A Ketch into a Cutter...or not - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 04-27-2014
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A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

The Admiral is not scoffing anymore anytime I'm talking about "upgrading", even starting to join in looking at options....

I've always been partial to the Bayfields or Cabo Rico's, but as it happens, the ones I can afford are all ketch rigged.

Looking at the amount of rigging on a ketch and considering we will mostly sail shorthanded, what are the options to remove the Mizzen, turning the boat into a Cutter? (it looks like one can get lost between all the riging....)
How will this affect handling? Cause major weather-helm issues?
Any mods needed to the main? Maybe extending the boom?

Or, am I looking at this wrong, does the ketch provide better options with the various sail configurations and should I not mess with a good thing...
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Old 04-27-2014
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Re: A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

Why mess with a good thing? It will change the balance and you may even have to shift the mast, or at least extend the main. The ketch sails are easy to balance and handle.
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Old 04-27-2014
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Re: A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

Personally, i like sailing a ketch rig, especially when short/single handed. Lots of options and very managable sails.
In my opinion its best to consider the mizzen a steering/balance sail than a driving sail.

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Old 04-27-2014
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Re: A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

If you aren't looking forward to the complexity, cost, and maintenance of a second mast, boom, etc., then you might want to look harder at the cutters that are already out there.

I totally LOVE my furler staysail!
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Old 04-27-2014
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Re: A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

I'd rather handle the mizzen from the cockpit, than have to go up and deal with the staysail in rough weather. With a ketch rig; a short handed crew can sail jib and mizzen anytime the wind picks up. As others have said; the ketch balances nicely. You might lose a few degrees of pointing into the wind, but the ease of sail handling and variety of sail plan makes the ketch a winner for cruising.
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Old 04-27-2014
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Re: A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

youd be eliminating one of the many benefits of a ketch rig

better sail sizes for sailing shorthanded, being smaller for a given boat size they are easier

sail configuration options

in heavy weather you can drop the main and have a mizzen and jib setup that will be perfectly balanced

using a reefed mizzen in rolly angorages as a riding sail

etc etc etc etc etc

I loved sailing my ketch

I also in really heavy downwind sailing loved dropiing the jib and mizzen and simply run the main...being twin stayed aft and heavily supported I could sail like this in very heavy winds and quite comfortably

on my old h28 ketch I did my best run of around 175 miles in a day this way

my fastest speed on the boat was this way too around 13 knots full main up blasting down rollers in 35 knots...it was a thrill ride! completely awesome to be in!

anywhoo
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Old 04-27-2014
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Re: A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

forgot to mention the biggest issue with eliminating ketch or twin mast rigs(some yawls can be mande into sloops or cutters easily)

for example a pearson triton

is MAST placement

it will be too far forward on 99 percent of ketches if you eliminate the mizzen...
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Re: A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

To do it right would involve moving the mast back, as a cutter is more than just a sloop with two for sails. Even on a deck stepped mast that is not going to be easy. Most ketches will have the mast quite forward. Also may need to replace the mast to get enough sail area, depending on the boat. Better to live with it, and learn to use it to your advantage. Depending on the rig you might be able to convert to a Sloop by adding a new longer boom.
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Old 04-27-2014
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Re: A Ketch into a Cutter...or not

A ketch may look extremely complex to somebody who has never sailed one.. but they are your friend for sailing short handed. All the answers above are very rue.
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