Ketching up with history. Boats yawl love

jonas a

Super Anarchist
So after checking out the site, I was a bit surprised to find so many open 60 yawls. It would seem counter intuitive to have many masts on a shorthanded boat. More stuff that can and will break. But on the plus side you have smaller sails, some redundancy and also in heavy winds the miizzen could(?) function partly as a wind rudder and balance the boat. Those early designs were far from todays planing machines, so different considerations




Super Anarchist
Interesting, wasn't really aware of the 60s until after this period. Yawls and ketches have been valued for their redundancy, more gears/set ups, ability to balance helm and sail plan, and heavy weather options. Negatives are draggy, heavier, usually more expensive, and sometimes lack of relevance.



I once did a day-sail on a 50ish feet ketch, the British yacht Ocean Scout (or perhaps it was Offshore Scout, both where in that edition of The Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race, it was the one with a long keel anyway)

That was the first time I sailed on a "modern" ketch, modern compared to the 80-100 years old tall ships I mostly sailed on back then, and it was 15 years ago.

I was astonished to find out to how badly balanced that boat was when going upwind. With a midsized headsail, one reef in the main and no mizzen, the boat had a lot of weatherhelm! Sure, I was very windy day, 30+ knots, but still. The crew told us that they almost never used the mizzen because it made things even worse.

But I will consede that the crew probably wasn't all that good sailors, the way they handeld the boat and the fact that my friend broke their speed record after 15min at the helm, and he was one of the least good helmsmen I sailed with back then.

When I met the same boats again 6 years later, they had simply removed the mizzen mast and sailed a lot better as a result :p