15 Surprising Benefits of a Ketch Rig (and 7 Cons)

If you're trying to figure out whether the ketch rig is for you, there are a couple of important factors to consider. In this article, I'll sum up the most important benefits.

What are the benefits of a ketch rig? Since the sail area is divided over multiple sails, the ketch is more easily managed and is great for single-handed sailing. It offers more versatility in sail plan, and is known to handle very well in heavy winds. The ketch rig is an especially effective rig for larger boats (40ft and up).

Just a quick recap: the ketch is a two-masted sailboat that has a mainmast (front) and shorter mizzenmast (aft or back). Both masts carry a mainsail. The sail on the mizzenmast is also called the jigger.

Your mizzensail provides all kinds of benefits. There are some really creative ways to put your mizzenmast to use. Read on to learn what those are.

ketch rigged sailboats

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The ideal rig for long-distance offshore cruising, ketches generally perform better in downwind conditions, smaller sails are easier to manage, easier reefing, using multiple sails allows for more control, more versatile sail plan options, you gain a spare sail, more balanced sailing, superior sail plan in heavy winds, comfort over speed, less stress on the rigging, variety of mizzenmast uses, the air rudder, free riding sail at anchor, incredibly fast in right conditions, disadvantages of the ketch rig, in conclusion.

All in all, the ketch rig is widely known as one of the best rigs for long-distance cruising . There are multiple reasons to back up that claim, and we'll go over all of them one by one below. But the most important reason is that the ketch is incredibly comfortable, both in handling, maneuvering, operating, and the ride itself. This increased comfort is largely thanks to the extra sail aft, the mizzensail, which provides a better power balance.

So who's it for?

The ketch is especially great for long-distance cruisers that face rough waters and heavier winds and are short-handed. For example, couples that want to sail around the world together, or liveaboards that go on long holidays or expeditions. It's also a great family cruiser, since you can sail a larger boat without needing additional crew members or having to operate humongous sails.

While with the Marconi rig the main and jib get in each other's way on downwind runs, the ketch rig has far fewer problems. The mizzensail and mainsail can work together seamlessly and are far more efficient with most points of sail, except of course when sailing very close to the wind. But even then, the Bermuda rig and ketch can go neck-to-neck and the gap in performance isn't necessarily enormous. Unless you're a racer, the ketch is a really good alternative to the Bermuda rig, and most people should at least consider it.

The ketch is a very good single-handed rig, especially for larger boats (40ft and up). Using smaller but more sails allows you to have more sail area, while it's still manageable for one person. Also, smaller sails are easier to handle in heavier winds . Splitting up your sail area is just a great way to keep things in check, even with a small crew of just one or two people.

Because you have more (and mostly smaller) sails, reefing becomes easier. There's less stress on the sails, and you can reef down gradually, in phases, moving through your sails one by one. This ensures comfortable reefing and results in less speed reduction.

Another great tip I've read somewhere is that you can even quickly drop your main when the winds come in. Instantly, you're storm proof, while maintaining speed and course.

The ketch rig has three primary sails instead of two. This provides all kinds of benefits, and there are a couple of really surprising ones, which I'll come to later on. But the most important one is that you gain more control. The mizzensail provides more control over your stern.

Also, with the additional sail, you get a lot more trimming options for all conditions, allowing you more precise control for each point of sail and with any wind.

The extra sail also provides more versatile sail plan options. You have a broader operating range. There are more sails to put up with light airs, but also more sails to take down when things get rough. You can reef in all kinds of different combinations, and even take down the main if you have to. Which brings me to my next point.

This provides A LOT of benefits. For example, if you need to perform maintenance on your main, you can simply take it down, and continue sailing without losing control or a lot of speed. The ketch can sail on all points of wind with the main down (or the mizzen or jib). You have a spare sail, which will come in handy.

The mizzensail has a major upside you just won't get with the Bermuda sloop rig. The mizzensail balances the jib.

Sailing "jib and jigger" means just using your mizzen and jib, and leaving the mainsail down.

I've heard that this sail plan is very well-balanced, and allows you to self steer in a way. You could theoretically even use it as an temporary alternative to your autopilot, should it break down.

Thanks to its more balanced sail plan, the ketch rig is a much more comfortable ride in heavier winds, and many sailors praise the ketch for precisely that. Taking down the mainsail, sailing just the jigger and jib, provides a sort of instant storm sail plan that at the same time offers a lot more control than the single stormsail you'd usually put up on a Bermuda rig instead of the mainsail.

ketch rigged sailboats

I think it's clear by now that the ketch is maybe the ultimate cruising rig. If you value your comfort, the mizzen offers some incredible benefits. The well-balanced output of this rig and the enormous variety in sail trim options allow for a smooth ride in almost all conditions.

However, you do pay a (minor) price for all this luxury: speed. The ketch is inevitably slower than the leaner Bermuda rig. However, on a downwind run, the ketch will still satisfy: there's plenty of sail area to gain some nice momentum.

Reducing sail size means you don't have to put as much stress on the rigging and you could use shorter masts, making them stronger. The difference in mast length isn't huge, but the forces on the mast grow exponentially with length. So a bit shorter mast makes a big difference.

In turn, the stress on the rigging is also reduced, which can lead to less wear, resulting in lower maintenance costs.

Stress on the rigging seems to be the major disadvantage of the Marconi rig.

Another rig that's a bit 'softer' is the gaff rig . The gaff rig is better suited for inland, calm waters instead of long term cruising, but can be another good alternative to the uptight Bermuda. I have written about the advantages of the gaff rig in detail in this article (opens in new tab).

The mizzenmast and sail can act as several things and will be very useful to creative sailors. Some cool examples I've found:

You can use the mizzenmast and sail:

  • Using it as a crane to load and unload cargo
  • Using it as an air rudder
  • Using it as your riding sail at anchor

The mizzen can be a great help in mooring and the likes. Many ketch sailors use the mizzenmast as a type of massive wind rudder, which is a great help when you want extra control under sail. If you learn to use the mizzensail, you gain an additional rudder, which increases control over your stern and can help you maneuver in tight spots.

You can also use the mizzensail as an alternative riding sail at anchor, although it isn't recommended since your sail will wear down due to increased UV exposure.

As I pointed out briefly before, the ketch rig is a bit slower than most Bermuda rigs. However, in the right conditions, it can be incredibly fast, especially with larger boats that run a well-balanced sail plan. If you are able to utilize the additional sail area and find a course with a good point of sail, the ketch rig can really ramp up.

As with anything, there is a price to be paid for all these advantages, and the ketch rig does have some downsides. I thought it would be only fair to touch on them briefly below. However, if you are able to look past these, in my opinion, minor disadvantages, the ketch rig remains a great rig for serious sailors.

They tend to be slower than sloops

The Bermuda rig isn't the most popular rig by chance. It is by far the fastest rig out there.

They can't sail as close to the wind as sloops

Although modern ketches can sail almost as high as sloops, there's a point where sloops are able to go, and ketches can go no further. However, I think that many recreational sailors won't push their rig to its limits, which means the ketch is still a good option to consider.

The mizzenmast takes up space

Extra masts and extra sails do take up additional space, and space is precious on your boat.

Most ketches are old boats

Since it is a less popular rig type, there are fewer ketches made than Bermuda sloops. The apparant result being that ketches tend to be a bit older, and are a bit harder to find.

They will be more expensive

Since there are less available, they will be more expensive - the additional mast and sails will obviously also increase your purchase. And it's my guess that most ketches are owned by people who know pretty well what their boat is worth, so it will be harder to find a good bargain.

Additional rigging

Ketches have a lot of additional rigging you just won't find on your regular Bermuda. An extra mast and main means additional sheets, halyards, stays, and so on.

More or less maintenance cost

I have never owned a ketch and I never had to maintain one, so I just don't know whether a ketch is more or less expensive in maintenance. The additional rigging and sails may drive up the maintenance cost; on the other end, the sails are smaller and maybe won't all need replacing at the same rate, which may reduce maintenance cost. Especially the fact that ketch sailors use their mainsail less will probably be really cost-effective. Also, the reduced stress on the mast and (standing) rigging, may reduce maintenance cost.

If you have more experience or information about the cost of ownership and maintenance cost of ketches, please leave a comment below. I'm always eager to learn.

The ketch is a great rig that provides comfort, versatility, and control while offering acceptable speeds and a large operating range. It's a viable alternative to the Bermuda rig, and is especially interesting for people that want to explore the world's oceans with a small crew. It's easy to handle but will be more expensive initially, although I suspect the maintenance cost of the ketch rig will even itself out.

There you have it, all the advantages and disadvantages of the ketch rig in one neat overview. I hope this was helpful and has provided some insight to help you in deciding whether or not the ketch rig is for you.

