Why a Yawl or Ketch instead of a sloop

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by saltydog123, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. BeauVrolyk
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    BeauVrolyk Sailor

    Paul, I do know COLREGS, and I think you have a couple of things wrong. It says:

    Rule 5

    Look-out

    Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight as well as by hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.​


    You'll note two things:

    1) COLREGS is NOT law. While it is certain that various countries would like you to believe that, it isn't true and there are numerous countries who don't give a damn what COLREGS says. Therefore, sailing without a lookout is only "illegal" in countries that have incorporated COLREGS as "law", which is not even close to all of them. For more detail read the convention. http://www.imo.org/Conventions/mainframe.asp?topic_id=148 In particular, note that they list who has ratified the convention and who has not. It is NOT law, it is an agreement between some countries. What happens in international waters is clearly not regulated by the convention, only what happens within territorial waters and aboard ships registered in member countries.


    2) Clearly members and signatories to COLREGS disagree with you. France is a signator, sponsoring host country of the Vendee. The US is a signator, sponsoring host country of the Single Handed TransPac. Neither France nor the US seems to have any trouble with Single Handed racing - I'll go with them rather than your opinion.

    My last remark is that I'm afraid you're as guilty as the man you've complained about of not getting the details right.

    I'm done with this - this is my last email on the topic - I'm going back to trying to get the thread back on the subject of schooners, ketchs, and sloops where it belongs.

    B
     
  2. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    I guess you've missed the discussions in France about the "illegal" racing of the Minis and the 60s (Mono and Multi)? The government has lately been discussing blocking the harbours to prevent the starts of these races due to the COLREGS situation.

    I'm sure if someone with some authority wanted to stir it here in the USA it wouldn't take much to get singlehanded offshore racers shut down faster than you might think. It hasn't happened because it is off the radar in the big picture. I'm pretty sure I could send off two letters tomorrow that would end the Singlehanded Transpac forever, if I had a dog in the fight.

    Let's just see someone auger in during Longpac and watch what happens.


    When I hear about very good sailors in Minis and other singlehanded races hitting tankers in the open ocean that is enough for me to say that is not adequate seamanship.
     
  3. BeauVrolyk
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    BeauVrolyk Sailor

    I can't resist one last comment:

    Did you choose not to admit you were wrong about COLREGS being law at sea because you over looked it?

    I'm done.
     
  4. john schroeder
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    john schroeder john P schroeder

    Ok Ok I had to come back and defend my position You made the point you have all the facts . But the point is lost ! its not the letter of the law but the intent. And what I was referring to was not the specific incident of the Americas cup boat that broke ......... and sank!!!!!! I remember both ends up and the middle going down looked like a banana to me but I wasent there and didnt taste it but looked like poor design to me!. I thank you for letting me know that they were rescued by chase boats in that case . In the analogy I used with dragsters using the highway, true..... races are done on city streets like the one you mention in California. I have driven some but the organizers compensate the public with income generated by the race.So actualy the taxpayer does not pay for anything it brings in income to the comunity through sales of food ,hotels ect ect ect And your mixing up what my point was in regard to the rescue personnel that risk their lives to save sailors that get into situations that they can not get out of them selves as you have done TWICE. The start of this was split rigs ,I say a smaller rig /split for short handed sailing was safer and bringing the center of effort lower reduces the extreme keels that have become popular that seem to fall off on a regular basis killing those on board. Now some designers have moved this stupid design into the racer /cruiser category which I think is as stupid as race car /dump truck But there is not as much movement in design for safer more stable boats and i think that is somthing that is being overlooked which is were I started bringing up some older designs they were of course built for racing but at a time when it was not posable to call for an air rescue and that in its self caused sailors and designers to sail and build boats capable of handeling what may come. Unlike now when boats are becoming job specific and it is buyer beware perhaps boats should be rated like a grade or class like learner,junior,senior and experianced and then top class the holy cow take your chance you might have to have someone follow you in a heliocopter class . Thats all I was saying now Im done with it
     
  5. john.G
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    john.G Junior Member

    Back on topic I've always been a fan of split rigs on any non-race boat.

    My own choice is ketch on any hull over about the low 40's in length, and yawl on anything smaller. "My" boat, as opposed to my "office" boat is a 30' yawl... a modified H28 with a jigger added. And on a yawl its called a jigger guys, not a mizzen.

    Plenty of people will say that at 28' there's no need for a split rig at all, but I like it. That tiny scrap of canvas at the back makes a good spare rudder, works better then any windvane steering system, and allows for comfort at anchor when the sea and the tide are at odds.

    And on any cruising boat, even a costal one, all those factors are worth a hell of a lot more then an extra half knot of speed.

    my $0.02 worth.
     
