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Sat, June 15 2024, 15:31Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 123456[7]89 ]

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Date Posted: - Monday - 01/14/08 - 7:46am
Author: Mike Anthony
Subject: sailing a ketch
In reply to: matts djos 's message, "Seeking information: nuances of a ketch rig--advantages and problems" on - Saturday - 12/29/07 - 7:39pm


Outstanding post. I love my ketch, and would not trade it. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

It is hard to think about sailing with the 8" of snow we received last night. And it is still snowing.

Fair Winds
Mike & Paula
S/V Tivoli

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[> ketch rig advantages -- ian mcgehee, - Tuesday - 01/15/08 - 5:07am

Randall's post covers the subject well; just wanted to elaborate on a couple of points-

besides the extra sail combinations that the ketch rig allows, the fact that it can carry the same amount of sail area as a single mast but in a lower aspect ratio rig is a *huge* advantage in heavy weather, and probably the reason why it is associated so often with cruising boats...the tradeoff in efficiency vs. a sloop or cutter is well worth the added stability of the shorter rig and decreased inertia created by weight aloft.

As for helm peculiarities, it's a double edged sword- in my experience, split rigs in general tend to have the issue Randall reports with quartering winds, no doubt due to the wind's forces on the rig being spread out farther away from the boat's center of lateral resistance compared to a sloop, creating more leverage that can negatively affect handling. Of the most common split rigs the ketch is the most forgiving; schooners can get *really* squirelly and unforgiving in quartering winds, and yawls tend to either have tiny mizzens that don't do much, or large ones that due to their location aft of the rudder post create even more leverage problems than in a ketch.

...but the flip side of this issue is that with that added leverage, the ketch can also track more evenly than a single masted rig on other points of sail (like a car with a long wheelbase) and minor adjustments in the jib and mizzen can be used to steer the boat...which can be just a fun thing to do to hone your sailing skills, or can be a lifesaver in situations where you lose your primary steering gear or even the entire rudder.

And combined with a tiller and a bungee cord, the mizzen can also be used to rig up a rudimentary but effective self-steering setup without compromising the rig's efficiency as much as the same thing would on a sloop or cutter rigged boat, and on a broader range of points of sail.

The last two points obviously add to the rig's suitability for cruising...but another factor has nothing to do with sailing- a ketch has all kinds of booms and rigging spread all over the place that can be used to support awnings and other in-port gear, haul up dinghies, etc. and the mizzen can be used with either a specialized canvas or the reefed mizzen sail itself to help the boat track with the wind while swinging on a single anchor when there is a cross current.

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