Seamus Scanlan

I once owned a “Morgan Giles” barrell built wooden sloop which I sailed in the Gair Loch and the Firth of Clyde: what a lovely wee boat that was ! However, that was some years ago and “Things Conspired” and I lost her … I Perhaps Life has changed for the better and now I dream of owning a “Miller Fifer”30 or 35 foot. She should provide live aboard accommodation, carry me through the canals of Europe and see me challenge the Med. Your article on the advantages of the ketch has has inspired and encouraged me greatly and I am sincerely grateful; thank you so much. Seamus.

Please enjoy a HEALTHY 2021.’

It’s a bit confusing and frustrating that you compare a ketch to a Bermuda. Ketch is a sail PLAN, Bermuda is a sail SHAPE. As is gaff, by the way. That rather beautiful photo you used is a gaff sail ketch rig. It gets confusing to newer sailors and causes a bit of skepticism in your accuracy. Otherwise, a well written article. As an (occasional) author, I’ve found that reading what you’ve written a week or so later in a very different font can dramatically help proofreading. A good friend also can’t hurt.

Fair winds and smooth seas!

I made the newbie mistake of buying a 12m used ketch without a survey as a first boat. It sure seems like it would be neat to have, were I experienced. But lots more reading to do. It seems mine is not just a ketch but I am told it is a cutter ketch because there is a space for a yankee. But I assume that is still expected to be slower than your sloop as referenced above?

in 1976 I purchased a brand new, built-for-me, 35’ Challenger ketch. On April 1, 1977, I moved onto my Challenger, which became her name, with my wife, 8 and 12year old sons who had first sailed the year before in a 1969, used, Cal 29. We lived on the Challenger every year from 1977 until I sold her in 1994. My boys, from day one could sail her in any weather, high or low winds or waves. We all loved her sailing on Lake Ontario, NY and Ontario Canada and the St. Lawrence River and 1000 Island and around Kingston Ontario area for 22 days in 1978 only docking for two nights and at anchor the rest of the time. Challenger, with the sails properly set could sail herself either across or down the lake West to east. My wife would sleep and I would sit up in the bow in the pulpit while she sailed. We oftentimes would fly a big light drifter in light winds and a staysail from the main mast head to the End of the mizzen boom. With 5 sails up we would fly. It was sad to let her go but Florida has lots of shallow water.

I appreciate the article as i am looking and trying to understand all the differences and advantages and disadvantages. have owned sloops and never even though of the different rigs as I felt they may be to complicated. I am to find something for some enjoyable cruising and will most likely always be shorthanded with crewing issues. I also appreciated Rehn comments just to make you think. Thank you! for sharing your thoughts

Gene Rossano

I am Gene. almost 30 years ago I sold my Challenger 35 Ketch that I purchased new in 1976 and had her trucked to Buffalo, NY from California to sail on all of Lake Ontario and into the St Lawrence River and the 1000 islands and some channels and locks and small lakes in Ontario, Canada. My wife and I and 8 and 12-year-old sons moved on her on April 1st 1977 and moved off the Challenger November 1st every year until I sold her in 1994 to move to Florida, the land of miles and miles of very shallow water. We sailed her every week leaving on Thursday or Friday and returning either Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday to head back to our home port of Wilson, NY, or later, St Catherines Marina, located in St Catherines, Ontario Canada. We sailed her in every kind of wind and wave condition that we all felt Challenger could and would take us home safely and well. My wife and my boys helmed her and tended the sails day and night in all conditions with every different sail combination that we possessed.All sails were hanked.

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What Is a Ketch Sailboat?

What Is a Ketch Sailboat? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

August 30, 2022

‍ Ketch sailboats are a common sight in some areas, and they have numerous handling benefits. But what is a ketch, and how does it differ?

A ketch is a two-mast sailboat similar to a yawl. The mainmast is shorter than a sloop, and the mizzenmast aft is shorter than the mainmast. A ketch usually has a triangular mizzen sail and a triangular or square headsail.

In this article, we’ll cover the general characteristics of a ketch and how to distinguish it from other two-masted sailboats. Additionally, we’ll go over the benefits of the ketch rig and how it compares to the similar yawl rig. We’ll also overview the most common types of ketch sailboats on the water today.

We sourced the information used in this article from sailboat identification guides and rig design diagrams.

Table of contents

‍ General Description of a Ketch Sailboat

A ketch is a two-masted sailboat with a tall mizzenmast mast aft of the mainmast. A key characteristic of Ketch sailboats is that their mizzenmast is shorter than the mainmast.

The mainmast itself is typical and resembles a sloop mast. A ketch has a mainsail and one or more headsails on the mainmast, along with a single mizzen on the mizzenmast.

A ketch can easily be mistaken for a yawl, as these vessels have similar sail arrangements. Ketch sailboats can have square or triangular rigs, depending on the age and specific design of the boat.

A gaff headsail is usually accompanied by a triangular mizzen on a ketch, similar to a schooner.

Ketch Sailboat History

The ketch is a relatively old part of the sailing world. Based on the classic yawl design, the ketch was used extensively for workboats on the New England coast at the height of the sailing era.

Ketch sailboats were robust and easy to handle. They also tracked a naturally straight course due to their mizzen, which was used as a primitive form of self-steering. This was helpful for small fishing boats, as the crew didn’t need to attend to the rudder quite so often.

Ketch sailboats continued working the New England coast well into the era of steam. In the mid to late-1800s, ketch-rigged workboats were still a common sight in coastal areas.

Today, they persist as recreational and cruising sailboats, as their tough and stable rigs are still a practical option for boatbuilders.

Types of Ketch Sailboats

There are many types of ketch sailboats on the water. The ketch is not the most common kind of sailboat, but there are enough of them around to notice once in a while. Ketch sailboats were once utility boats, but they’ve been strictly used for recreational and cruising boats for the last 100 years or so.

The most common kind of ketch is the simple cruising ketch. These sailboats are typically made of fiberglass and resemble other cruising sailboats in almost every way.

Their interior accommodations are the same as a comparably-sized sloop, though cockpit space is limited due to the presence of a mizzenmast and rigging.

The ketch rig is a popular choice for motorsailers, especially heavy-displacement versions. The ketch is a stable design with quite a bit of power due to its additional mast, which allows the mainsail and boom footprint to be slightly smaller. The ketch is also highly controllable, which is great for closed-cockpit sailboats.

The ketch rig is also popular on classic sailboats. Specifically, the gaff-rigged ketch is a common sight in some classic boat circles—particularly on the East Coast of the United States. Wooden ketch-rigged boats were outfitted with both traditional square and modern triangular rigs.

There are a few smaller open-cockpit ketch sailboats around, and these are popular for cruising deeper water—but not far from shore. Open cruising ketch sailboats are usually less than 20 feet long and can be found most often around Chesapeake Bay.

Cutter Ketch Rig

A cutter ketch is simply a ketch rig with additional headsails. Because the mast is in the same position as a sloop, the ketch is easy to rig with additional forward sails. A typical cruising ketch can use a wide variety of headsails, including a spinnaker.

Ketch Vs Yawl

The ketch rig is very similar to the yawl, which also has a tall mainmast and an additional mizzenmast and mizzen aft. The yawl is a much older boat that originated in England or Scotland around the 17th century.

The yawl rig usually has a shorter mizzenmast that’s positioned further aft, as the mizzen boom usually extends beyond the stern of the boat. A ketch mizzen is positioned forward, usually a bit larger and more comparable to the size of the mainsail.

Yawl and ketch rigs are both quite stable. A ketch usually has a bit more power due to its larger mizzen, though the yawl is generally considered to be easier for a single person or a short-handed crew to handle.

Ketch Rig Benefits

There are numerous benefits to the ketch rig, especially when compared to tall Marconi/Bermuda rigs. The primary benefit is that, despite the additional mast and rigging, a ketch is exceptionally easy to handle.

A ketch spreads out its sail area between the headsail, mainsail, and mizzen. The additional mast and sail allow the mainmast to be shortened, which naturally makes the boat easier to control single-handed.

Ketch rigs offer additional precision, as you can adjust three sails independently to optimize performance for any given wind condition. The mizzen is in close proximity to the cockpit, and due to its small size, it’s easy to control.

Ketch rigs can also self-steer to some extent. The mizzen works the same way that a stabilizing sail on a fishing drift boat does and keeps the boat tracking on a straight course with or without constant rudder input from the crew.

The ketch rig also offers a level of redundancy that traditional single-masted sailboats don’t have. This is particularly attractive to long-range cruisers. A ketch has a shorter mainmast, which allows boatbuilders to use stronger materials and maintain the same weight.

A ketch can continue sailing if you lose a mainstay or suffer dismasting, as there’s an additional mast aft that probably won’t also go down. This extra level of safety is useful when conditions are rough, and it also gives you peace of mind when out on the open ocean.