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  6. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    I was asking this precise question myself some ten years ago. I had cut my teeth on just about the best sailboat ever made: a modest Cal 27 designed by Bill Lapworth. I had pulled the busted up inboard the day we bought the boat and preceded to sail the old gal in every weather with no engine for the next ten years. Boy she could sail. Fast, responsive and weatherly. I learned to sail and got out of all the trouble I found myself in.
    As time past I was looking for the next boat. I wanted the "cruising boat" and was trying to put some meaning on what that meant.

    I wanted a boat that was fast, weatherly and capable of short tacking up a narrow creek like my Cal. I wanted the increased range of a 'Bluewater boat'. This was a tough decision as I like so many knew my boat but did not have the experience to pin down the varied attributes of all the hulls/rigs available.

    I took to reading everything I could find on the subject. This is indirect experience as one takes the opinions of others sea miles to heart, but this is what I did. It's a funny path which could well lead you to owning such disparate hulls as the Slocum's Spray, Moitessiers Joshua or Streets Iolaire. In the end Streets quirky complete love of his yawl sold me and so I set out to become a yawl man myself.. Ah the dream of sailing backward off the anchor...:)
    Well I bought a yawl and another ten years have passed. I don't sell backward through anchorages much but I am privileged to own for a time another great sailing boat. She sails like a dream. I regularly sail her off the mooring and out of our crowded creek. She will tack under main alone in a breeze so light as to barely fill the sail. When another is going my way- and I am forced to race... she holds her own & often beats boats whose decades of design advantage should have given them the day. Comfortable at sea, nice balanced helm, the boat suits me.

    I am often asked what "that little mast" does. I have a stock answer that goes: "well it gives me something to lean against while drinking a beer". This is close enough to the truth but the mizzen staysail is a great sail off the wind, the boat drives nice under 'jib and jigger', and the rig and rigging are handy for mounting all sort of gear from radar domes to harbor canvas. If pressed the boat will indeed sail backward off the hook to clear other boats in a crowded anchorage. I like the mizzen and enjoy messing around with it though what really shines for me is just how well designed my old Rhodes is- she really sails well, mizzen or no.

    You are looking for the next boat and have set forth in your post a couple of design requirements:

    "Preferably a yawl or ketch rig for those times when the auxilliary collapses"

    Well I also value a boat that sails well thought I think is a mistake to solely attribute this to the split rig. To my mind a ideal close quarters vessel should be able to tack and make way towards the wind under main alone. This requirement might exclude many ketches and is not necessarily a attribute of the any given yawl you might purchase. A vessel capable of sailing in and out of harbors has to be handy enough to play the shifting choppy gusts as often found there, and helmed by a skipper steady enough to keep the boat going. It might be argued that this person is also likely as not to keep the diesel in sufficient repair as to be relied upon.

    This is an important question- the searching for the next or first boat. I think many like myself become taught by our boats to sail them well. I envy those who have had the time and opportunity to sail many types well enough to 'know' how they are suited to each use.
     
  7. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Par, BeauVrolyk gave his opinion and wat he think it's right.
    I understand if you have an other opinion, but why for God sake to be so hatefull, it is just a blog, we all have opnion and we all love boat.
    Be nice, and not rude. It's easy to question the competences of somebody, in no time I can do the same if I was a jerk. But I am not and I like and respect ALL opinions including yours when in focus to the matter on the thread.
     
  8. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

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  9. Zed
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    Zed Senior Member

    I think that the split rig design was often, at least originally and partially, informed by the materials available at the time. I'm not attempting to negate the advantages that a split rig has, I'm just saying that as masts have become lighter, sail cloth stiffer, sail handling systems better and cheap the whole cost benefit equation has swung to the sloop rig. People who choose split rigs these days often have very specific reasons for doing so (just ask them!) and they are not often your run of the mill family sailor.

    A powerful ketch appeals to me as cruising rig, so many more options off the wind and really who wants to cruise to windward unless its really unavoidable!

    Anywooo... horses courses and all that!
     
  10. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    Brian-

    I never did find the photos of the Alden I mentioned in that thread.
    I was looking over Pics of Rhodes Merry Maiden today..

    Wow- there's a yawl for ya!

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    And a great sail trim photo:

    :)

    [​IMG]

    I should make an offer on that timber Rhodes. Too many boats, too little time...
     
  11. Zed
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    Zed Senior Member

    Two kites was prehaps a little ambitious... fire the kite packer! Can I see the guy up the mizzen scratching his head? Hmmmmm where to start?
     
