- October 21, 2019 at 6:52 am#40965Astrid PallmeHelmsman@akpsolkyst
I’m currently weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a ketch rig versus a cutter. While I like having more sail plan options that a ketch offers, I’m concerned about maintaining the rig with the second mast and a tendency for tacking to be a challenge (although this could also be related to the keel form which is typically a full keel on the examples I’m interested in). Would you say the pros of a ketch outweigh the cons?October 21, 2019 at 10:39 am#40985JamieSkipper@jamie-ftb
If there is one reason not to go for a ketch then you’ve just hit the nail on the head, Astrid. Whilst we love our ketch for all the reasons you’re already aware of, the single biggest issue is re-rigging. You can expect to double the budget to re-rig a ketch. It’s something we didn’t consider when we purchased Esper so when it came to re-rig back in Turkey it was a bit of a shock. Of course this is only required once every ten years (according to most insurance companies – some may be happy with a riggers report) so as long as you budget for this then it isn’t so painful.
There are ways of reducing this cost – going for swagged terminals instead of Norseman-type fittings. These fittings can be expensive and despite the fact they’re marketed as ‘reusable’, most riggers will tell you that even the Norseman fittings will distort over time and will therefore need to be replaced. Other factors come into it, like the type of steel you’re using. One quote we received in Malaysia had a price difference of £1,000 depending on whether we went for Chinese cable or Korean.
As for tacking, that’s not really been a concern. The mizzen takes care of itself and because it’s relatively small we just centre it before concentrating on the other sails as per a sloop. The staysail is also small enough to not worry about. We can sheet it off in seconds and return to it once we’ve dealt with the main and fore.
If you can factor in the extra cost of rigging then I would still recommend a ketch over a sloop, but that’s purely personal. A ketch was never really on my list of requirements but having got so used to one now I can’t imagine not sailing with that extra mast. We frequently sail with mizzen and fore only, especially when the weather is temperamental.
Peace and fair winds!October 23, 2019 at 4:58 pm#41096LizAdmiral@liz-cleere
I’m currently weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a ketch rig versus a cutter.
Just to add to what Jamie says, there is more work with a ketch than a slopp which can make solo sailing more intense. If you add in a cutter rig than that’s four sails for one crew member. SY Esper has in-mast furling which reduces some of the work. To reduce the work and rigging costs even further you could go for a sloop and single foresail!
Peace and fair winds!October 25, 2019 at 6:59 am#41190Brendan TourelleDeckhand@sailability
Just to throw a cat among pigeons. I prefer a catamaran any day, better stability for a wheelchair!
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