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I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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Ketch Rigged Sailboats Boats for sale



Los Angeles, California

Make Gulfstar


Category Sailboats

Posted Over 1 Month


1976 Fuji Ketch

1976 Fuji Ketch

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Model Ketch

1976 Fuji Ketch Namaste is a traditional, cutter-rigged ketch with teak toe and taff-rails, wide side decks, and a large cockpit. She has a fiberglass hull with a full keel, bow thruster and burns one gallon of diesel per hour at a cruising speed of 7 mph. The interior and exterior teak are in great condition and the decks are nonslip paint. All new canvas, cushions and upholstery (blue) were added in 2015. This much loved fresh water yacht has just traveled 2,200 miles leaving Charlevoix, Michigan in June of 2015. She has been with the current owner since 2000 and during their ownership they have made many upgrades and have maintained her well.

1981 Gulfstar 50' Ketch

1981 Gulfstar 50' Ketch

La Salle, Michigan

Model 50' Ketch

1981 Gulfstar 50' Ketch Gulfstar Yachts was founded in 1970 by Vince Lazzara, an industry pioneer who in the early 1950s helped make a success of Aeromarine, one of the very first fiberglass boatbuilders. In the early 1960s he did the same at Columbia Yachts, which became the worlds biggest sailboat builder in its day. Early on Gulfstar emphasized low price and maximum interior space over build quality and sailing ability, but in the mid-1970s the company shifted gears and worked to deliver a more high-end product. The most notable manifestation of this was the Gulfstar 50, a large center-cockpit cruiser first introduced in 1975. The GS 50 was the best boat Gulfstar ever built and also the most popular, with 172 hulls launched during a six-year production run that ended in 1980. Designed by Lazzara himself, the GS 50 boasts superior interior joinery, generous accommodations, robust construction, and a well proportioned hull and rig. These days it is one of the best values on the brokerage market in a larger center-cockpit boat. Though better built than most Gulfstars, the GS 50 is not without its faults. Construction is simple and straightforward, with a solid hull laminate composed of multiple layers of mat and woven roving. (Note, however, a few hulls may be cored with balsa.) The hull is stiffened, not with liners, but with full bulkheads and furniture components that are tabbed in place. The deck is balsa-cored, with a through-bolted joint glassed over from below. The full-length rudder skeg is also bolted in place. The ballast, which consists of lead chunks embedded in concrete slurry, is encapsulated within the long fin keel. Problems over the years have included hull blisters, which normally are just cosmetic, but in some cases have involved saturated cavities surrounding the ballast. These must be drained and flushed before they are filled in. The mainmast step, an iron plate in the bilge directly over the keel, is subject to corrosion, while the mizzen step on ketch-rigged boats may have crushed the deck core beneath it. Leaking deck fixtures, hatches, and port windows are other common complaints. In some boats the bronze stern tube housing the rudderstock may eventually separate from the surrounding hull laminate and must then be rebonded in place. There have also been reports of loose tabs around bulkheads and sub-floor structures that also need rebonding. The good news is that many owners value their GS 50s enough that they are willing to make repairs. Well-maintained boats are not hard to find; boats in poor condition are priced accordingly and normally are worthy of reconstruction. For most owners the boats most attractive feature is its interior. The more popular layout, originally developed for the charter trade, features three staterooms and works very well for families. The master stateroom aft with an en sui

1976 Fisher Pilothouse Ketch

1976 Fisher Pilothouse Ketch

Long Beach, California

Make Fisher

Model Pilothouse Ketch

1976 Fisher Pilothouse Ketch "Manatee"Due to medical conditions owner needs to sell.Here is your chance to own a rugged global cruiser at a fraction of replacement cost. All offers seriously considered. This Fisher ketch-rigged pilothouse motorsailor was heavily built in England to Lloyds specifications and patterned after rugged North Sea fishing trawlers.  She is in great condition and has new LP on the hull, a complete new bottom (no blisters), new nonskid decks and a new Volvo Penta D2-40 2016.    Please check out the photos and come see us at Alamitos Bay Marina.  Thank you.

1984 Nauticat Double Headsail Ketch

1984 Nauticat Double Headsail Ketch

Meyersdale, Pennsylvania

Make Nauticat

Model Double Headsail Ketch

1984 Nauticat Double Headsail Ketch Love & Luck, a Nauticat 36 has a full keel and rigged as a ketch with double headsail. She is powered by a four-cylinder Ford-Lehman diesel (that doesn't leak any fluids). Interior cabin offers the use of solid varnished teak throughout. The aft cabin offers a double bed with shower. The forward head has nice shower. A large U-shaped convertible dinette and fore and aft galley opposite. Pilothouse offers a full size Navigation/Chart table and a L-shaped settee to port.Small settee can be converted to a pilot berth. Mast height above waterline is 47.57'. All Teak Decks Removed. Radar is tied into Raymarine chart plotter.

1976 Custom Bruce Roberts Ketch - 4- Stateroo Center Cockpit

1976 Custom Bruce Roberts Ketch - 4- Stateroo Center Cockpit

Make Custom Bruce Roberts Ketch - 4- Stateroo

Model Center Cockpit

1976 Custom Bruce Roberts Ketch - 4- Stateroo Center Cockpit *****REDUCED 2015:  FRESH BOTTOM PAINT.******* Bruce Roberts all fiberglass hull . Fast and comfortable cruiser. Cutter rigged ketch with full batten main and roller furling on the head sail.  This yacht has always been meticulously maintained mechanically and cosmetically by her knowledgeable owner . Major refit in 1991. She has 4 (rare to find) staterooms and sleeps 8  comfortably.  Washer/Dryer, 11 GPH 12V Water Maker. Generator. AC/DC front opening refrigerator with separate freezer. 1997- Re-powered with  170hp  turbo Yanmar  diesel.   Cruises at 8-1/2 knots under engine power. Martec 3-blade feathering prop.  Will consider a trade for smaller boat.   PHRF rating: 96 5/'12 Entire boat painted. Her hull is dark blue. The decks are gray non-skid with white borders.

1980 Morgan Outislander 41 415  Ketch

1980 Morgan Outislander 41 415 Ketch

Key West Naval Air Station, Florida

Make Morgan Outislander 41

Model 415 Ketch

Category Sloop Sailboats

1980 $1 ft Morgan Outislander 415 Ketch rigged sailboat, Includes a private mooring and private dingy dock with a 12 ft hard dingy, center consul and auto start.

1990 Oyster 46 Center Cockpit

1990 Oyster 46 Center Cockpit

Charlevoix, Michigan

Make Oyster

Model 46 Center Cockpit

1990 Oyster 46 Center Cockpit Built as hull number 25 at the Landamores Yard in Norfolk England "Black Pearl" is well founded and ready for "all ocean" cruising. This Oyster 46 is Ketch rigged and designed to be seakindly and solid in heavy air conditions and very nimble in light to moderate winds. She is fitted with the optional Scheel Keel (external lead) and has a fully skeg supported rudder. She is currently for sale by the 3rd owner and located in the fresh water sea known as Lake Michigan. Delivered originally in England, "Black Pearl" has found her way across the Atlantic, through the Carribean, to Florida where she was purchased by the 2n owner. Brought north, with a brief stop in Kentucky, she is currently located in Charlevoix, Michigan. The current owners have been meticulous in "Black Pearls" care, upgrades and maintenance. Her layout above deck and below make this a wonderful yacht for the cruising couple that would like to invite family and friends aboard. We invite you to take a look at the full Specs to follow and make an appointment for your personal viewing. She is currently in our waterfront heated storage building and ready for your inspection.

1991 Walters Custom

1991 Walters Custom

Dunedin, Florida

Make Walters

Model Custom

1991 Walters Custom Custom Craig Walters design Cutter Rigged Ketch, lifting keel 2'6" to 8', proven offshore cruisier, designed and built for Circumnavigate, 2010 re-fit that included new 70hp Yanmar, 6KW Onan Gen, update Garmin electronics, two zone A/C. Just returned from Cuba and the Bahamas, turn key and ready to go again!!!