  12. john schroeder
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    john schroeder john P schroeder

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
     
  13. john schroeder
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    john schroeder john P schroeder

    That was not my intended message . I wanted to say on the split rig. When I decided to lowered my main mast to clear the bridges on the waterway I decided on taking six feet from the mast. bringing it to 63 ft after addeding a fully battened main with a larger roach it gave back 75% of the lost sail area and the overall effect was a lowered center of effort and a stiffer ride that combined with the" jigger" the boat is a very good sea boat . So if your considering an older designed yawl with sails as pictured in the Rodes alot can be done to ake that rig managable by a smaller crew
     
  14. BeauVrolyk
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    BeauVrolyk Sailor

    John,

    On my old Yawl, the Tom Wylie design Saga, I had a mizzen that was only a little larger than a laser's mainsail. I used to sit on the weather quarter while the boat sailed herself up wind (with the mizzen furled because it slowed us down) and wonder about that sail. Here are some thoughts I came up with after many many hours at sea with not much else to do.

    First, I love playing around with the little mizzen spinnaker or staysail, it keeps the kids busy, is usually a bright colored sail, and also doubles as a great sun-shade when set on the weather rail and sheeted over the cockpit to leeward. So, I'd like to have a mizzen for any point of sail further than about 70 degrees off the wind. Which in my experience is a fairly large percentage of the time when cruising.

    Second, I don't like dragging the mizzen up wind in the bad air of the mainsail. It slows the boat down, the sail doesn't help it hurts, and I can take you out on any yawl or ketch that is at all weatherly (I'm excluding things like my friends old Colin Archer ketch because it can't point higher than 50 degrees to the wind anyway so the mizzen is mostly out of the bad air of the main.) and of a modern rig and use instruments to prove to you that the mizzen is slowing the boat down. I've done this (used instruments to measure performance to windward) on Saga, on a H28, on the old Rhodes Yawl Natoma, and on a Cherubini 44 so I have real measured data to back up my opinion, I'm not guessing. I'd like the mizzen gone when I'm going hard up on the wind.

    Finally, I loved having the boom on the mizzen to lift barrels of fuel, small boats, crates of food, injured people, etc... aboard the boat. I had rigged Saga's mizzen to effectively be a cargo derrick. The topping lift was reinforced and I had an electric winch on the mizzen sheet which was used to haul up cargo. My 5 year old son, now a senior in college, would operate the electric winch while I kept the cargo from banging the topsides.

    So, what to do? My conclusion is that one ought to have a boat with a good sized main and fore triangle, one that is adequate for upwind work in all but the very lightest conditions, and that the mizzen mast only be stepped when sailing free and when shipping cargo. Let me tell you why.

    I started to investigate and measure. The mizzen mast on Saga was about 25' high and weighed about 50 pounds. it is smaller and lighter than the main mast on my Moore-24 sloop Scarlett, which I step each time I finish trailering the boat someplace. Stepping the Moore-25 mast takes about 15 mintues and I don't even have a big old main mast to hoist the rig up with, I push it up by hand, it's easy. I have concluded that I can get exactly what I need in a yawl by simply rigging a mizzen that is easily stepped and struck. On a larger boat, it would be trivial to have such a mast, a halyard from the main mast could be used to lift it, and if the upper shrouds were placed abeam of the mizzen one wouldn't need to worry about it swinging around as it went up, even in a seaway. Clearly the step would need a hinged plate just likea Moore-24, Olson-30 or Express-27 do. Had I kept Saga, I think I would have rigged her this way. Saga, at 65' LOL and 18' of beam has plenty of space on the deck to chock and stow the mizzen and its boom. I'd estimate that it would take no more than 20 minutes to step the mast and less to strike.

    I'd be interested in other people's thoughts on this. Back in the days of Yore, when the ships were wooden and the crew were iron, the sailors used to send down the topgallant masts and pull in the jib booms in heavy weather. These were gigantic pieces of wood that weighed far more than what we're talking about here. Even on racing boats as recently as the 1910 era there were topmasts that were struck in heavy weather. I don't know why we've gotten away from this. Particularly given that very lightweight topmasts could be built from carbon and stepped quite securely atop the mainmast.

    Here in San Francisco, CA, it is quite windy during the summer and quite light in the winter. As a result, to sail well a boat either needs too much rig all summer long, and we do see most boats sailing around in the summer with at least one or two reefs in the main and a tiny jib, or else it needs some way of radically increasing the sail area during the winter. I keep scratching my head and wondering if a topmast and bowsprit might not be the answer for winter sailing here. When I was last in the UK I was struck by the crews on the classic yachts pulling in the bowsprits as they approached their slips - no need to pay for a 40' slip when you've a 35' boat with a 5' bowsprit - just pull it in. They did the same thing with the mizzen boom, took it down so it wouldn't stick over the end of the stern.

    What do folks think??

    Beau
     

  15. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

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