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Swan 65 ketch flying a spinnaker
Fisher30 motorsailer ketch

A ketch is a two-masted sailboat whose mainmast is taller than the mizzen mast (or aft-mast),[1] generally 40-foot or bigger.[2] The name ketch is derived from catch.[3] The ketch's main mast is usual stepped in the same position as a sloop.[4] A ketch rig has an advantage over a sloop downwind, and in heavy winds where it has more variety of setups than a sloop,[2] but is less efficient than a sloop upwind.[5]

Its sail-plan is similar to that of a yawl, on which the mizzen mast is smaller and set further back. The addition of headsails can makes a cutter-ketch.[4]

In New England, in the 1600s the ketch was a small coastal craft. In the 1700s it disappeared from contemporary records, apparently replaced by the schooner.[6]


  1. ^ "Definition of KETCH". Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b Reynolds, Pat (27 July 2015). "What's in a Rig? The Ketch". American Sailing Association. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  3. ^ "the definition of ketch". Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b Jordan, Richard (13 January 2011). "Sailboat Rig Types: Sloop, Cutter, Ketch, Yawl, Schooner, Cat". Jordan Yacht Brokerage. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Different Types of Sailboat Rigs: Bermuda (Sloop), Ketch, Cutter, and Gaff". SkyAboveUs. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Ship Model, Ketch". National Museum of American History. Retrieved 17 May 2019.