1972 Islander Yachts 40' MS

1972 Islander Yachts 40' MS

San Diego, California

Make Islander Yachts

Model 40' MS

1972 Islander Yachts 40' MS DAUNTLESS was designed by Charlie Davis as a serious blue water cruiser / live aboard. Built in Costa Mesa California this hull/model became the Islander freeport 41'. It has the same heavy duty / thick hull as the Islander Freeport 41'. She is ketch rigged with a center cockpit, full keel, wineglass hull. The center cockpit separates the full beam master suite with ensuite head and shower from the galley/salon and huge V-birth with giant closet and ensuite head. Which provides great privacy. This Coast Guard documented vessel has heavy duty construction throughout (most notably the super thick hand laid fiberglass hull). Think SAFE & STURDY ! The Dauntless has all new wiring and pluming and is solid Burmese Teak throughout, the person I bought this boat from 3 years ago paid $50,000.00 for her and put over $60,000.00 into up-grades and maintenance. With a 13'2" Beam, thereis plenty of living space, great storage and a very generous engine room with excellent access. I have been living on Her for the last few years and love to day-sail her around North Coronado and back. I can single hand her and fly four sails at once, this is knowledge that I would be happy to share with you over a couple of lessons. I just purchased a new much larger yacht and need to find a new home for DAUNTLESS. This boat needs cosmetic work like paint, varnish, cushions, curtains, etc. The guy I bought the boat from put most of his money into making sure the mechanical and operating systems were in good order at all times. If you are not handy with a paint brush you might not want this boat. For the person with basic skills I have priced the boat to move quickly. This boat in better condition would sell for $60,000 to $90,000. For all of you StarWars fans out there this yacht is like the Millennium Falcon, she's not much to look at but she has it where it counts. I have sailed all over the place and entertained countless friends on whale watching trips and parties at A-1 Anchorage, Glorietta Bay and quite dinners with that special someone to huge raft-up parities and everything in-between. This boat is designed to be safe and comfortable. All systems have been installed for simplicity, safety and durability. The Dauntless can handle gail-force winds with a reefed main and storm jib, Dauntless will take more punishment than most crew members. She needs some TLC so this is a tremendous opportunity to own a seriously built blue water sailboat that can take you anywhere in the world you desire in safety and comfort. She makes a fabulous live-aboard (witch I have been doing for the last few years). I AM GOING TO MISS DAUNTLESS BUT HOPE TO LEAVE HER IN THE HANDS OF AN ENTHUSIASTIC NEW OWNER!

1975 Cheoy Lee Offshore 53

1975 Cheoy Lee Offshore 53

Clearwater, Florida

Make Cheoy Lee

Model Offshore 53

1975 Cheoy Lee Offshore 53 "Shell Belle" is a serious long range Ketch rigged offshore cruising boat.  She has crossed the Atlantic four times including being apart of the commemorative 500th Anniversary of the Columbus crossing.  She has also cruised the Bahamas and the Caribbean and is extensively equipped for such including 12kw Genset, Wind Generator, Solar, Water Maker, Washer/Dryer, Ice Maker, Large Fridge 'n Freezer, Powered Winch, etc.Both original main and missen wooden spars were replaced in 1995 with aluminum masts and booms with Leasure Furl In Boom Furling on main.  Teak decks were stripped in 2010 and replaced with non skid fiberglass so no teak deck leaks.She's presently on the hard and ready for inspection at Cape Marina in Port Canaveral, Florida.

1980 Morgan Out Island 512 Center Cockpit

1980 Morgan Out Island 512 Center Cockpit

Cortez, Florida

Make Morgan

Model Out Island 512 Center Cockpit

1980 Morgan Out Island 512 Center Cockpit The Morgan Out Island 51 is a proven Blue Water passage maker. Wellfound with updated systems and gear. This is the 512 owners model with two cabins and two heads with separate showers. The 15' beam gives a spacious interrior, without wasted space. There is also a berth in the walk-thru for a single crew member. The engine room is spacious allowing good work access to the Kohler generator and the Perkins diesel engine. The Stowaway Main and Mizzen sail, plus Harken Roller Furling head sail, makes the proposition for short handed sailing. As a Cutter Rigged Ketch she gives the opportunity to select several options of sails for changing conditions. The 130 HP Perkins diesel was an optional at purchase and with the 325 gallons of fuel can give extended range under power. Please take time and look over the complete listing and make an appointment to view this great vessel.

1984 Morgan 462

1984 Morgan 462

1984 Morgan 462 The Morgan 462 is the newest and finest of the line of older Morgan 46s designed and built by Charlie Morgan. The first was the Morgan 46 built primarily for charter. It grew from the popularity of the well known Morgan 41 out Island. Then Morgan designed the Morgan 461, which was aimed more at the blue water cruising market. Finally came the Morgan 462. The 462s are well built having solid fiberglass hulls and balsa cored decks. The hull design is an excellent bluewater design, having heavy displacement, modified full keel design, and a protected skeg hung rudder. It is also a center-cockpit design permitting crew comfort, good all around visibility, and a large owner's stateroom and head aft. The boat is ketch rigged to enable it to carry maximum or minimum sail plans and sail areas and to be manageable by a short handed crew or couple.  Tankage in the 462 is very adequate, carrying 175 gallons of fuel and 195 gallons of fresh water. The boat has tons of storage space throughout, in various easily accessed lockers, cabinets, and drawers. At the bow is a robust dual anchor platform and windlass. At the transom is a teak swim platform and a swim ladder. She comes with many sails, a 150% genoa, large main with lazy jacks, and mizzen, drifter (in very good condition), spinnaker pole mounted on the mainmast, and a storm headsail (in very good condition). You will find this Morgan 462 to be an excellent liveaboard boat, whether you are cruising or dockside.

1976 Cheoy Lee 42 Sail Boat

1976 Cheoy Lee 42 Sail Boat

Half Moon Bay, California

Category Daysailer Sailboats

Length 42.0

The boat was built by Cheoy Lee in Hong-Kong, in 1976. Cheoy Lee 42, docked in Pillard Point (Half Moon Bay), registered in California. The boat is visible at Pillard Point marina, dock H-26. You can access the dock any time (there is no gate). If you want to see the inside, we will just need to agree on a time and date for me to show you. The boat is in good shape, we've been owning it, traveling and living on it since 2004. The engine will need some attention eventually, but it runs OK. Based on ads I see for similar boats, its value should be around $50,000, you can see it with the links below, they'll lead you to pictures . There was a recent storn and saome damge thgat was jsut foxed. But a starboard mizzen chain-plate got broken, and I am not going to be able to fix that quickly, it requires some time I don't have for now...Having a new chain-plate would take I believe less that $100, but it would take a couple of hours to put it in place.This is something a possible buyer should be aware of. Other than that this is perfect.http://donpedro.lediouris.net/journal/diary/2014.01/IMAG0518.jpghttp://trip-2010-2011.lediouris.netMore pictures of the inside are available at http://donpedro.lediouris.net/sleipnir/index.htmlAbout the maintenance, you can checkout the link at http://donpedro.lediouris.net/?view=protected/maintenance.html,Also, details on the equipment are available at http://donpedro.lediouris.net/clspec.html http://donpedro.lediouris.net/protected/maintenance.htmlsome pictures of the boat - inside and outside - available at http://donpedro.lediouris.net/?view=journal/index.html. read http://donpedro.lediouris.net.Details about the equipment (oven/stove, heater, watermaker, winches, auto-pilot, radio, electronics, etc).The boat has 9 sails (main, mizzen, trysail, new staysail, yankee, genoa, spinnaker, mizzen staysail, storm staysail).Mizzen and main have been recently (2014) reviewed and tuned-up by a Sailmaker. They are not new, but in OK shape. There is also a spinnaker sleeve. Boat/RV Information: Year: '76 Make: Cheoy Lee Model: 42 Engine size:_50 Hp_________Does the vehicle RUN _ Yes ________________VIN: _100244BT002945___________________________________ Plate:_CF_8797_SM__________________________________________Year in 1976. Built in Honk-Kong. The hull is 42' long, yes. Out all, it is 45'. Has no trailerThe keel is labeled as ballast in the page you are referring to: Displacement:23 500 lbs10.66 tonsCast Iron Ballast:9000 lbs4 tonsThe boat is rigged as a ketch. One main mast, one mizzen mast. On the same page, you'd see the engine is a Perkins, not a Honda. Hull material is GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic). Beam should be 12'1". SpecificationsDesigned by Bill Luders.imperialmetricLOA:42'5"12.93mwith bowsprit:49'14.94mLWL:30'9.14mBOA:12'1"3.68mDraft:5'9"1.75mDisplacement:23 500 lbs10.66 tonsCast Iron Ballast:9000 lbs4 tons Fuel Tank:45 gallons170 litersFresh Water Tank:125 gallons475 litersFor two people, at the dock, will usually last between 20 and 23 daysIce Box:48 gallons180 liters7 cu.ft. Engine:Perkins 50 hp, 4-108 cons ~ ½ gal/hourTransmission:Velvet Drive AS7-71C, Serial # 3296 Ratio 1.91:1Anchors:CQR 45lbs CQR 35lbs Danforth Herreshof / Fisherman's 100 lbs200ft 5/16" chain with 100ft of 1" rope50ft 5/16" chain with 200ft of 1" ropeSail Parameters:I1325.9 cm43'6" J640 cm21'0" E Main487.7 cm16'0" P Main1188.7 cm39'0" E Mizzen350.5 cm11'6" P Mizzen845.8 cm27'9"Sails:Main Sail31 m2344 sqft Mizzen Sail16 m2172 sqft Genoa67 m2723 sqft Yankee22 m2237 sqft Staysail15 m2344 sqft Spinnaker137 m21474.45 sqft Mizzen staysail21.3 m2230 sqft Storm staysail6.4 m269 sqft Trysail7.2 m277.5 sqftUpwind Main + Mizzen + Genoa114 m21227 sqftUpwind Main + Mizzen + Yankee + Staysail84 m2904 sqftDownwind Main + Mizzen + Spinnaker184 m21981 sqftDownwind Main + Mizzen + Spinnaker + Mizzen Staysail205.3 m22209 sqftElectronic:B&G Hornet TackTick (MHU, Speed, Depth, Temperature, Compas, NMEA Interface, 3 Displays, GPS)Autopilot Autohelm ST-6000GPS Garmin 120XLDepth Sounder Hummingbird Wide 100, outsideDepth Sounder Raytheon, insideVHF PresidentSSB (Single Side Band) / BLU (Bande Latérale Unique) call sign WDC7278, email [email protected] IC-M700PRO, re-programmed for SailMail frequenciesAntenna Tuner MFJ Versa Tuner II, Model MFJ-941D, replaced with an automatic ICOM AT-130Modem Pactor PCT-IIex with cloning cable (Icom OPC-478U)Weather Fax Furuno (removed, modem and laptop do the job)Radar Detector CARDSolar Panel Siemens, Model SR90 (90 W max). replaced June 2014.Wind Charger Rutland, Model 913Batteries:Alternator 80 AhRegulator Balmar ARS-5 (June 2011)Dispatcher Xantrex Echo Charge Battery Charger (June 2011)Engine: 120 Ah, West Marine (March 2004)House: 360 Ah (2 x 180 Ah, Fulmen). Replaced Oct-2006, with gel batteries (deep cycle), 2 x 183 Ah (i.e. 366 Ah), Deka 8G4D (56 kg/128 lbs each!) Replaced Sep-2013, same specifications.Battery Charger: Pro Mariner SS80, 80 Amps. Serial # 800769, replaced April 2011, GUEST Charger, Model 2611A, 10 AmpsWater Maker:Spectra Water Maker, Ventura 150 Deluxe Installed May 2008.Oct 2011, new Wheel pedestal (EDSON)Aug 2012, New Winches:2 Lewmar ST 40 (Yankee, Genoa)2 Lewmar ST 16 (Staysail)Consommation:SSB RadioStand-by : 2 AmpsTx - Modem : 6 AmpsTx - Phone : Up to 15 Amps (~180 Watts)Fridge : 4 AmpsGaz: LPG tanks: one 3 gallons (40 to 45 days for two people at the dock) and three 5 gallons (65 to 70 days for two people at the dock). That makes 1 gallon in 13.125 days, which is about 28 gallons a year.

