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Ketch Sailboat Buying Guide
A ketch sailboat is a two-masted sailboat whose mainmast is taller than the mizzen mast, with the mizzen mast placed forward of the rudder. While they share similarities with yawls and sloops, their differences lie in where the two masts are placed on the sailboat and in relation to each other.
Why is it Called a Ketch Sailboat?
Originally, ketches were used for fishing so the term “ketch” comes from the same root word to “catch” something.
Is Sailing a Ketch Sailboat More Challenging than Sailing a Sloop?
A ketch and a sloop are usually used for different purposes, which makes their sailing and handling different as well. Ketches are generally more often used for cruising vessels, where there is a greater emphasis on comfort and stability over speed and performance. A sloop on the other hand is often used for racing so they value speed over comfort. Sloops may have the ketch beat in upwind sailing performance, but for stability and easier sail handling, the ketch wins due to their distributed sail areas and smaller mizzen sails.
What Advantages does a Ketch Sailboat Offer over Other Sailboat Types?
While ketches may offer a call back to earlier generations and sailboat builds, they still offer a number of advantages compared to other sailboat types:
- Balance, performance and comfort are all high on the ketches capabilities list.
- Easier handling – making them ideal for couples, families, or even those looking to solo sail.
- Excellent cruising sailboat – whether you want to cross the globe, or spend a few weeks onboard at a time, ketches are an excellent choice.
- Thanks to smaller sails, you have more room on the sailboat to move around. Especially important for those sailing families who want a larger boat, but not necessarily larger sails to control and handle.
How Much do Ketch Sailboats Cost?
As with any boat you’re looking to purchase, they cost will depend on a few factors:
- Age of boat
- New versus used
These factors are all relevant when looking at ketch sailboats for sale. You can find some as low as $25,000, while others can cost in the tens of millions of dollars.
Can Ketch Sailboats be Suitable for Long-Distance Cruising?
Now that we know ketch sailboats offer comfort, easy handling and excellent performance, we can confidently say they are an excellent choice for those looking to do some long-distance cruising. Thanks to a smaller sail area, sailors can also opt to solo sail with a ketch versus a more demanding boat with larger sail areas.