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Thread: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    That's gonna need to be a request from the library. Fetching more than $100 where it can be found!
    If you make an account at archive.org you can borrow it here for one hour at a time: https://archive.org/details/103saili...0bolg/mode/2up

    Screenshot any interesting parts, or you could probably screenshot the entire thing pretty quickly too.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Interesting. When I start down the road of choosing a design, it will be a fun exercise to pick a historic type, and see what the 'modern' equivalent might be.
    On the other hand, just talked with the owner of RUTH ( see above pic). He put a standing lug on the main mast and soloed her from Maine to Yarmouth Nova Scotia this summer. He was allowed to stay for 48 hours then had to come home.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Jeff - that’s awesome! I’ll definitely find a free hour. How neat!

    Ben - that’s darn neat. Just a standing lug on the main alone, or did he keep the mizzen? I’ve admired RUTH for years. Always looked like a capable boat.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    ... you made great points in the other thread. Especially about the mizzen on Alaska being too far forward to cock the boat head to wind and the cramped helm. But man… but the reefing plan wasn’t as clear until you posted that page from the plans. Holy cow! That particular ketch rig wouldn’t be suitable for single-handed sailing.
    R
    I learned how to heave to and reef my Alaska many years ago and I've been single-handing the rig for 16 seasons now. It becomes second nature after some practice and experimentation, like most everything else. Nothing to shy away from.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Darroch! Great to see you posting here--I thought you had faded into WBF oblivion with the rest of the PNW sail & oar crew. Cheers,

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  6. #41
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?



    Tad Roberts Tern 24' exploration ketch.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    That boat has been on my ‘watch list’ for years. Bigger than I intend to eventually build, and I’m not sure it’s set up to sail singlehanded. But man, it really does it for me. Have any others been built to the plans?

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Jeff - that’s awesome! I’ll definitely find a free hour. How neat!

    Ben - that’s darn neat. Just a standing lug on the main alone, or did he keep the mizzen? I’ve admired RUTH for years. Always looked like a capable boat.
    Kept the mizzen of course. This is how Tom Jackson rigged his Nomans Land Boat.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Darroch! Great to see you posting here--I thought you had faded into WBF oblivion
    Well, I would but I feel duty-bound to provide at least a glimmer of hope to prospective Alaska sailors.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by darroch View Post
    Well, I would but I feel duty-bound to provide at least a glimmer of hope to prospective Alaska sailors.
    Better start posting more videos, then! (FYI, I love my Alaska--I'm just too lazy to want a mizzen).
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 09-29-2021 at 06:22 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  11. #46
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Versatility in all weathers, multiple sail plan including mizzen staysail, jib and foremast staysail, main + mizzen both deep reefable... down to a teeny stormsail when it gets rough. Sail areas that are split into smaller parts are by definition easier to handle also.
    And to that list I would add brailing, both mizzen and main on boomless or sprit-boomed sails of any size. There is a fantastic video somewhere of a large wooden ketch sailing up a loch with the mizzen brailed going like a freight train. I've found it extremely useful on my own boat in many different situations. It is a very quick, deep reef that does not flog going to weather or running and is quick to release to either heave to and reef the main or to instantly increase the sail area when conditions are more settled.
    In moderate conditions some of the operations can be done on the fly.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Thanks for joining in, darroch. I’d love to know more about your experience with the Alaska. Is yours rigged as drawn?

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Thanks for joining in, darroch. I’d love to know more about your experience with the Alaska. Is yours rigged as drawn?
    Thank you for asking. Yes, mine is rigged as drawn, with a few tweaks, and built as designed. Fear of failure in my case resulted in close adherence to the designer's recommendations.
    Sticking to the theme of this thread, I'll address your concerns about the handiness and safety of the rig and the reefing sequence in general first.

    A hypothetical - but not fictitious - sailing scenario might be helpful to visualize what I'm trying to convey. Keep in mind we're dealing with an 800 pound displacement which includes about a hundred pounds of water ballast in five ten-litre bladders of fresh water when daysailing and two ten-litre bladders of fresh water and maybe 60 pounds of food and gear for a five-day trip. The boat itself all up with 50 pounds of ground tackle is about 500 pounds. She can easily accommodate another adult but for a single-handed weeklong cruise 800 pounds is about right.

    So you set out early in the morning in very light air with both main and mizzen set (85 + 49 sq ft = 134 sq ft total). Your immediate destination is the mouth of the harbour five nautical miles to windward. You know that in light air and a mild sea state you can tack your way there in two hours or get there in two hours rowing under the same conditions. You save your strength for the inevitable windless hours and choose instead the challenge of sailing in light air and changing currents. Your time of departure coincides with the last hours of the ebb to reach the harbour entrance at slack, which in your rookie mind means calm water. That's a whole other story.