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ketch rigged sailboats

What’s in a Rig? The Ketch

By: Pat Reynolds Sailboat Rigs , Sailboats

What’s in a Rig Series #4

Ketch rigs hold a special place in many a cruising sailor’s heart. There’s something dignified and majestic about them. They are two masted rigs with a main mast and a (smaller) mizzenmast – they carry a jib just like a sloop. Generally, ketches will be in the 40-plus foot range. The reasoning for this is that before sailing hardware and gizmotology (yes, we invented a word) was as advanced as it is now, designers were looking for ways to carry a good amount of sail, but make it manageable at the same time. This configuration served that purpose and while doing so also gave sailors quite a few options for various weather conditions and situations.

Ketch rig sailors speak of the balance that can be achieved with adjusting the various sails in a multitude of ways. There’s a more nuanced control that is achievable through the assortment of trimming permutations. Some take pride in the ability to lock the helm and steer the boat using just the relationship of the multiple sails.

Like cutter rigs, ketch advocates also sing praises for its characteristics in heavier winds. Many will break down the mainsail and go with the mizzen and foresail combo, which can make for a balanced and comfortable ride in more blustery conditions. Factor in reefing and there are a lot of options to depower and find the perfect amount of canvas to fly.

Many fans of the ketch will speak of the mizzenmast as a trusty old friend. It can help stabilize the boat under power, even act like a poor man’s bow thruster at times (a very poor man by the way). And for cruisers, it can also be utilized for more industrious purposes like using it as a crane to pick up a dinghy or some other heavy something or other. You’ll also see many wind generators, antennas and other stuff mounted on mizzenmasts because of their natural excellent positioning for such things.

So the ketch is a definitely a great choice for short-handed cruisers. It has many practical benefits and let’s face it – a pretty ketch, fully rigged and sailing peacefully on a beam-reach, heading somewhere better than where it was…that’s a defining image of what sailboat cruising is. Photo Pat Reynolds.

What's in a Rig Series:

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Related Posts:

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A One-sided Defense of the Cruising Ketch

ketch rigged sailboats

This week I had the opportunity to poke around a ketch-rigged Pearson 424 that was for sale in the neighborhood, and although they’ve generally fallen out of favor today, I was reminded of the many advantages of the ketch design. The Pearson 424 is an example of several decades-old production boats that were offered in a variety of rigs (sloop, cutter, or ketch), which has given longtime owners an opportunity to compare sail plans.

Judging from Pearson 424 list prices and bulletin board discussions about the Pearson 424, it appears that the scales are slightly tilted in favor of the sloop and cutter versions. However, the ketch owners are equally emphatic regarding their boats’ positive attributes. Having covered most of my cruising miles aboard a ketch, I’m an impartial party in this debate. So keep in mind, that much of what you read below (redacted from an earlier post of mine) is colored by personal experience.

My affinity for cruising ketches like the Allied Seawind II we feature in the January 2016 issue of Practical Sailor runs contrary to the view of their many detractors. Their criticism goes something like this: Ketches were popular in early days of cruising when undersized winches and friction-bound hardware conspired to make handling large sails a chore. With efficient winches and modern hardware, split rigs are obsolete on boats under 50 feet, they say.

Having wrestled down the main on more than a few 40-footers with state of-the-art everything, I don’t buy this argument, but I’ll let it stand. Nor will I quibble over complaints about a ketchs handicap to windward-which in my view is overstated, at least with regards to the better designs. Being the first boat to reach a windward watering hole is nice, but it’s hardly the first feature you look for in a good cruising boat.

You can explore the cruising blogosphere and find plenty of resident ketch-haters, and indeed, some of the complaints have merit; the added weight and expense of the ketchs extra rigging are irrefutable knocks. But having lived aboard and sailed a much-beloved, 32-foot William Atkin ketch for 10 years, I’m not interested in joining the chorus. Instead, I celebrate the rigs attractions, especially to the short-handed cruiser.

  • Smaller sails are easier to handle. In squally weather, start with a reef tucked in the main, then just furl the mizzen or jib as needed without leaving the cockpit, upsetting helm, or wrestling more reefs into the main.
  • Ride the invisible rail. The fore-and-aft distribution of sails simplifies the task of achieving a rock-steady helm.
  • Impress your sloop-sailing friends with fancy ketch tricks. Sail backward through the mooring field (spin circles if you have a sharpie), nose casually up to anchor, hove-to with jig and jigger.
  • Barrel westward on a reach. Turbo-charge off-wind sailing by setting a mizzen staysail.
  • Don’t fear a dismasting. Having two independently stayed masts increases your odds of having at least one spar to use for jury rigging. (This advantage does not apply to ketches with triatic stays like the lovely Sea Witch.)
  • Sail in good company. Some famous ketches to consider: Steinlager 2 (1990 Whitbread winner), Suhaili (Robin Knox Johnstons Golden Globe race winner), Joshua (Bernard Moitessiers beloved, steel globe-trotter), Wanderer IV (Eric and Susan Hiscocks storied cruiser), Colin Archers heroic little rescue boats . . . the list goes on.
  • Draw longing sighs from those ashore. There is something about having a main and mizzen working together that kindles romantic visions of South Sea islands.

Another nice thing about ketches is that many have reached an age when they are true bargains. Here are just a few familiar ketches worth considering: L. Francis Herreshoffs classic H-28, Gary Hoyts unstayed Freedom 40, Charlie Morgans family-friendly Bahama-mama Out Island 41, Ted Brewers Whitby 42 (aka Brewer 12.8), the Cheoy Lee Offshore 41, any of William Gardens iconic ketches, the Swedish-built Hallberg-Rassy 42, Atkins Ingrid 38 (and her related offspring), John Hannas iconic Tahiti ketch, Holman & Pyes Bowman 57, and two S&S designs, the Swan 57 and Tartan TOCK.

These are just a few that come to mind. I’m sure PS readers have many other boats to add to the list as evidence that reports on the death of the cruising ketch have been greatly exaggerated.


