Cat Ketch or Cat Schooner?

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Cat Ketch or Cat Schooner?

Post by Transporter2112 »

I'm new to the forum so if this has been addressed please point me in the right direction. I have purchased an Offshore 33 Cat Ketch, not a freedom but a freestanding cat ketch rig nonetheless. The main mast was broken in a storm so i am on the search for a replacement mast. My question, besides where can I find a mast at a reasonable price is this:

Since I am in the position to choose between a Cat Ketch and a Cat Schooner, is there a performance benefit of the cat ketch over the schooner?

I prefer schooners aesthetically, so if i were to source a new mast that was longer than the originals, and could choose where to position the longer mast I would prefer to make my boat a Cat Schooner. The original masts of the Offshore 33 are the same length, but the mizzen mast is stepped on the keel, where the main mast is stepped in the bottom of the chain locker, almost 4 feet higher making the main mast 4 feet taller than the mizzen. shows a line drawing where both masts are the same height, but in reality the main is taller. So if I were to source a longer mast and position that where the current mizzen would go, giving my boat either the same height masts, or a taller mizzen making it a schooner would I negatively effect the sailing characteristics? The overwhelming majority of two masted catboats are cat ketch rigs, but the Freedom 39 pilothouse is a cat schooner. I would like to make my boat a cat schooner, but don't want to create a poorly sailing vessel.


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Re: Cat Ketch or Cat Schooner?

Post by cberdie »

You really should contact the designer or a naval architect for this answer. If you put more sail area in your aft sail you will have more weather helm and you won't be able to make use of the extra sail. If you have a large barndoor rudder, correcting for the weather helm will slow you down considerably. Spending the money for the mast and sail should justify a little more to get an expert opinion to get it right. Just an opinion from someone who generally knows what he doesn't know.
Running Free

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Re: Cat Ketch or Cat Schooner?

Post by peaceandfreedom »

Look at this post from earlier this week.
The Freedom 32 mast may be a good fit for you.

Jim D
Happy sailing

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Re: Cat Ketch or Cat Schooner?

Post by RonR »

What Carl said. You have a complex balance between the positioning of the center of effort of the sails on various points of sail, the hull and keel shape, rudder shape and position, mast position and bend, and a host of other factors. If you are intimately familiar with the way your boat sails, some minor tweaking can be done- I just extended the boom 14” on a 39’ boat and put more roach into the main- but major deviations from the design really should have expert knowledge driving them. That’s not to say major rig reconfigurations can’t be done, just that they are complex.

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Re: Cat Ketch or Cat Schooner?

Post by cptprogreso »

I have a freedom 33 centerboard, sometimes i have to loose the mizzen to balance the rudder, sometimes i only sail with the main so your boat will be very unbalanced if you change the sail plans.

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Re: Cat Ketch or Cat Schooner?

Post by Goose13 »

I also own a 33CK with a centerboard and I tried to sail with my Mizzen once and only once because it will not balance properly and all I did was go in circles before taking it down and going with the main only. Stick with the Cat Ketch, they are really easy to tack. All you have to do is turn the wheel!
Doug and Marie
Millennnium Falcon F33 CK cb #4
1980 wish bone booms Electric Drive

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Re: Cat Ketch or Cat Schooner?

Post by arrancomrades »

Just to say that my F35(or 33?) cat ketch with long keel sails pretty well with just the backsail. Reaching, running, gybing no problem and not too much weather helm partly because of the windage from the furled frontsail. In very good conditions I might just be able to tack however coming in to anchor, or even to pick up a mooring on a close or beam reach is quite feasible with practice, so I can get the frontsail down and out the way quite early in the approach. I generally let go the backsail halyard about a boat length from the target.
Mike Johnston

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