    In half an hour the wind pipes up to about 12 knots apparent and the first whitecaps appear. You tuck the first reef in the mizzen. You have to drop the mizzen to reef but you can ease the main and keep jogging to windward while you do it. You re-set the reefed mizzen and carry on.

    As you get closer to the harbour entrance the chop becomes significantly worse and you need to slow down to keep the bow from crashing and yourself from being propelled into the sea. You have a couple of options at this point: you could brail the reefed mizzen, threreby reducing the sail area by 33 sq ft and carry on with the full main, or heave to and put the first and/or second reef in the main. You choose the second option because you're now in a very uncomfortable 3 - 4 foot chop/slop. You heave to and put both reefs in the main. You don't sheet the mizzen in tight or lash the tiller while tucking the reefs in the main - the mizzen is self-tacking and in a chop the rudder gets pushed from side to side - just let it do its thing while reefing the main. Your weight forward will keep her head to wind.

    Now re-hoist the double-reefed main. You now have 59 in the main and 33 in the mizzen - a bit more than the full main alone but you know from experience you can feather the mizzen as a temporary tactic if necessary. It doesn't work in the scenario at hand - you need to really slow down - so you head up a bit, brail the mizzen and jog along at a knot or two under complete control and contemplate the next move. Calm descends. You wedge yourself in by sitting on the windward drybag which contains your clothing only (obvious but important detail) and relax your guts, which by now are twisted in knots. Now you can gauge how much more of this you're willing to endure on this particular day. This is so comfortable after all that bashing around that you keep it going for a while to fully appreciate the experience and you find, amazingly, that there is enough pressure on the brailed mizzen to keep her head to windward even though you only have 59 sq ft up. The wind is still light. You're reefing for the sea state, not the wind. You should be falling off but somehow you're able to "pinch" and steer around some of the bigger lumps. It was a big revelation to me at the time.

    When conditions change and the sea state is more friendly you can reverse the process and carry on. Un-brail the reefed mizzen and immediately add 33 sq ft of sail to the 59 in the main. When the wind has eased even more, heave to with the reefed mizzen and untie the reef(s) in the main. The final step is to untie the reef in the mizzen. With practice this can be done on the fly. Now you're back to full sail.

    Suddenly a strong gust hits you so you head up and brail the mizzen once again.

    After some time an even stronger gust comes along which requires an immediate response - you head up, grab the double mainsheet and walk it forward, spilling wind as you go. You could brail the main by securing the sheet at the base of the mast but in this case you need to get the sail down quickly. Don't release the downhaul - it will keep the sail from flying up and the pressure will help the sail and yard down. Throw the drogue over the bow and drop the mizzen if heaving-to is unwise or uncomfortable.

    This all sounds very dramatic as I read it back but keep in mind most days you're dealing with 10 - 20 knots apparent wind and often a not-so-confused sea state. No need to shift the mizzen to the middle position until you're well over 20 knots. With its long luff it performs very well to windward. I've been out in very strong wind on protected water in this configuration and it performed beautifully - though very wet with the fine spray being generated. I bought my wetsuit after that day.

    Knowing you can reduce sail quickly inspires a lot of confidence in the rig. As I said before, the technical aspects need to be worked out and practised but once you're comfortable with the process of heaving to and tying in the reefs you can just relax and get the job done with little fuss.

    Having said all that, in the beginning I had no idea how to make the boat go in light air nor how to control it in stronger conditions. For a beginner I would advise a cautious approach. Strike the main and step the mizzen in the middle when you start to feel uncomfortable. I have a dedicated downhaul for that position permanently set up leading aft. I use bronze snaphooks on the halyards, downhauls and sheets for a quick transition. Keep in mind that you can stop the boat while doing any of these things if you're unpracticed by throwing a drogue over the bow or dropping or buoying an anchor. As you gain confidence and skill you can introduce the other sequences.

    There are other scenarios in mind, of course, and various things I've discovered accidently by experimentation but I'll end this rather long-winded response here.

    By the way, you're correct about sailing with unskilled crew - it's far more dangerous than single handing. I try to curb my enthusiasm when someone else is along. With this boat you have the option of going out by yourself to get your manly on one day and taking your grandson out trout fishing on a quiet lake the next.
    Last edited by darroch; 10-05-2021 at 03:03 PM. Reason: clarification

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    I’ll write more when I can but wanted to say ‘thank you’. That was excellent!!

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    [QUOTE=WI-Tom;6533821] (FYI, I love my Alaska. /QUOTE]

    I know you do, Tom.
    It's just you and me now, waiting for Godot.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    This thread may be dead
    It is true
    But for the sake of completion
    At the risk of deletion
    I’ll post some more pictures
    For you.