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Buying a Sailboat: Sloop vs. Ketch

Consider many different questions when deciding what kind of sailboat is best for you. If you are looking for a cruising sailboat, depending on your preferred size range, you may be choosing between a sloop and a ketch. These are the two most common  types of cruising sailboats . Each offers certain advantages.

massmatt/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

A sloop is generally the most common type of sailboat rig. A sloop has a single mast and usually only two sails: the mainsail and a headsail, such as a jib or a genoa. A sloop may also use a racing or cruising spinnaker.

Sloops come in all sizes, from 8-foot dinghies to maxi boats over a hundred feet long. A sloop uses what is called a Bermuda or Marconi rig. This is the tall, thin, triangular mainsail that's commonly seen on the waters of popular boating areas.

The sloop rig generally is simpler to use and cheaper to build than a ketch rig. Because of the wind and sail dynamics involved, a sloop is almost always faster than other rigs in boats of comparable size, especially when sailing windward.

Jukka/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

A ketch is a common rig for cruising sailboats. It has two masts: a traditional mainmast as on a sloop, plus a smaller mast in the rear of the boat. This is called the mizzenmast. Technically, the mizzenmast must be mounted forward of the boat’s rudderpost to be a ketch. If the mizzen is mounted further aft, behind the rudder post, it is considered a yawl. The mizzenmast is typically smaller on a yawl than on a ketch, but otherwise, these rigs are similar.

A ketch, therefore, uses three primary sails: the mainsail and headsail, as on a sloop, plus the mizzen sail aft. A ketch may also use a spinnaker.

The three sails do not necessarily mean that the sail area on a ketch is larger than on a sloop of the same size, however. Sail area is usually planned by boat designers based on the boat's size, displacement (weight), hull shape and configuration, not on the number of masts or sails. This means that the mainsail and headsail of a ketch are generally smaller than on a sloop, but the mizzen sail roughly makes up the difference.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Sloops vs. Ketches

 Gellinger/Pixabay/CC0 Creative Commons

Sloops and ketches each have their own benefits, but also disadvantages. When deciding what type of boat to buy, consider these differences.

Advantages of a Sloop

  • A sloop is generally faster and sails closer to the wind.
  • Sloops have fewer sails than ketches to buy and maintain.
  • With a sloop, there is less standing and running rigging with one mast, which means there is less to manage and maintain overall.
  • As the most popular contemporary boat, sloops are available in a wide variety.

Disadvantages of a Sloop

  • Sloop sails are generally larger and heavier, requiring more strength for handling, hoisting, and trimming, particularly on a larger boat.
  • Sloops have fewer options to reduce sail area in stronger winds. Sloops offer only reefing or furling of the sails.

Advantages of a Ketch

  • Ketches have smaller sails. These sails are more easily managed and hoisted on a larger boat, which is why ketches are preferred by many older sailors.
  • Using only two sails at a time provides multiple options for managing different sailing conditions, such as strong winds.

Disadvantages of a Ketch

  • Ketch rigs generally do not sail as fast or as close to the wind as a sloop sailboat.
  • Ketches have more standing rigging (shrouds and stays) and running rigging (halyards and sheets) to manage and maintain.
  • The mizzenmast in ketches takes up space in the stern.
  • There are fewer ketches available on the market. Ketches are more popular as an older boat.

Most ketches are intended as cruising boats that are easy to handle and comfortable for cruising. Many sloops, even sketch sloops, are designed for greater speed and racing. Many ketches, therefore, are different from sloops in ways other than just the masts and sails. Designed as cruisers, many ketches are heavier, more stable in sea conditions, and more commodious down below. On the other hand, contemporary builders produce few ketches, so there are a greater variety of sloops available as new boats.

As in other decisions when shopping for a sailboat, the preferable rig depends mostly on your preferred uses of the boat. The same is true when comparing fixed keel and centerboard sailboats.

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Ketch Sailboats: The Ultimate Guide

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An Introduction to Ketch Sailboats:

Ketch sailboats are a unique and captivating type of sailboat that offers a distinctive sailing experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the design, purpose, key features, rigging options, appropriate buyers and considerations, top brands, and conclude with why ketch sailboats are a remarkable choice for sailing enthusiasts.

Ketch Sailboats: Design and Purpose:

Ketch sailboats are characterized by their two-masted configuration, with a taller mainmast located forward and a shorter mizzen mast positioned aft. This design allows for a versatile sail plan, with various combinations of sails that provide excellent balance and handling. The purpose of ketch sailboats is to offer enhanced control, stability, and ease of handling, making them suitable for both coastal cruising and long-distance passages.

Hans Christian created incredible ketch sailboats, this one is sailing along the coast.

Key Features:

Enhanced maneuverability:.

The two-masted rig of a ketch sailboat allows for flexible sail combinations, including the option to sail with a mizzen alone. This versatility provides exceptional maneuverability, allowing sailors to adapt to different wind conditions and optimize performance.

Balanced Sailing:

The placement of the mizzen mast aft of the mainmast helps to balance the sail plan. This configuration reduces weather helm, making it easier to maintain a steady course and reducing the strain on the helm. The balanced sail plan also contributes to a comfortable and stable sailing experience.

Hans Christian Sailboat ketch interior view

Comfortable Accommodations:

Ketch sailboats often feature spacious interiors with well-appointed cabins, saloons, and galleys. The additional deck space between the mainmast and mizzen mast provides ample room for lounging and outdoor activities. These features make ketch sailboats ideal for extended stays on the water, offering comfort and livability for onboard living.

Flexible Sail Plan:

Ketch sailboats offer a range of sail combinations, including a mainsail, mizzen sail, jib, genoa, and staysail. This flexibility allows sailors to adjust the sail area to suit prevailing wind conditions, ensuring optimal performance and control.

Rigging on Ketch Sailboats:

Ketch sailboats typically feature a variety of rigging options, including:

  • Traditional Ketch: This rig configuration consists of a tall mainmast and a shorter mizzen mast, with a variety of sail combinations available.
  • Staysail Ketch: In a staysail ketch, an additional staysail is set between the mainmast and mizzen mast. This rig enhances sailing performance and allows for finer sail adjustments.

Stern view of a ketch sailboat at the dock

Appropriate Buyers and Considerations for Ketch Sailboats:

Ketch sailboats appeal to a range of sailors who value versatility, comfort, and balanced sailing. Consider the following factors when contemplating a ketch sailboat:

  • Experienced Sailors: Ketch sailboats require some experience and knowledge to optimize their sail plans and handling characteristics effectively. They are often favored by sailors with a desire for greater control and the ability to fine-tune the rigging for various wind conditions.
  • Cruising Enthusiasts: Ketch sailboats are well-suited for cruisers who plan to spend extended periods onboard. The spacious accommodations and comfortable living areas make them ideal for those seeking a comfortable and enjoyable cruising experience.
  • Long-Distance Voyages: With their stable and balanced sailing characteristics, ketch sailboats are a popular choice for long-distance passages. Their ability to handle various weather conditions and provide a smooth ride makes them reliable companions on offshore adventures.

Top Brands:

When considering a ketch sailboat, it is crucial to explore reputable brands known for their quality craftsmanship and sailing performance. Here are three top brands worth considering:

Cheoy Lee has established itself as a respected sailboat brand, and their ketch sailboats are highly regarded for their quality and performance. While Cheoy Lee ketch sailboats can primarily be found on the used market, they continue to attract attention from sailors and enthusiasts seeking vessels with solid construction and timeless designs.

One of the standout features of Cheoy Lee ketch sailboats is their exceptional build quality. These boats are known for their sturdy construction and attention to detail, ensuring durability and reliability on the water. Cheoy Lee’s commitment to craftsmanship is evident in the meticulous construction techniques and high-quality materials used in their ketch sailboats.

Cheoy Lee 44 ketch sailboat with sails up heeling

In terms of design, Cheoy Lee ketches often showcase classic lines and graceful profiles that exude elegance and charm. These timeless designs have a lasting appeal and contribute to the overall allure of Cheoy Lee sailboats. The use of teak woodwork, traditional deck layouts, and fine finishes further enhance the classic aesthetic of their ketch sailboats.

Interiors & Seaworthiness

Comfortable interiors are another hallmark of Cheoy Lee ketch sailboats. The cabins and living spaces are designed to provide a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for extended stays on the water. The layout and arrangement of the interior spaces prioritize functionality and convenience, allowing for comfortable living and entertainment onboard.

Seaworthiness is a key aspect of Cheoy Lee ketch sailboats. These vessels are known for their ability to handle various sea conditions with confidence and stability. Whether cruising coastal waters or embarking on offshore passages, Cheoy Lee ketch sailboats offer a solid and dependable sailing experience.

Due to their reputation and enduring popularity, Cheoy Lee ketch sailboats on the used market are often sought after by sailors who appreciate the brand’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and classic design. Owning a Cheoy Lee ketch sailboat allows sailors to enjoy the combination of traditional elegance and reliable performance that the brand is known for.

