down at anchor. it was never a worry to flake I think maybe a foot of boom sticking out the back.

Although it is clearly a less efficient rig esp to windward, reaching between the Windwards and Leewards was a joy. If it got snotty the option to drop the main and continue under headsail and mizzzen gave me a balanced boat.
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