    REEFED BRAILED MIZZEN.jpg

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    darroch... sorry for my slow reply. I just went back and reread your scenario. It's obvious that you've become familiar and confident in your boat's rig... and I retract my initial reaction to the reef schedule for Alaska. Does everything stay essentially balanced while changing sail area between main and mizzen? Is there a combination that just doesn't seem to work?

    I'm about to start in on a traditional flatiron/sharpie build and have been mulling over the sail plan options. Who knew there were so many traditional rigs associated with these flat bottom boats and that there could be quite a bit of variation in the basic leg-o'-mutton? Right now I'm leaning heavily to a ketch with a third mast step. Still a lot to consider, but I'm feeling confident about my direction.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    That "hove to" illustration in #6...
    has anyone ever put a sail up backwards like that ? With the leech facing forward?
    I cannot imagine that working out

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    I retract my initial reaction to the reef schedule for Alaska.
    Gracious of you to say so. I appreciate it.

    I'm not sure about your other question. Do you have a scenario in mind?

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    During reefing, is there a combination of reduced mizzen and/or main that creates undue weather- or lee-helm?

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Yes, and I believe I’ve discovered almost all of them.

    My go-to setup for all points of sail is similar to what I described earlier for windward work. I start with a reefed mizzen when I see whitecaps and go from there. Running or reaching I might need to brail that reefed mizzen (fickle wind or gusts or sea state) and reef the main but I can always release the brail and gain that extra 33 sq ft. That’s a big jump either way. Often the wind will increase suddenly and then abate just as quickly. It’s easier to brail rather than reef every time that happens.
    The boat is very fast off the wind and I’m content sailing at 5 or 6 knots under control, especially in cold water. The brailed mizzen just streams forward when running. If it ever started flogging I would strike it. Raising the daggerboard in combination with everything else usually balances her nicely.

    I’ve read through your other sharpie thread. Your proposed hull will obviously be very different from the Alaska’s. I would be interested to know how their behaviours might compare under similar rigs.

    BRAILED MIZZEN RUNNING.jpg

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    I spent a summer in my 20s leading sailing trips on the Maine coast in a Mackinaw boat (named "Guillemot") with a gaff-ketch rig. I loved it! She was 27' on deck and did have a double sheeted main as someone suggested earlier.

    The ketch rig is so versatile. Sometimes in a blow we'd sail under jib and mizzen, or reef one sail or the other depending on our point of sail. I guess the mizzen mast was somewhat centrally located, but that boat was just big enough that it didn't really occur to me that it was in the way. Plus, there were 6 teenagers and 3 weeks worth of everyone's camping gear everywhere, so the mast was the least of our clutter concerns.

    On those trips, the Mackinaw boat sailed with a Crotch Island Pinky that had a sprit-ketch rig. Without the jib out front, the Pinky was more challenging to balance, and the big sprit on the main was very difficult and even dangerous to manage in emergency situations (big seas, high winds, scared, unskilled small people on board). It takes some muscle to handle. I think they eventually converted the Pinky to a gaff rig as well for that reason.

    Do a search for Chewonki Mackinaw Boat or Chewonki Mariners and you'll find some photos. They sold the boats a few years ago after their insurance insisted on having a licensed captain on board each boat, which made the program financially nonviable. Too bad. It was one of the great joys in my life.

    Guillemot.jpg

    Guillemot sailing to Anchor.jpg

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    A very excellent book about ketches is Vincent Gilpin's "The Good Little Ship". He discusses the rigs and hulls of Ralph Munroe, who knew as much about ketches as anyone ever has, and whose designs evolved from working craft. Our own Drake III, which we've sailed for 22 seasons, is very similar.

    IMG_9199 sm.jpg

    One thing I've learned is that a ketch is not just a sloop with another mast ahead of the rudder post. The main should be mounted as far forward as the shrouds allow, and thus the mizzen can be big enough and forward enough to be a driving sail, not just a trim sail.

    There are criticisms of the ketch rig where it is stated that when close-hauled the flow off the main interferes with the mizzen, back-winding it. That's what happens when the mainmast is not far enough forward. On Drake it doesn't happen unless the main is sheeted bar-tight to the center of the boat, and we don't sail it that way.

    I love the ketch rig, and would never choose a single-stick rig again.

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    and thus the mizzen can be big enough and forward enough to be a driving sail, not just a trim sail..
    And, if big enough, even on smaller boats mizzens can be drivers in their own right at times, and with some imagination the second mast can serve other purposes.

    With only the mizzen set, the slightest breeze aft or abeam will help you along when rowing solo in what I call ‘hopeful mode’. This is usually accompanied by whistling in an indifferently sly attempt to outwit and conjure the fickle breezes that tantalize and torture.

    The main can be brailed or struck on deck or left with the halyard and downhaul snapped on, ready to hoist.
    Tiller lines running aft to the quarter blocks and spliced around the tiller can be taken in hand in a puff and a foot on either line will keep it centred while row/sailing.