Mason Yachts is a renowned name in the world of sailboats, particularly for their expertise in building high-quality ketch sailboats. These vessels are sought after by sailors who value offshore capabilities, timeless designs, and meticulous craftsmanship.

One of the defining features of Mason ketch sailboats is their exceptional seaworthiness. These boats are designed and built to handle offshore sailing with confidence and reliability. The hulls are carefully constructed to withstand challenging sea conditions, offering stability and a smooth ride. Mason ketch sailboats are known for their ability to handle heavy weather and long-distance passages, making them a popular choice among sailors with a taste for adventure .

Mason 63 ketch sailboat with all sails up on a sunny day

Timeless design is another hallmark of Mason ketch sailboats. These vessels feature classic lines and graceful profiles that evoke a sense of elegance and traditional beauty. Mason Yachts pays meticulous attention to the aesthetics of their sailboats, ensuring that each vessel embodies a timeless appeal that stands the test of time.

Detail & Excellence

Attention to detail is a key aspect of Mason ketch sailboats. From the fine woodwork to the exquisite finishes, every aspect of the boat’s construction is executed with precision and care. The interior spaces are designed to provide comfort and functionality, with well-appointed cabins, spacious saloons, and thoughtfully arranged living areas. The craftsmanship and attention to detail contribute to the overall quality and luxurious feel of Mason ketch sailboats.

Mason Yachts’ commitment to excellence extends to every aspect of their sailboats, from the selection of materials to the rigging and onboard systems. The company is dedicated to building reliable and well-equipped vessels that can withstand the demands of offshore sailing. The attention to detail and the use of high-quality components ensure that Mason ketch sailboats are not only beautiful but also dependable and capable in any sailing conditions.

Hans Christian:

Hans Christian Yachts has established a strong reputation in the sailing community, particularly for its beautifully crafted ketch sailboats. Although primarily found on the used market, Hans Christian ketches continue to captivate sailors with their timeless design, exceptional craftsmanship, and robust construction.

One of the standout features of Hans Christian ketch sailboats is their classic elegance. These vessels are meticulously designed with graceful lines, teak woodwork, and meticulous attention to detail. The combination of traditional design elements and high-quality materials creates a sense of timeless beauty that sets Hans Christian sailboats apart.

Hans Christian ketches are well-regarded for their seaworthiness, making them a popular choice for bluewater cruising and long-distance voyages. The sturdy construction and solid build of these sailboats instill confidence in sailors, allowing them to navigate challenging sea conditions with ease. Hans Christian sailboats are known for their ability to handle offshore passages and provide a smooth and stable ride.

Hans Christian Ketch Sailboat at the dock

Comfortable and spacious interiors are another highlight of Hans Christian ketch sailboats. The cabins are thoughtfully designed and well-appointed, offering a cozy and inviting atmosphere for extended stays onboard. The saloons provide a comfortable space for relaxation and socializing, while the functional galleys are equipped with the necessary amenities for onboard cooking. The interior layout of Hans Christian ketch prioritizes comfort and functionality, creating a home-like environment for sailors.

Craftsmanship and Capabilities

With their traditional ketch rig, Hans Christian sailboats deliver excellent sailing performance and stability. The two masts and multiple sails allow for versatile sail configurations, enabling sailors to adjust to various wind conditions. The balanced sail plan and well-balanced hull design contribute to the overall performance and maneuverability of these sailboats. Whether navigating calm coastal waters or tackling challenging offshore passages, Hans Christian ketch sailboats offer a reliable and enjoyable sailing experience.

The combination of craftsmanship, reliability, and offshore capabilities makes Hans Christian ketch sailboats highly sought after by sailing enthusiasts. The brand’s commitment to producing sailboats of exceptional quality and enduring appeal has earned them a dedicated following. Owning a Hans Christian ketch sailboat not only provides a means of exploration and adventure but also offers a connection to the rich heritage of traditional yacht design.

Ketch Sailboats Conclusion:

Ketch sailboats offer a unique sailing experience characterized by versatility, balance, and comfort. Their two-masted rigging provides enhanced control and maneuverability, making them suitable for both coastal cruising and long-distance passages. With flexible sail plans, comfortable accommodations, and reliable performance, ketch sailboats are an excellent choice for experienced sailors, cruising enthusiasts, and those embarking on long-distance voyages. 

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Yachting Monthly

  • Digital edition

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Ketch sailing: Jib and jigger

  • Philippa Park
  • July 14, 2015

This week our blogger Jonty Pearce recounts the benefits of ketch sailing

ketch rigged sailboats

Jonty Pearce

Carol and I are both admirers of the ketch rig. Some Yachting Monthly readers may have seen my article on the rig (Six reasons to sail a ketch, May 2014) so I won’t repeat all I wrote then apart from briefly mentioning some of the basic advantages of ketches – their sail plan options, heavy weather versatility, ability to set a riding sail at anchor, use of the mizzen boom as an outboard crane, and the handiness of the mizzen mast as a handhold and mount for kit such as a radar or wind generator.

Much as we enjoy the prettiness and practical aspects of our ketch, the ability to sail ‘jib and jigger’ outweighs all other benefits. For those lazy days when we can’t be bothered with the mainsail or when the wind is higher than for comfort we love to sail with just a foresail and mizzen sail. It does away with the big heavy flappy mainsail attached to a heavy boom crashing from side to side and leaves us with a beautifully balanced sail plan that we can easily control without leaving the cockpit. OK, there is no countering the argument that sailing without a mainsail leaves the boat underpowered in lighter winds, or that the loss of the slot effect between the genoa and the main lessens Aurial’s pointing ability, but for days of high wind or when we just want to drift the absence of the mainsail outweighs the disadvantages.

All too often we have found ourselves on passage when the forecast underestimated the local wind strength, or when we have decided to battle on through adverse conditions with a deadline to meet. When it comes to needing to reef we start by taking in a couple of rolls in the genoa before pulling down the first and then second reef slabs in the main, with progressive reduction of the genoa to match. With further wind increases, we put in the third deep reef in the main or more likely drop it altogether, leaving us sailing jib and jigger under foresail and mizzen alone.

Eventually we might put a reef in the mizzen and change the genoa to a stormsail, but usually the foam luff in our new genoa keeps the reefed sail flat enough to avoid the trip forwards on a bouncing foredeck to rig the inner forestay. Thus dressed and beautifully balanced we can make over 7 knots in a force 6 or 7 with a light helm and little fuss. And because our mainsail reefs at the mast, the accessibility of the mizzen just behind the cockpit means that we never need to go out on deck. Much of the stress of high wind sailing is averted – less heel, no fighting weather helm at the wheel, and making the coffee becomes a pleasure.

On our first sail of the season we were in a relaxed mood and the wind was fitful. I had woken with a bad back, so we ended up drifting up Milford Haven in a variable wind with just the genoa and mizzen. The sun shone, Carol helmed, and I sat back against the cushions while we coasted along. In such lazy moods without the option of the mizzen we would probably have ended up motoring – instead we were free to listen to the wildlife along the shore and had time to sink into the peace of the lovely countryside. Yes, we do relish the joys of ketch sailing!

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Does A Ketch Sailboat Make A Good Cruising Boat?

A ketch sailboat most certainly does make a good cruising boat! With the total sail area split between 3 sails (or 4 in the staysail ketch version shown below), sail handling is easier for a shorthanded crew than it would be on a sloop of similar size.

A Bowman 57 staysail ketch

But could it be a Yawl?

It's easy to confuse a ketch sailboat with a yawl so perhaps we should clear that up before we go any further. Both are two-masted rigs with a mainmast foremost and a smaller mizzen mast aft.

Bowman 46 Yawl

It's generally accepted that the difference between the two types comes down to the location of the mast in relation to the rudder post. In a yawl the mizzen is aft of the rudder post and in the ketch, it's forward.

But the real difference is one of purpose. The mizzen on a yawl is intended to help trim the boat, in capable hands giving them the ability to follow a compass course despite minor wind shifts.

This was a very handy feature in the days when commercial fishing was done under sail, but these days efficient autopilots and navigation aids have made this less important and the yawl has generally fallen out of favour.

The Mizzen Sail on a Yawl or Ketch Sailboat

The mizzen sail of a ketch is larger than that of a yawl and is there to add drive. And so it does - off the wind.

On the wind though, the mizzen is likely to add nothing but drag, being back-winded most of the time by the mainsail.

In these conditions the mizzen sail may as well be dropped, at which point the ketch becomes in effect an under-canvassed sloop.

An Allied Princess ketch

The Mizzen Staysail

Off the wind a ketch is at its most efficient, particularly so if cutter rigged and with a mizzen staysail set. 

Westerly 33 sailboat on a broad reach

That's the sail set between the head of the mizzen mast and the foot of the main mast, as on the Westerly 33 shown here.

But all the additional hardware - mizzen mast, sails, winches, standing and running rigging - comes with a considerable cost burden.

