Lets see if we can invoke some interest on what we consider to be a rather hot topic around our marina here fact it often times turns out to be a full blown argument on which is truly the cat's meow to have for all purposes ! I personally own a Sloop and I find it to be more than satisfactory for the way I like to sail ..and I imagine it would be more than suitable for just about anywhere in the world...however ...we've been told that in certain areas of the world ..a Ketch rig would prevail hands down! What style of vessel do you own ....where do you sail her? Which do YOU think is better ...Sloop ...or Ketch?? Enquiring minds want to know ......

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Personally I'd prefer a cutter to a ketch. They offer a lot of sail options, too, and are more attractive, too. For esthetics, though, if you prefer two masts nothing beats a schooner for salty looks.
As a FNG, the hands down choice for me is a sloop. I must admit being in love with the ketch design, but for a newbie the sloop is easier to learn on, and less expensive to maintain. The part about being easier to learn on is particularly relevant for me as I am teaching myself how to sail.
Richard are quite right indeed ...I have a neighbor who has a somewhat on the rare side ..a Durbeck 46' ....she has some awesomly wonderful lines & I would consider her to be in the Schooner class her sails appear to be cutter design ...what a gloriously beautiful boat under sail!
Kevin ...perhaps the sloop does indeed offer a simpler approach to sailing ...its probably what the bulk of us all learned on in the beginning. I also have neighbors that own Ketch rigs & swear by them ...but I know for a fact that they too started on sloops ....hehe. Once you get salty will be able to sail a piece of plywood with a garbage bag tied to a stick and make headway .....and enjoy it ! there of luck my friend on the ropes as it were ....
I might be bass ackward in my thinkin, but I tend to think of lines (throughout) before wanting to consider ease and simplicity underway. I think if I had a full-grown Vagabond 45+ or Tayana 40+, I'd sail the hell out of her, challenging her attitute but then let her gracefully swagger along as so her personality desires. When I grow up and throw money in the wind, I want something aesthetically seaworthy to chase after it.

Im currently pushing a Vagabond 14 to grow up, but to no prevail, I think this one's growth has been stunted.

I feel like a 17 year old staring through the pub window.

Always wondering about rigging no doubt. Erickson has a solid rig.

We sail a sloop rigged Pearson. When we were looking for our retirement boat we considered several ketch rigged boats. I thought the advantage of being able to work with smaller sails would be a bonus in spite of the extra mast and its associated deck clutter. In hindsight I'm glad that we only have a pair of sails to deal with when the wind builds especially if my wife is on watch alone. In spite of the larger sail size I think its easier to get control of the boat when dealing with just 2 sails.

While not disappointed with the sloop rig I have run into situations where it would have been nice to be cutter rigged and have the ability to throw up a staysil instead of furling the genoa. So there may be a removable inner stay in our future, we'll see.

On a similair note, would anyone care to weigh in on the virtues and disadvantages of ketch vs schooner vs yawl? I have no immediate plans to upgrade, this is just for my own information. Thanks!
I have either owned or sailed on every rig known - Sloop, Ketch, Cutter, Yawl, Junk (lug), Wingsail, Rotating wing mast, Triple headed sloop, cutter ketch, triple schooner, junk schooner, triple junk schooner, wingsail schooner, gaff sloop, and a few other that I am not sure what they are called.

So, ketch or sloop is kind of simplistic to argue about. I am going to break it down into single mast and split rigs. I prefer to sail split rigs as it gives much more versatility underway. I prefer to maintain, single mast rigs, mostly because I am lazy.

That being said, my favorite rig is by far a modern Hasler junk rig on two masts. It is so very easy to sail and maintain (even for my 110 lb wife). The entire rig is inexpensive and free standing. Anyone can reef the sails to any point in less than one minute and shake out the reefs in the same amount of time. The sails can be raised or lowered while going downwind. The modern rigs can and will sail to windward. And best of all, the technology has been proven for more than 3000 years and is still used today.

Wow Shane! You really put that into perspective real quick! You know it hadnt occurred to me to mention all the other possibilities as I did know there were quite a few out there. Still, I must say that my curiosity regarding the Junk rigs has been satisfied somewhat by your explanation and your fondness for them. Thanks for giving us other options to think about!
I have a cutter but I also like the simplicity of a sloop. I think a ketch or yawl would be fine as well. If you have lemmons, make lemonade.
A Yawl is nothing more than a sloop with a mizzen, but the advantages of having a mizzen are many.
1 Great way to hoist heavy stuff onto the boat by unshackling the mizzen sheet and using that for hoisting.
2 Another form of shade. Hanging an awning over the mizzen while sailing is very very nice.
3 Another good place for radar and 2nd VHF antenna
4 A good holder for the triatic HF radio antenna
5 Mizzen spinnaker staysails are very easy to set/douse
6 Help keep you from swinging around on the anchor
7 Good way to add weather helm or more balance when sailing with genoa minus the mainsail.

For the ketch, all of the above, but you might also have a mizzen spinnaker
I'm sure there's more, just can't think.
Need to watch baseball.... bye
my sailing experience is somewhat limited as i have only sailed 2 ketch rigged sailboats--i was taught on gaff rigged racing sloop of 1903 vintage--registered as a historic treasure--a nate herreschoff built boat of design by same man designed schooner america.....sloops are simple--they are easy and easily overpowered if one doesnot downsize sails in a timely manner--but fun to sail fast---ketch rigs are good to sail long distances as the forestaysail and mizzen sail are set and the rest is worked---easy to trim for tracking better than a sloop[---easier to be able to manage in many ways--i believe the choice is up to the individual--right now i own an ericson 35mII 1979 AND a 1976 formosa ketch rigged cruiser---needing a forestaysail--hasnt one as yet----i will get one rigged as i am able---am restoring her and readying for tsakin goff in spring, with luck and fair winds......i like both --each has her specific uses.....


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