    On hot, windless, sunny summer days on protected water the awning provides much-needed shade and offers some shelter from the elements on the colder, windless and wet days. It’s surprising how much physical and psychological comfort can be derived from such rudimentary shelter.

    One day, while I busied myself with Very Important Nautical Observations and Calculations (VINOCs) my guest ‘volunteered’ to row with the awning and mizzen set up as shown. Luckily, after a few hours the breeze began to fill in just in time to avert a mutiny.
    Pulling a half-ton* boat is hard work. Good captains are considerate.

    MUTINY.jpg

    * referring to Alaska's displacement of 1100 pounds
    Last edited by darroch; 10-30-2021 at 03:36 PM.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Half-ton boat? Did you build your Alaska out of lead?

    I figure mine at around 300 lbs empty, maybe 350. Then again, fully loaded and with two adults on board, it might be pushing toward half a ton after all.

    I admire your set-up a lot. I'm just too lazy to emulate it. When the crew of my boat gets mutinous I just send him overboard for a long swim. Easier to do on solo trips, admittedly.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post

    I admire your set-up a lot. I'm just too lazy to emulate it.
    We understand your position.

    Among other things, that post was offered as a possible incentive for those who need to get their significant other on board, so to speak. ‘Look honey, you can just lie around in the shade while I drive the boat.’

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Reactions to various parts of the thread above:
    Logically the fore and aft placement of the effort of the sails needs to be balanced with the underbody of the boat, so ketch or yawl would be a question posed about the boat not on aesthetic or handling terms. However, not everything obeys logic. I am aware of the hull of the Chapelle "Western Lakes Mackinaw" being rigged as a schooner, (Serang) and they sailed with a row of holes for pins to fix the tiller in place while they drank beer. The hull has also been rigged per the Chapelle drawings as a ketch, and my calculations for this show the theoretical lead of the CE forward of the CLR in about 3%. The one built for the Chewonki camp in Maine ended up cutting down the mizzen to the first reef point because there was always too much weather helm. This clearly shows an opposite balance issue between the two nearly-identical hulls, but it doesn't make sense, a schooner has more sail aft and should have more weather helm for the same underbody. In my own iteration, I used a smaller mizzen and have a theoretical lead of 10%, and it balances well with all sail up. However, I have learned to get the mizzen down at least two reefs before I touch the main, and I often sail with full main and no mizzen. I have also learned that it doesn't go worth a darn Jib & Jigger, and I need to keep the jib no matter what or I will be hauling 30# on a 6' tiller to keep the bow down: The jib exerts a force much out of proportion to it's size.

    SailPlan-2-27-19.jpg

    Ken
    Last edited by kbowen; 11-02-2021 at 01:12 AM. Reason: add photo

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    IMG20200523093628.jpg

    A Wing, and a schooner's Wing and Rigging, can be replaced by a column of Air that rotates and interacts with the wind

    A Wing does four things with the wind: (1) deflect the wind upward (= "UpWash") (2) deflect the wind downward (= "DownWash") (3) speed up the wind and (4) slow down the wind

    In the case of a sailboat this drawing would be viewed from above

    On a schooner, putting more cloth at the stern increases the "UpWash"

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Ludwig Prandtl ...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Prandtl

    and Max Michael Munk ...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Munk

    engendered a Theory of great Elegance

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elegance

  30. #65
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Cam-Scanner-11-02-2021-12-13.jpg

    Balance

    Hydro Forces

    Munk_1: Leeway, Max Michael Munk's Moment
    Munk_2: Heel, Max Michael Munk's Moment

    K: Keel
    R: Rudder

    Aero Forces

    D: Drive
    L: Lateral

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?


  32. #67
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Nice

    Beauty for beauty's sake


  33. #68
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    I thought I’d start a topic to gather any and all practical experience forum members might have specifically with traditional ketch rigs. The trend in modern two-masted boats seems to be for lug-rigged yawls, and I do appreciate their advantages. I’m just interested in learning about experiences with ketches for family daysailing or camp cruising.
    Another advantage to a ‘big’ split rig is the generous sailplan, as mentioned. Even a smaller cat-ketch can carry enough sail on two masts to qualify as a practical light air rig. Ghosting may be an acquired taste, but you don’t have to be approaching your dotage to appreciate shipping the oars a bit sooner.


  34. #69
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    Ryan, you need this book. It used to be available from our hosts.

    Attachment 95277
    I was able to find a library copy. I haven't gone cover-to-cover, but so far I have found scant (and somewhat condescending) treatment of the issue of overlapping sails and the so-called "slot" effect. This seems conspicuous in absence given how common it was in two masted rigs.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Ketches - Practical Modern Recreational Use?

    Ghosting is a minor art form well worth study, and thoroughly enjoyable.

    CA531669-F092-4FDF-B7C3-C281996442FA.jpg

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