But there are benefits to be had from a split rig of a ketch:~

  • First, they offer greater flexibility for sail reduction, allowing a jib and mizzen configuration in strong winds; 
  • secondly, at anchor where with the mizzen set as a steadying sail, the boat will lay comfortably head-to-wind.

The Triatic Backstay

An Amel 54 cutter rigged ketch

Although you'll see many ketch sailboats with a triatic backstay tensioned between the two mastheads, each mast should be stayed individually.

Whilst this stay is ideally placed to act as an insulated SSB radio aerial, in the event of the loss of one mast it's almost guaranteed to result in the loss of the other.

A staysail ketch like the Amel 54 shown above will carry the following suit of working sails:

  • mizzen staysail;

A cruising sloop of a similar size has only two sails to make up the same sail area, which would be considerably more difficult for a short-handed crew to handle.

So, in answer to the original question, although they're not the best choice for windward sailing, the ketch can make an ideal cruising sailboat.

Lastly, the mizzen mast on a ketch sailboat provides an ideal place to mount your radar scanner and wind generator. And as one old sea-dog once told me, a convenient thing to lean against when you're smoking your pipe.

A Few Examples of Ketch Rigged Cruising Boats

Gibsea 37 ketch

What are the Pros & Cons of a Ketch?

  • Spread of Sail: Ketches have their sail area distributed over a higher number of sails, which means the size of each sail is generally smaller when compared to a sloop. This is useful when conditions are rough, as it's easier and safer to handle smaller sails.
  • Rig Options: The ability to switch between sail configurations makes ketches versatile. You can use only the mizzen and jib in a strong wind, only the main in moderate wind, and all sails in a light wind.
  • Downwind Efficiency: Ketches tend to perform well when sailing downwind, as the mizzen sail helps to catch additional wind.
  • Balance: The mizzen sail aids in stabilizing the boat which is useful when minimizing roll at anchor and helps balance the boat under sail.
  • Emergency Steering: The mizzen sail can be used for emergency steering if the rudder or main steering system becomes damaged.
  • Cost: Ketches often cost more due to the additional rigging and hardware needed for the extra mast and extra sails.
  • Maintenance: More rigging and more sails also mean more maintenance. Ketches may require more effort and cost to uphold.
  • Windward Performance: Ketches are often outperformed by sloops or cutters when sailing upwind.
  • Maneuverability: The extra mast can complicate tacking and jibing maneuvers, particularly in heavier winds.
  • Space Occupancy: The mizzen mast in a ketch can limit the space available in the cockpit or aft areas.

It's important to note the pros and cons can vary based on the specific design of the ketch. Certain designs may mitigate some of the cons, and other pros may become more apparent in certain types of conditions.

What are the ideal sailing conditions and environments for a ketch sailboat?

Ketch sailboats are particularly suited for long-distance cruising and offshore sailing because of their stability, versatility in sail arrangements, and downwind performance. They perform best in moderate to heavy wind conditions where the additional mizzen sail can provide extra balance, power, and control.

These boats shine when sailing downwind or on reaches, where their additional sails can make full use of the wind. They also work well in heavy wind conditions where reducing sail area is necessary, as their multiple smaller sails can provide more manageable options.

In terms of environments, ketches tend to thrive in areas with consistent winds and open water, such as offshore or coastal cruising routes. Their stability and easy handling can be advantageous in rough sea states or when navigating rolling swells.

However, it's worth mentioning that the performance of a ketch can depend on the specific design of the boat, the skipper's sailing skills and the crew's ability to manage and adjust the sails on board.

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Allied Seawind MK II Ketch

Allied Seawind MK II Ketch is a 31 ′ 7 ″ / 9.6 m monohull sailboat designed by Thomas Gillmer and built by Allied Boat Company Inc. between 1975 and 1982.

Drawing of Allied Seawind MK II Ketch

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

From (BlueWaterBoats.org)[http://bluewaterboats.org/allied-seawind-ii-32/]:

Following in the hallowed footsteps of the original Seawind, a salty 30 foot ketch designed by Tom Gillmer that happened to be the first fiberglass sailboat to circumnavigate the globe, the Seawind II is a larger, more comfortable redesign that’s a foot longer, a foot wider, and over 23% heavier. These boats were launched in 1975 by Allied Yachts and they had a reputation for being solidly built, though with a history of inconsistent and uninspiring internal finishing. The company went out of business four times, before finally shutting down for the fifth time in 1981, spelling the end of production for the Seawind II.

Allied Yachts was founded in 1962 on the Hudson River a hundred miles north of New York City in the small town of Catskill as a partnership between a fiberglass boat builder Lunn Laminates and a yacht brokerage of Northrop and Johnson and racing sailor Thor Ramsing. Their first boat, the Seawind, a popular 30’ 6” ketch had the company busy keeping up with demand.

These were still the exciting pioneering days of fibreglass sailboat construction when the material was still considered experimental and hulls were conservatively built extra thick. When New Yorker, Alan Eddy, setoff in 1963 to eventually circle the globe in Apogee , the accomplishment did much to not only put to rest skepticism over fibreglass construction, but also to establish Allied’s reputation for building seaworthy sailboats.

Despite the original Seawind proving itself as a competent bluewater sailboat, it had minimal accommodations that were, at best, cramped. So after over a decade of successful production of the Seawind, Allied approached Gillmer to evolve the design into a successor – the Seawind II. Though it was only 13 inches longer, its beam was 13% wider which resulted in a displacement 23% heavier. The result was a much more comfortable boat with significantly larger internal volume and improved accommodations.

Structurally the new boat was just as sturdy and had improvements over the original construction. The hull was hand-laid and substantially thick and well supported bulkheads that were fiberglassed into place. Furthermore the hull-deck joint, which was prone to leaking in the original Seawind was improved with no expense spared. The new joint was complex, labor intensive to construct but very strong. Both hull and deck had outward flanges at the sheer line. These flanges were coated with sealant and a teak batten placed between them. Hull, deck, and batten were then through-bolted vertically with stainless steel bolts. After the sealant cured over a number of days, the joint was ground flush on the interior of the hull and glassed over heavily. Meanwhile on the exterior a heavy aluminum extrusion was filled with bedding, capped over the flange, and horizontally screwed into the teak batten.

The deck and cabin were of fiberglass cored in balsa wood. All deck hardware was through-bolted and reinforced with fiberglass backing plates to distribute the load. The mast was deck-stepped and supported from below by a substantial oak compression frame that extends into the bilge. Ballast is an internal lead casting glassed into the keel.

There’s very little exterior wood on the Seawind II, even the dorado boxes are molded in, resulting in a low maintenance boat, but also gives her an austere look.

Unusual to see in a sailboat this small is a ketch rig which was offered as standard, there was an optional cutter rig which carried slightly less canvas but had similar performance. As to be expected, Seawind II sails well under heavy sea conditions, but perhaps surprisingly it’s quite competent in light weather as well. She has a very comfortable motion at sea, is well balanced with very little signs of weather helm.

Overall the Seawind II today is a practical and affordable choice as a go-anywhere cruiser. She’s strong without being overly heavy, well constructed and proven. Many examples on the used market have held up well, with later models generally having better finished interiors.

Links, References and Further Reading

» Seawind II owners association website » Sailing Magazine , Feb 1999, Used Boat Notebook by John Kretschmer

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  • Work Title: DMITRY KORCHAK Playlist   
  • Composer: various   
  • Libretto: various     Libretto Text, Libretto Index
  • Venue & Opera Company: various  
  • Recorded: various
  • Type: Staged Opera Live
  • Singers: Dmitry Korchak
  • Conductor: various   
  • Orchestra: various  
  • Stage Director:   
  • Costume Designer:   

Information about the Recording

  • Published by: OoV   
  • Date Published: 2023   
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 3 Audio: 3
  • Subtitles: nosubs   
  • Video Recording from: YouTube      FULL VIDEO


Dmitry Korchak (born February 19, 1979 in Elektrostal/Moscow Oblast) is a Russian tenor and conductor.

Korchak received his musical education at the Moscow Choral Academy. In 2004 he won prizes at the “Francisco Viñas” International Singing Competition in Barcelona and at the Plácido Domingo Operalia International Competition in Los Angeles.

As a singer he has appeared at La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, the Paris Opera Bastille, London’s Covent Garden and New York’s Carnegie Hall. He has collaborated with artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Chailly, Plácido Domingo, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Kent Nagano.

From 2017 to 2020, Dmitry Korchak was Principal Guest Conductor at the Novosibirsk Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, where he directed his own festival, and Guest Conductor at the Mikhailovsky Theater in Saint Petersburg.

Korchak has made several guest appearances at the Kissinger Sommer, the Salzburg Festival and the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, where he also worked as a conductor. Korchak also worked with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others.

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Thank you for this, he’s brilliant!

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