Optimal MS Rig

Discussion in 'Motorsailers' started by FoveauxSailor, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. FoveauxSailor
    Joined: Apr 2004
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    FoveauxSailor Junior Member

    Hello Guys

    I found the thread on the Far Harbor 39 very interesting but it got me thinking about MS rigs and how modern thinking might be applied to them to optimise performance (including ease of handing, contribution to comfort and other issues)

    I sail a long keel bermudian 24' keelboat , but have crewed on a Herreschoff "Marco Polo" on an ocean passage and have cruised coastwise on a 48' , 28 ton ketch (to an Alan Mummery design). Now I think a MS that can cruise coastwise at 7 knts is right in my thoughts.

    My thoughts in a rig for a MS in the 30 -40' range would be to generally optimise for light winds up to about 20 knts, so that sailing is very pleasant, and then after that focus on use of the rig to maintain comfort.

    It seems to me that the ketch rig with a fully batterned mizzen and main could offer a lot here. For light winds we could get a fair bit of canvas spread by using MPS type sails from both mastheads. The next stage would be 3 conventional sails, first reef drop the main. For conditions to 35 knots mizzen and staysail. Beyond that ?? but the aim is always to have some canvas up to keep the motion steady, and to enable the boat to be hove to.

    The thing I'd like about this is that the rig would be quite low in a real blow, not too much windage high up. It could be unstayed, but I would I think favour very simple staying because they are so good to hang onto in less than smooth water - lifelines or not.

    Any thoughts or alternative ideas ??
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    For a smaller boat the Cutter rig will probably work the easiest.

    A large fully battened main makes a fine companion while MS as the sail doesn't flog when luffed under power.

    Most MS will power to windward so the headsails can be on rollers without the usual losses.

    Being well balanced will allow sailing on & off moorings if the engine is dead.

    The ketch drags all that useless mast & rig , that could better be used to place a self steering , or to carry a dink in davits.

  3. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Pontevedra, Spain

    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Hi, FoveauxSailor!
    have a look at the nice gaffs alternatives of Paul Gartside motorsailers designs:
    They even have davits....;)

    In my own motorsailer, a Banjer 37, I use the ketch rig (marconi) configuration with fully battened main and mizzen, and I'm happy with it. It's a flexible rig, allowing for a lot of sails combinations (specially useful when in rough conditions or manoeuvering in tight spaces under sail alone), keeps the sails center of effort relatively low, and is quite quiet.


  4. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Welcome to the forums FoveauxSailor,
    I might suggest you click on the search button and look up "ketch". You will be led to lots of discussions on the subject. (just a helpful hint in case you do not know of it).

    I'm a big fan of the ketch rig as well, but I do tend to agree with Fred that the smaller vessels might well look at alternatives
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