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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-25-2017 01:37 PM
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?
09-27-2012 10:43 AM
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.
09-25-2012 10:50 AM
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

09-25-2012 10:11 AM
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.
09-25-2012 09:36 AM
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..
09-21-2012 06:30 PM
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.
08-26-2012 08:33 AM
Ketch vs Sloop?

I enjoyed reading this thread. I would like to add another variable: the free standing mast cat ketch.

I find the free standing mast cat ketch to be very easy for the solo sailor.

No winches, and self tacking sail design is simple when tacking.

No additional hardware such as shrouds and buckles..Etc

Only two lines are on the cockpit

Mizzen boom is half wishbone with loose footed sail.. If one stood at 10 feet one may get hit in the head on a gybe.

Halsey Herreshoff designed cat ketch made by John Newton produced a boat with many considerations regarding safety.

There are many many considerations for selecting a boat, and this thread has provided arguments for those considerations. We regard performance based on the values we deem important:



I find this thread educating and look to sail on as many different sail boats to further my learning.

Thank you fellow sailors for a very enriched thread.
08-01-2012 12:31 PM
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Sometimes the best reason to own a ketch is the fact that you like ketches.
I'm not sure any objective argument beyond that works with today's gear.

I think Jeff has done a great and accurate job of laying out the design considerations.
08-01-2012 09:53 AM
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Wow this thread has some great info and a great back and forth about sloops and ketch rigs. I was just offered a Sabre 28 ketch that is sitting in a friend of a friends back yard for free (I know, there is no such thing). Although after reading this thread I'm thinking that even if the boat is in good shape I may steet clear anyway. The points made about extra cost for more rigging and cluttering up the cockpit have me thinking. As much as I do love the look of a ketch I'm not prepaired to add thousands to my inital expenses for lines, shrouds, etc. I would think that for the price of the extra rigging and other work that it will need (been sitting for 8 years in a backyard under a tree...) I might as well buy something for 10,000 that is ready to sail... I've had my share of project boats and I think I'm over it.
07-27-2012 10:28 AM
Re: Ketch vs Sloop?

Right after college, I had a job working for a Clipper Marine dealer. My job was assembling and prepping new boats for customers and taking the new owners for introductory sails and sea trials, which sometimes also meant moonlighting doing sailing instruction. I also performed warrantee work on these boats. Consequently, I had a chance to talk to Bill Crealock about the Clippers. His opinion of the clippers was interesting, but not what I would categorize as proud of what Clipper did to his designs.

But like I said many times before, and as you have clearly demonstrated, we each pick our boats for reasons which make sense to us and our circumstance, and justify them to ourselves on that basis.

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