When sailing a traditional twin mast ketch, what are the recommended crew requirements?

Let's assume the following for simplicity:

  1. Captain has 6-pack maritime license.
  2. Captain and passengers total 5 people.
  3. Crew has 1-2 years sailing experience.
  4. Sailing within 20 miles of shore, not in commercial shipping lane.
  5. Boat bow to stern is 45 feet.
  6. Prevailing wind is 10-15 knots, seas 4-5 feet at the bell.
  7. Visibility is 5 nautical miles.

What are the responsibilities of each crew member?

  • Skill matters a lot. If you're asking this question, I'll guess you're at the low end of the scale.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:45
  • Setting matters a lot. Blue-water sailing in heavy weather is different than lake sailing on in fair weather.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:49
  • 1
    And, of course, size matters.
    – xpda
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:51
  • 1
    Thanks for the feedback, I've actually grown up on the water, but wanted to get some sailing questions seeded. Changed the question to make it more pointed and useful. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 20:01
  • @Dangeranger Yeah, I assumed thats why the private beta is so small...to seed. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


Every boat is different, and every crew is different. There is no set standard. Some people go single-handed on a ketch, some have fairly large crew. Bernard Moitessier used to sail a 39-foot ketch single-handed and with his wife.

  • 2
    is right. Can you raise & trim sails from the cockpit? I've sailed a 35' New Haven Sharpie (nominally a ketch) solo by holding a sheet in each hand, and letting the rudder do what it wants.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:51
  • 1
    Bernard Moitessier lost three ships.
    – Floyd
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 18:12

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