Don't laugh, but I'm trying to find out if it is possible for a couple (me and my wife) to be able to sail a sailboat with 2 masts. How much more difficult is it to sail than one with just a single mast.....is it the same? For example, I saw a Morgan 46' with 2 masts that was a reasonable price, but I don't know if 2 people are even capable of sailing it. Thanks for any and all input.
My husband and I sail a boat with 2 masts. Our vessel carries a jib, staysail, gaff rigged main, and a mizzen. As you learn your boat you will also learn the best way to manage its sail plan.
So the short answer is yes.
Single mast is a sloop or cutter; two masts is a ketch or yawl/schooner. Generally boats with a single mast have taller masts. Ketches/yawl have shorter masts. Which is handy with low bridges like on the ICW. Generally the design/layout of the interior of the boat will sometimes be the determinant for one or two masts. Mid cockpit boats are usually ketches/yawls. Aft cockpits are normally found on sloops/cutters.
Even with ketches and two masts, the aft mast (Mizzen mast) is rarely used except on downwind runs. It is most useful as a place to mount the radar, wind generators, and farm of various antennas.
On a cruising sailboat you are not in a hurry, so having one or two masts makes no real difference in workload.
Thanks for the information, it is exactly the reply I was looking for.
We use our mizzen mast all the time ( happens to be a ketch). It has proven to be useful on many points of sail. Additionally, it and the staysail with the main and jib down are great for manuvering (sp). We do have the ability to reef our mizzen. I will say our mizzen is a good sized sail not as small as many.
Our boat is definately a cruiser not a cruiser/racer and is very comfortable. We are blessed with a very easy to balance rig, allowing us to leave the helm without concern.